Joe Edwards has revealed that he was invited into the Millwall managerial interview process by the club’s director of football operations and recruitment Alex Aldridge.
The 37-year-old was appointed as the Lions’ new head coach this afternoon.
Edwards told Millwall TV+ that he has been sounded out about vacancies before but added that talks with Aldridge, chief executive Steve Kavanagh and chairman James Berylson made him decide the time was right to take on a boss job in club football.
He has previously been assistant manager at Everton and also part of Chelsea’s senior coaching set-up under Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel. In August he was appointed England U20 head coach but has left that position to lead the Lions.
“To be honest, I don’t think it is about the right moment [to be a head coach] – it’s more about the right fit – the right opportunity,” said Edwards.
“I was here for the first home game against Bristol City. I didn’t have a job at that point. I was just coming to watch some football in London. Millwall were at home and I wanted to come to the game.
“Shortly after that I joined the FA as head coach of the U20s. Until a couple of weeks ago I was really enjoying my role at the FA – working with some good people and obviously some really good players. I was happy and I wasn’t in a position where I was out there putting my CV around and looking for jobs here, there and everywhere.
“I was comfortable in what I was doing. But then quite out of the blue there was a change at Millwall. Shortly after that I heard from Alex Aldridge, who I had known from a few years ago – just talking about players and stuff like that in the past. Once Alex invited me to be part of the interview process it was something I was interested in – because of the club.
“There were other clubs I’d had approaches from in the past and I didn’t feel the opportunity or time was maybe right. For a club the size of Millwall, first I wanted to see what it really looked like.
“I know Millwall is a big Championship, London club which has been in a pretty stable position now, which appealed to me. The first time I spoke to the club was with Alex and Steve (Kavanagh). Straight away there was a really good rapport and chemistry with Alex and Steve.
“Then that progressed to another meeting where Scott Fitzgerald joined us and I met Jimmy. Being sat in that room with what felt a tight-knit group of people but also the people running the club, it felt like there was something special there. It felt tight-knit but that they had enough knowledge and passion – most importantly alignment in each other. I think that’s crucial.
“Some other clubs have problems and it starts at the top, that there was a lack of alignment. Everything that was going on in that room I could see people were on the same page.
“Working with good people is key. Once we started getting into it, it just began to feel more and more of a good fit.”
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