"For me, the big day is when we see women leaders, black women, white women – whoever it is – find a job as long as they are simply the best people for them."
Joining the new coaching team in Derby County, led by Phillip Cocu, three-time Dutch title winner, took Liam Rosenior nearly 15 years.
The move also comes a month after the English Football League made it mandatory for clubs to interview at least one black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) candidate when they are looking for a new director of the first team.
The settlement, known unofficially as the "Rooney Rule" – named after the chair of the NFL's Diversity Committee, Dan Rooney, who helped establish politics in American football – is a topic on which Rosenior has spoken at length in the past.
When asked when he thought it had influenced his career, he replied, "I could not answer that question."
But he knows what the reward of dedication should be.
"I've always thought that if you worked hard enough, you should have the opportunity to interview, at least, for a job that you are passionate about," said Rosenior, who worked to coach for almost 16 years. years. -year player career.
"I have reviewed the" Rooney Rule "in the NFL and its implications for the league, and it has only been positive.
"For me, it's not a question of whether you are black, white or Asian, gay, straight or whatever your religious denomination is.
"Am I happy if a black gets a job instead of a white? No. I just want the best person to get the job."
After Sol Campbell left Macclesfield by mutual consent last week, there are only five BAME directors in England's four major divisions.
Two of them, Sabri Lamouchi, boss of Nottingham Forest, and Darren Moore, director of Doncaster, were both hired after EFL introduced the "Rooney Rule" policy in June.
"A better pool of coaches will make the game better"
For Rosenior, a recently retired Premier League defender who worked as a part-time television expert and assistant director of Brighton's Under-23 team, his Derby job offer "came unexpectedly".
While Dutch-dominated Cocu and Co's call was a surprise, the rise of Hull City and Fulham, 35, as an ambitious coach and new authoritative voice in the game was widely recognized.
Before he left the game as a player, Rosenior was already a card-carrying coach. Then, when the shoes were hung up in 2018, his understanding of the game and his insight quickly made him a respected football analyst.
"Maybe that put me in the shop window and that's why I'm here now," Rosenior told BBC Sport. "Television has given me a good platform and people have come to know me through it.
"The most important thing is that I can train on the pitch, make contacts and improve players – that's what I'm here to do."
Rosenior admits he viewed the "Rooney Rule" with skepticism when it was first mentioned due to a "lack of confidence in the process," but he soon saw it as a "no huge".
"If you are an advisor and you need to interview a BAME candidate, are you doing it for the right reasons? Do you do it because you think they have a very good chance of getting a job? or do you do it for a tick That was my first thought, "he said.
"But you also sometimes have to be proactive in dealing with problems.
"If we can open the borders and be more transparent in the way we recruit coaches, then I think we will have a better pool of coaches, which makes it a better pool of players, which makes the better game.
"I know that there are so many different players, different backgrounds and cultures, who need empathic coaches who understand them.
"You need a wide range of sources of diversity, with not only race, but also social class, gender, all types of different things to get the most out of people."
Research conducted in 2017 revealed that only 22 of the 482 senior coaching positions in the top four divisions of English football were held by BAME coaches.
As a member of the coaching squad – which was again highlighted when Campbell left Macclesfield – Rosenior is looking forward to a time when it will become useless.
"I'd like a day when we do not talk about it and where we do not perceive it," Rosenior said.
"What's great in recent years is that people are starting to understand that there is an unconscious bias, it's not racism, it's who we are." we all have prejudices. "
"I'm almost impressed by these guys"
Rosenior brings a long time experience to football as a specialized coach at Derby. He will focus on developing new talent and will work with the screening and analysis departments.
As a player, he played more than 440 matches with the first team of seven clubs, including the Premier League with Fulham, Reading, Hull and Brighton.
In Hull, where he spent nearly five years, he was one of the winners of the promotion, played in an FA Cup final, in the Europa League and was relegated.
And before he did anything, Rosenior had his father, Leroy, the former Fulham striker and West Ham, who later headed Brentford and Torquay.
Rosenior brings a new perspective to Derby. Any discussion about the diversity that he adds to a staff behind the scenes – a team that will include former England captain Wayne Rooney as a player-coach from January – is based on his vision of football.
Twan Scheepers, another specialist coach, and Deputy Director Chris van der Weerden both have extensive experience working with Cocu, a former Dutch world-renowned midfielder, who has collected six trophies in his first PSV management job. Eindhoven.
"There is a difference in every football culture," said Rosenior.
"It's a different league, a tough league, but it's Phillip Cocu and his staff who have been successful in the Champions League, who have won championship titles.
"My job is to help them in the best way possible to help Derby succeed."
Rosenior shines when he says how "incredible" it is to be part of the Cuckoo Rams and what "privilege" to learn from the former Barcelona player.
"It's hard because I'm almost impressed by these guys with what they've accomplished," he said.
"It would be rude on my part not to assimilate everything I want to improve every day, so if I have not improved in recent weeks by learning from Phillip Cocu and the rest of the staff, I'm in the wrong job.
"I have no ambition to say that I want to be a Champions League manager, but would I love to run in the Champions League or the international? Of course, but only if I deserve this chance and win it. "