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Chelsea confirm new coaching roles for former goalkeepers Carlo Cudicini and James Russell

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Keeping it all in the family!

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images

After joining Chelsea as a club ambassador in 2015, former Chelsea goalkeeper and Player of the Year Carlo Cudicini went on to serve as assistant TO to the head coach for both Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri. He even attended several press conferences to act as translator.

Cudicini’s future was left in limbo with Sarri’s departure, but today the club confirmed earlier rumors by announcing that Carlo Cudicini has been appointed a loan player technical coach, replacing Eddie Newton and working alongside Paulo Ferreira, Christophe Lollichon, (Tore Andre Flo maybe?), and the also newly appointed Claude Makelele. Keeping it all in the family!

The Loan Army has been a significant part of Chelsea’s player development programme, and it has attracted plenty of praise and criticism over the years. But we’re at long last looking to truly reap its rewards, and now we just have to continue to manage the system effectively and within the confines of new restrictions that may be coming from football’s governing bodies.

“I’m really looking forward to this new challenge in my coaching career. The loan programme is an important part of our development pathway for young players at the club and this is an exciting opportunity to work with the next generation of talented players.”

- Carlo Cudicini; source: Chelsea FC


Soccer - Under 21 Premier League International Cup - Chelsea’s U21 v Liverpool U21 - The Electrical Services Stadium
Coach Russell in action against Liverpool U21 in the PL International Cup in 2015-16
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

In addition to Makelele and Cudicini taking on new roles today, Chelsea have also confirmed that Chelsea youth coach and occasional reserves goalkeeper James Russell has been appointed assistant goalkeeper coach to work with Henrique Hilario in the first-team.

Russell, just 31, spent five years in the Chelsea Academy before being released at the age of 19 in 2007. Four years later, he returned as a youth coach, but has been drafted in as emergency goalkeeper several times since then as well (at times causing a bit of confusion), the latest of which was against Swansea City a couple seasons ago in the PL2.

While Russell will split time between first-team and academy duties as needed, another former Chelsea goalkeeper, Yves Makabu-Ma-Kalambay, 33, will be expected to take over some of Russell’s academy responsibilities. Ma-Kalambay made the Chelsea bench twice early on in his career (due to multiple injuries ahead of him), but never quite managed to rise above backup goalkeeper status at any one of his subsequent stops (he did get a few minutes of fame/infamy with this hilarious blunder though). He spent time at Wycombe Wanderers the last couple seasons before being released at the end of last season.

Keeping it all in the big Chelsea family!