Mark Robinson has been appointed head coach of the Chelsea development squad.

Robinson has spent the majority of his coaching career at AFC Wimbledon in a variety of roles, working as head of the club’s academy and youth team coach before a 14-month spell in charge of the senior side.

Highly regarded for his work within youth development in particular, Robinson spent 18 years with the Dons, initially joining in 2004 and helping shape their academy setup from scratch two years after the club’s reformation.

As head coach of the Under-18s, he guided Wimbledon into the last-16 of the FA Youth Cup in consecutive seasons, coming up against a Chelsea side featuring the likes of Trevoh Chalobah and Mason Mount. The crowd of almost 3,500 supporters at Kingsmeadow, Wimbledon’s then-home ground, underlined the connection he had established between the fanbase and the young team.

During his time at the south London club, Robinson also worked in charge of the loans programme and as a first team coach before taking the reins following the departure of Glyn Hodges in January last year. He steered the side away from danger with a progressive style of football and secured their status in the third tier.

After a positive start to the 2021/22 campaign, including a run to the Carabao Cup third round that saw them take on Arsenal at the Emirates, Wimbledon’s form dipped in the second half of the season and Robinson left the club in March.

Head of youth development Neil Bath said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome Mark to the club. He has vast experience across youth development and the senior game, which will enable the Academy to continue to develop players for the professional game.

‘We are confident that Mark will fit into our way of working and that he will add great value to the development of our players both individually and as a team. We look forward to Mark starting work in pre-season.’

A Chelsea supporter as a boy, Robinson now takes charge of our most senior academy age group and will begin work with the squad in pre-season.