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Chelsea coach Edwards: Now the time for kids to prove reputation

Chelsea coach Joe Edwards says now is the time for the club's youngsters to live up to the hype.

Edwards has been promoted from the academy to the backroom staff of new manager Frank Lampard.

And he told chelseafc.com: "That link between first team and Academy goes way beyond just getting minutes for our young boys in the first team.

"Frank showed last year at Derby that he believes in giving young players an opportunity so he doesn't need me to come and point out players for him.

"We want to keep building the link between the two buildings, the relationships between the coaches, and I'm hoping I can play a big role in that respect.

"Everyone knows what a strong group of players we've had come through the Academy over the years and it helps when they have people on this side of the road who know what they're about. They can feel a bit more confident to come over and really impose themselves on the session, although equally we know their standards and when we need to push their buttons, so we can drive them even more.

"In the modern game, success is expected very quickly and although we'll give opportunities to them, they will also need to really hit the ground running. The fact we're comfortable with each other and we have good relationships will hopefully help us push and challenge them every day in that sense."

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Paul Vegas

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