FORMER Colchester United coach Steve Foley has turned down a “golden opportunity” to work in America.

The 64-year-old has been approached by new Miami FC head coach Paul Dalglish, who replaced Italian legend Alessandro Nesta last Thursday.

Dalglish, the son of Scotland international and Celtic and Liverpool forward Kenny, offered Foley the chance to join his new set-up at the North American Soccer League (NASL) outfit.

However, the former U’s midfielder, coach and caretaker manager has decided to pass up the opportunity because he wants to stay close to his family in north Essex.

Lawford-based Foley has a two-year-old great grandson and says he could not bear to be so far away from him.

He said: “I feel honoured to have been approached by Paul.

“It’s a golden opportunity and one I’ve given serious thought to.

“Miami is a beautiful place - like a different world - and it would be an amazing experience to go and live and work out there.

“At a different time in my life, I might have gone but it’s not something I want to do at my age.

“My wife and I had a good chat about it but I’m rooted here and have a young great grandson, who we look after every Tuesday and Thursday.

“I love him to bits and miss him on the days he’s not with us, so couldn’t imagine being so far away.”

Clacton-born Foley made nearly 300 appearances in the Football League, playing as a midfielder for Colchester.

He began his career as a trainee and stayed at Layer Road for ten years, scoring 54 goals in 283 games.

Later on he joined the U’s coaching staff, working with young players, and spent several spells as caretaker manager during the Eighties.

He joined Norwich in 1996, appointed by manager Mike Walker, who had worked with him at Colchester, and spent ten years with the club in various roles when his coaching contract was terminated in May 2006.

He then joined the coaching staff at Ipswich Town and continues to work with young players both within the Blues’ Academy and at Needham Market.

He recently reduced the hours he works to spend more time with his family.

He said: “It’s the same thing with the opportunity Paul has given me.

“But I can’t thank him enough for wanting me by his side and in many respects, I wish circumstances were different.”

Miami FC had a historic season in 2017, winning the Spring Season and Fall Season Championships and breaking several modern-day NASL team and individual records, in addition to advancing to the quarter-finals of the US Open Cup.