Chelsea hire ex-Bournemouth Medical Director to lead revamped team

Chelsea have hired former South Africa Rugby and AFC Bournemouth Medical Director Craig Roberts to become their new Head of Performance Medicine.

Roberts stepped down at Bournemouth at the end of December last year after eight years as their Medical Director.

At the time, Cherries Chief Executive Neill Blake said: “We’re very grateful for what he has helped us achieve on the field, and we’ll miss having his personality around the training ground.”

The South African had joined the Cherries in November 2015 after spending more than 15 years working in rugby union in his homeland, first as a Team Physician with the Sharks and then as Team Doctor for the Springboks.

At Chelsea he replaces Dimitrios Kalogiannidis, who exited in January after 14 years, and will head up a revamped department of physios (performance and rehab), sports therapists and doctor.

Mina Cup

The new First Team Doctor is the hugely-experienced Stephen Lewis, who worked for Fulham for 12 years in two separate spells and for Brighton for eight. Lewis has replaced Christopher Hughes, who left at the end of last season.

Meirion Jones has joined as Lead Performance Therapist after 13 years in Australia, first with Melbourne Storm Rugby League and then Essendon in Aussie Rules.

The physios are Fearghal Kerin, Martin Baker, Stuart Vaughan and Ed Richmond, following the departure of Lead Physio Steve Hughes after 23 years in the spring.

The Performance department has also undergone big changes. It is head up by Director of Performance Bryce Cavanagh, who joined from the Football Association last season.

Nick Chadd is Head of Performance Services, while Richard Akenhead has joined from the Football Association, where he worked with Cavanagh, to take up the new role of Head of Performance Insights.

The revamp of Performance and Medical has been ultimately overseen by joint Sporting Directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley.

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