Newly appointed Derby County manager Frank Lampard has signed former teammate and Chelsea Under-18 boss Jody Morris as his assistant.
Morris, who is a product of Chelsea’s academy himself, represented the Blues 170 times from 1996 to 2003 before leaving for Leeds United. The midfielder also went on to play for the likes of Rotherham United, Millwall, St. Johnstone and Bristol City before retiring in 2013.
After drawing curtains on his playing career, Morris immediately returned to Chelsea as a coach for the Under-21s before becoming the assistant manager of the club’s Under-18 side in 2015. The 39-year old was then named as the Blues Under-18s manager ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.
During his time with Chelsea’s youth teams, Morris achieved great success and led the club’s youth teams to unparalleled success. His teams won every competition they played during his two seasons in charge, starting with a treble in 2016/17, followed by a quadruple last season when they scored 106 goals in 35 matches in all competitions.
The Chelsea Under-18s became the first ever team to win five FA Youth Cups in a row since the famous Busby Babes achieved the feat back in the 1950’s.
Morris also had a hand in the Chelsea youngsters winning the FA Youth Cups in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaigns, when he was the assistant manager of the Blues Under-18s.
Under him, a lot of youth prospects have turned into better players, such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who spent last season on loan with Crystal Palace, and Nathaniel Chalobah, who never really got a shot in the first-team at Stamford Bridge and left for Watford.
His former charge Andreas Christensen is currently making a name for himself in the first-team, while the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Dujon Sterling also got some exposure under Antonio Conte last season.
Morris is someone who knows how to get the best out of young and talented players as can be seen with the success he achieved during his time at Chelsea.
With Derby now looking to change their approach by concentrating on nurturing young talents rather than spending big sums of money on players, it bodes well for them that they have someone of the quality and pedigree of Morris in their support staff.