The Chelsea Academy’s legacy coaching development continues with the latest appointments for the U18 and U23 (Development) teams. These were prompted in part by Joe Edwards’ promotion from the U23 team to Frank Lampard’s first-team coaching staff, which already included former U18’s manager Jody Morris. Lampard himself worked on his badges with the Academy’s help and resources before getting his feet wet in management at Derby last year.
As confirmed on the official website, Andy Myers moves up from the U18 (where he replaced Jody Morris last year) to the U23 head coaching position, to replace Edwards. Myers will be assisted by Jon Harley, who moves alongside him. Both Myers and Harley came through the Chelsea Academy to play for Chelsea for a few years, then return later as coaches. Myers previously served as assistant to Dermot Drummy and Joe Edwards for the U21/U23 teams, and even had a season “on loan” as a coach with Vitesse.
The U18s vacancies will be filled by Ed Brand and James Simmonds, aged just 32 and 31, respectively. Brand becomes the U18 head coach after two years as Morris’s assistant then last year as U23 assistant to Edwards. Simmonds is a new name at this level, though he’s been coaching at the Academy for almost a decade, since hanging up his boots in 2010. He moves up alongside many of the new incoming first-year scholars, in that classic pattern established in the last decade and a half. Unsurprisingly, both of the new U18 appointees began their careers as youth players in the Academy but turned to coaching instead after the playing path didn’t yield the expected results.
So, if you’re counting, every single named coaching position from the first-team to the youth, is filled by a former Chelsea player* except for one — Chris Jones, who does instead have a long history of coaching at Chelsea to count, before joining Lampard at Derby last season.
* They are: Frank Lampard, Jody Morris, Joe Edwards, Eddie Newton, Hilário, Andy Myers, Jon Harley, Ed Brand, James Simmonds. All but Lampard and Hilário also came through the Chelsea Academy. Now that’s legacy.