The Chelsea Academy's unprecedented period of success over the past decade or so has produced plenty of promising talent, both in the playing and, as Academy Director Neil Bath pointed out recently, the coaching staff as well. And just as the U18s go for their third consecutive title tonight -- their sixth appearance in the final in the last seven seasons -- the man in charge at the start of the winning streak in 2010, Dermot Drummy, has been appointed to his first job in senior management.
It hasn't been all smooth sailing for the 55-year-old former Arsenal youth coach. (He worked there for about a decade, helping players like Ashley Cole and Cesc Fabregas, before joining Chelsea in 2007 as an U16 coach.) After winning the Youth Cup in 2010, he added an U21 title in 2014 while managing the U19s in the now-defunct NextGen Series, before moving to a newly created position within the Chelsea Foundation. This international coaching role must not have worked out too well unfortunately, as he left the club in January 2015 and has been searching for a job since (sometimes publicly, even, if his Twitter timeline is anything to go by). He did apparently turn down an offer to manage some non-league team in Brazil (Bangu?).
Rumors of League Two Crawley Town offering a position started emerging a couple days ago. The Reds are languishing in 18th after getting relegated from League One last season, but their owners have designs on bigger and better things and hope that Drummy is the man to set them on their way. Former Chelsea youth prospect Jimmy Smith, who made one appearance for the senior team back in 2005-06, anchors their midfield.
"I'm delighted to be at Crawley and I am really looking forward to taking the club forward. Hopefully I can produce a team that plays attractive football that excites our fans and brings the whole club together - players, supporters and the people who work for the club. I can't wait to get started. I'm looking forward to meeting the players and preparing for Saturday's game."
-Dermot Drummy; source: Crawley Town FC
Crawley have just two games left this season and are not in danger of getting relegated anymore. Drummy's work will begin in earnest this summer. Best of luck to him and his new team!