Padraig Whelan

Chelsea assistant coach details long road back to his dream job

Joe Edwards may not be a name familiar to the wider footballing public but his Chelsea credentials cannot be questioned.

This summer, he was confirmed as new boss Frank Lampard’s assistant, following the departure of Gianfranco Zola.

Edwards, a lifelong Chelsea fan and schoolboy player for the club, took a longer route than most to land the job he craved.

In an interview with the club’s official website, he detailed how he has paid his dues for this opportunity.

“It is a special achievement for me, not just in my career but in my life as well,” said Edwards.

“I have such a strong affiliation with this club. I was a fan from the age of five and then I joined at eight as a player.

“Pretty much since I was a kid, I’ve been aspiring to get to the first team, firstly as a player and then as a coach.

“It has been a very long journey with some fantastic experiences and I’m fully aware of the amazing opportunity it is.

“I’m taking my first step in senior football at such a special club, one I consider my home, and I’m just looking forward to getting going now.”

The 32-year-old has spent the last 12 years of his career at Stamford Bridge, having been released by the Blues as a player at 16.

He has coached at various youth levels within Chelsea’s prestigious academy set-up before earning a crack at the senior side.