Joe EdwardsAssistant Coach
Formerly the development squad head coach, Joe Edwards stepped up to join the first-team set-up in July 2019.
A former Chelsea schoolboy player who has been a part of the Academy coaching staff since 2004, he was handed the reins of the Under-18 side for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, in which the FA Youth Cup was won twice. The youth team were also Under-18 Premier League South winners in both years.
Edwards spent the 2016/17 campaign working as loan player technical coach, liaising closely with several players and coaching staff at their temporary clubs. He was also part of the England Under-18 backroom coaching staff that helped the young Lions win the Toulon Tournament in June 2017.
In his first season as the lead coach of our oldest Academy age group, Edwards guided the team into the semi-finals of the senior Checkatrade Trophy, where they were denied a place in the Wembley final after a penalty shootout defeat to Lincoln City. It was the furthest any academy team had reached in the competition. The Under-19s went one step further in the UEFA Youth League but lost in the final to Barcelona, and were runners-up again in 2018/19 to Porto.