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Long-time Chelsea youth coach leaves club as annual coaching shuffle begins

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Paris Saint Germain v Chelsea FC - UEFA Youth League Final Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

As per near-annual tradition, the summer coaching shuffle in the Chelsea Academy has already begun. This morning, Chelsea have announced that current Development Team coach Adi Viveash has left the club, with Joe Edwards stepping up in his stead next season.

Adrian “Adi” Vivesh is one of the most successful, if not the most successful coach in Chelsea youth team history, having guided the U18s, U19s, U21s, and the U23s to both domestic and European successes over the past six seasons, since he took over the U18s in 2011 from Dermot Drummy. Viveash had joined the Academy three years prior to that, in 2008, to begin working his way up the junior coaching ranks, as many others had done before and have done after him.

For the last three years, Viveash had been in charge of the oldest group of players (even as the definition of the competitive landscape was constantly changing), as well as the extraordinarily talented U19s with whom he won back-to-back UEFA Youth Leagues in 2015 and 2016. Sadly, this season UEFA didn’t make a special provision for Chelsea to enter a team in the absence of the senior side from the Champions League, so Viveash couldn’t make it three out of three.

“Adi’s progression through the Academy and the success of the teams he has managed clearly show the quality of his work with Chelsea. We are immensely proud of the club’s record in the FA Youth Cup and Adi played a very important part in maintaining that. In the new area of European competition at Academy level, the back-to-back triumphs of our Under-19 sides was an outstanding achievement. We wish Adi all the best for the next stage of his career.”

-Michael Emenalo; source: Chelsea FC

What may be next for the Swindon-born Viveash is unclear, but Chelsea’s relationship (i.e. loanees) with his hometown club (who are newly manager-less) has opened an intriguing possibility.

Meanwhile, stepping up to replace Adi for next season will be none other than Joe Edwards, who’s spent 22 of his 30 years on this planet at Chelsea, starting at age 8. He moves back into the coaching side of things after a year spent as loanee liaison. Jody Morris, who had replaced Edwards last summer, will stay as U18 coach for next season.

“For a number of years we have had success not just with developing players but with coach development as well and Joe has been a big part of that succession planning.”

“As a player and a coach, Joe has been part of the Academy family for over 20 years and has played a significant part in not only our trophy wins but in creating and developing a culture that is crucial to sustained success.”

“His year working with the loans department and the FA, as well as study visits to other sports clubs across the world, have given him new experiences which are vital for his own professional development and the evolution of our youth development programme moving forward.”

-Neil Bath; source: Chelsea FC

So say we all.