Chelsea have named Andy Myers and Ed Brand as their Development Squad and Under-18 Head Coaches respectively for the forthcoming season in the latest reshuffle of academy personnel following Frank Lampard’s appointment as First Team Head Coach.
Lampard named Joe Edwards among his backroom team last week, reuniting him with fellow academy graduate Jody Morris, creating a vacancy at Under-23 level after two years in charge. Myers, who this summer completed his UEFA Pro Coaching Licence, will move up after spending a year in charge of the Under-18s, and will again be assisted by Jon Harley as he was last term.
Myers, who has also worked with the Under-15s before spending a year at Vitesse with their first-team staff, previously spent two years with the Development Squad as Assistant to Adi Viveash. There, he was twice a winner of the UEFA Youth League and, after returning from his season in Arnhem, worked alongside Edwards back at the same age level. Very familiar with the demands of the group, he now takes the lead and will work closely with Edwards and Morris in forging a clearer pathway into Lampard’s plans.
Brand, meanwhile, becomes the 23rd manager of the youth team and the fourth successive to have graduated from it as a player before returning, as he follows in the footsteps of Edwards, Morris and Myers. An eight-year junior career with the club saw him captain the Under-18s under Steve Clarke and Brendan Rogers in the nascent years of the Roman Abramovich era, before he explored opportunities overseas in the form of four years at San Jose State University. Upon returning to England, he began his coaching career with the Under-12s before working under the late Dermot Drummy at Under-21 level, settling into a very capable Assistant Manager role that would expand in responsibility under Morris and then Edwards in the years that followed.
He will be joined in the dugout by James Simmonds who, like Brand, is a 1987-born former youth team player that was once tabbed alongside Michael Mancienne as one of the club’s brightest prospects of the mid-2000s. After leaving Chelsea in 2005, he spent time in both the lower leagues of the domestic game and in Spain, where a stint with the Glenn Hoddle Academy yielded a move to Ecija but, like his coaching contemporaries, he found his home back at Cobham, where he has been coaching since 2010. In charge of the incoming group of first-year scholars for the last two years at Under-15 and Under-16 level, he led them to a domestic treble in 2018 before claiming the Premier League Under-16 Cup back in April with a resounding 5-2 win over Arsenal at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park.
As the academy prepares for the final season of the decade, they can reflect upon a progressive and encouraging staff development programme that runs alongside their work in bringing through players. The likes of Rogers, Viveash, Paul Clement, Chris Jones, Eva Carneiro, Michael Beale, Glen Driscoll and so many others have gone on to influence the game far and wide after working under Neil Bath’s tutelage, and the club’s younger teams are in safe hands as the next generation continue to take steps forward too. Congratulations to everyone on their appointments.