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Steve Holland is new Reserve Manager

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Stoke City academy director of football Steve Holland is set to leave the Potters to become Chelsea's reserve boss.

Holland only joined the Potters at the end of last season and apparently rejected Chelsea's advances then due to geographical reasons.

However, the former Crewe boss, 39, has now decided to move to Stamford Bridge where he will be given the task of overseeing their second string side.

Holland is highly regarded in the game and the news of his departure is a blow to the Potters. He helped develop some of Crewe's talented youngsters while at Gresty Road including the likes of Danny Murphy and reported current Potters target, Dean Ashton.

Edited by EskWeston
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Seems like a very experienced guy. It will be good to have a decent set up again at academy level. I would have prefered someone from the club like an ex-player, i heard Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was doing his badges and had spent some time at the academy so thought he was an option.

Although Steve Holland seems like a decent choice, but only time will tell. It will be hard to top the work done when Brandan Rodgers was reserve coach and Paul Clement was youth coach. For me Dermot Drummy has a lot to prove if he is to be good enough to coach the U18's, but again time will tell this season.

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Chelsea is delighted to announce Steve Holland as our new reserve team manager. Holland

, 39, joins us following five months with Stoke City, whom he joined as Academy director after 17 years with Crewe Alexandra, which included a spell as first team coach. 'It's an incredible opportunity. Chelsea is obviously a huge club with terrific players and the opportunity to work at the top of the profession is one I am very excited about,' he told chelseafc.com.

'I got the call and it does take your breath away momentarily. The opportunity to go and develop myself in that environment with the calibre of staff at Chelsea is something I am looking forward to. I know a fair amount about the reserves, I have managed to see them play and have spoken to the necessary people about them. I know Jeffrey Bruma played last night against England's Under 21s and I have a reasonable idea about them.'

Having come through Derby County's youth system, Steve turned pro with Bury before turning to coaching the youths at Crewe in 1992, eventually becoming the Academy director under Dario Gradi, who also used to coach at Chelsea in the 1970s.

He was promoted to first team coach when Gradi became technical director for the 2007/08 season, and spent 18 months in charge at the Gresty Road club.

'I've had 17 years of working alongside Dario Gradi, who coached at Chelsea a long time ago, developing players at Crewe which resulted in me taking over from Dario as manager, so I have a well-rounded base of experience of taking teams and working with senior players and developing younger players,' he added, before pointing to our recent record of coach development as an added attraction.

'Paul Clement has progressed from youth team to reserves to first team, so it is a club where the development of young British coaches is at the forefront of the mind,' he said.

Sporting director Frank Arnesen has welcomed the new man to the club. He said: 'We have a good understanding of Crewe's youth programme and the great work Steve has done there over the years.

'Steve's training and management style suits us and is very similar to the methods we employ here. He has an exceptionally strong background in developmental work and experience in dealing with senior players, and this was key in our search for a suitable replacement for Paul Clement.

'We all look forward to welcoming him to the Chelsea family next Thursday when he begins his work with us.'

Source: Chelsea FC

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