New Millwall head coach explains strong connection to Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard

Incoming Millwall head coach Joe Edwards has explained how he ended up working as part of Frank Lampard’s backroom team at Chelsea and Everton.

The 37-year-old is leaving his current role as England U20 head coach to take over at the Lions.

Edwards cut his coaching teeth in Chelsea’s academy, twice leading them to the FA Youth Cup, and then became involved in the senior set-up when Lampard took the top.

He ended up joining the England legend at Everton, ending a 27-year association with the Blues.

“When Frank was a player something happened where the first-team travelled somewhere and a few players stayed back – Frank, Didier Drogba and a few others,” Edwards told Everton YouTube shortly after being appointed the Toffees’ assistant boss.

“For some reason I was left covering the group. I don’t know if one of the academy coaches was sick but I took the session that Frank was in. I was told afterwards that Frank enjoyed the session and intensity. We’d just see each other around the training ground and when he retired we kept in touch.

“He came back to do some early bits of coaching at the academy and we continued the relationship. When Frank was Derby manager we had talks about me joining his team at Derby at one point. He ended up getting Chelsea in the summer.”

Edwards described himself as “a bit lost” when he dropped out of the Blues youth set-up at the age of 16. He played non-league but cast that to one side when the chance to be involved coaching with the west Londoners became more firmed up three years later.

“I always felt a lot of pressure to win in the academy,” he said. “We were never put under any pressure by our direct managers that you had to win or we would lose our jobs. But I was always in charge of academy teams that were studded with fantastic players. So it’s quite logical if you get U16 and U18s teams with a host of England youth internationals that you should be doing well.

“I always felt a pressure to win but in a certain way. The team has to play good football and the players have to be developed because ultimately that is what you are there for.”

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