Tributes paid to renowned youth coach Dermot Drummy

Drummy worked at Chelsea for a decade

Drummy worked at Chelsea for a decade

TRIBUTES have been paid to Dermot Drummy, the highly-successful former youth coach of Arsenal and Chelsea, who has died at the age of 56.

Drummy spent a decade at the Gunners, where he himself had played as a youngster, working with the likes of Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs. In 2007, he moved to Chelsea, starting out with their Under-16s and working his way up to the Under-23s.

It was a period of huge success for the Blues' Academy, with Drummy leading them to a first FA Youth Cup title in 49 years in 2010 and the Under-21 title in 2014.

Michael Beale, Liverpool's Foundation Phase Head of Coaching, who worked alongside Drummy at Chelsea, tweeted: “Terrible news about the passing of Dermot Drummy. An excellent coach & mentor of young players. Will be missed by all that had the pleasure to spend time with him. Always passionate about young players & had a fantastic sense of humour. Sleep well mate.”

Swansea boss Paul Clement, who also worked closely with Drummy at Chelsea, wrote: “Shocked to hear of the death of my former colleague from Chelsea FC, Dermot Drummy. Very sad. Rest In Peace.”

And Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake - one of many high-profile young players to have been brought through by Drummy at Chelsea, including Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Dominic Solanke and Nathan Baker - wrote: “Absolutely shocked to hear this news. Great person and a great coach. RIP Dermot.”

At the end of his playing career, Drummy had worked as a taxi driver before moving into coaching full-time. He was renowned for his charisma and sense of humour. When he laid out his vision for Crawley Town to owner Ziya Eren, before being appointed as their manager in April 2016, he played him a clip from Only Fools and Horses.

He said his life experience had helped him as a coach. “I didn’t make it as a player at Arsenal. I went non-league, drove a cab, got up at four in the morning and then went coaching. My journey has been different, but it means I can talk to these lads.”

Drummy also delivered many memorable one-liners, including: “Know why I gave up my job as a cabby? Too many people talking behind my back.”

But underlying this wit was a true passion for coaching and a razor-sharp understanding of player development. Drummy was studying towards the LMA Diploma in Football Management, in association with the University of Liverpool.

LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson said: “Dermot was a highly valued and respected member of the football community.

“His abilities and achievements as a coach are embodied in some of the Premier League’s most talented young players of the past two decades. He has played a crucial and supportive role in the lives of so many young people and will be sorely missed by all at the LMA.”

Drummy on pathway from Academy to first team at Chelsea:

(Last October, Drummy gave an astute and insightful assessment of why more Chelsea Academy players have not made it into the first team)

DD: “Chelsea have produced plenty of players up to about the Under-20 level, but then what happens? They go out on loan. It's messy. There is no real link to the first team.

"I don't think Chelsea's managers know enough about these young players. Antonio Conte or any manager that comes in has to hit the ground running fast. You lose a game and it is alarm bells. Their remit is to keep their jobs, be successful with the first team.

"Young players don't always instantly succeed. Lewis Baker is a very good player. I said to Jose Mourinho, 'You will need to tell him he's good'. Does the manager have time for that?

"What is the strategy at Chelsea? Is it season to season? They can't look at their best youngster, say Charly Musonda, and plot where he is going to be in three years' time. Because who will be the manager by then? So they can't actually say that Charly will be one for then.

"The philosophy changes all the time. It will be whatever Conte's is, whatever Jose's is. The instability is very tough on young players. But then again, do Chelsea need that, with the buying power they have? No. The buying power can paper over these things."

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