Joe Edwards is currently part of the coaching setup under the reign of Lampard. With Lampard’s appointment in the summer, Edwards was promoted to the first team coaching staff. His story is something quite remarkable and aspiring to all young coaches in football.
Edwards has spent almost his entire life at Chelsea. From schoolboy player to first team coaching. Despite only being 32, Edwards has over fifteen years of experience as a coach and has stepped into the role of a first team coach. If there is one man who you could call a true blue, Edwards is no doubt the one.
He began his Chelsea career as an academy school boy player which lasted eight years. After being released from Chelsea’s Academy, he had a brief stint at AFC Wimbledon. In 2004, Chelsea came knocking and offered him to join their youth team coaching staff. He obviously decided to hang his boots up and accepted the call at just twenty years of age. He began working with the under 8s with the likes of Abraham and Solanke who are now playing in the Premier League. As managers joined and left in the Abramovich regime, Edwards was a permanent fixture, exposing him to various coaching methods and playing styles through the years.
As his coaching career progressed at Chelsea, he moved up the ranks along with the talented youth players. His success started to get noticed as he won three FA Youth Cups in three seasons while working with the U16s. From 2014-2016, he worked under Jody Morris as an assistant for the U18s side where he added two more FA Youth Cups to his name. Not only did he manage to win those but also the won the U18s Premier League South, as it used to be called.
In the 2016/17 season, he took a more directorial role and worked as a loan player technical coach. Edwards monitored loan players and worked with the clubs where they resided at. In the summer of 2017, he helped the England U18s win the Toulon Tournament as part the coaching staff.
The past two years, he was promoted to work with the Development Squad as their manager guiding them to the semi-finals of the senior Checkatrade Trophy. That campaign was the furthest any academy team has ever reached in the competition. Not only that, but he guided the U19s in the UEFA Youth League where they lost to Barcelona and this recent year where they lost to Porto in the Final.
Over the past 10 years, there is doubt that Joe Edwards has worked with most of the Blues’ academy players and graduates from the U8s through to the development squad. All the recent breakthrough academy stars into the Chelsea first team have been mentored by Edwards himself. Abraham, Mount, Tomori, Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek have all worked with Edwards in various years. Edwards has definitely had a significant impact on their development and will continue to do so.