Chelsea Under-18s coach Jody Morris has praised Antonio Conte, after the Italian took time out of his first-team duties to give a speech congratulating the club’s young players, following their victory over Manchester City in the final of the FA Youth Cup.
The Londoners thrashed City 5-1 in the second-leg at Stamford Bridge, to win the final 6-2 on aggregate. Chelsea have now won the last four Youth Cups.
Trevoh Chalobah (younger brother of Nathaniel), Ike Ugbo, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Dujon Sterling and Cole Dasilva all got on the score-sheet, as Morris won his first trophy since taking over from Joe Edwards.
Conte watched the match alongside Roman Abramovich, John Terry and Frank Lampard, with Morris revealing that the manager had entered the dressing-room after the match to speak to the players personally.
“I have had text messages off him congratulating me and the boys [this season],” Morris said of Conte after the match. “After the game he was in the dressing room, giving a speech, saying well done.
“He is a really good guy. He is not only someone who has done a bit in the game, he's helping Chelsea at the minute.”
Morris has also said that he is doing his best to follow Conte’s example on and off the training ground, as he continues his journey into football management.
The former central midfielder came through the Chelsea youth ranks alongside Terry, playing over 150 times for the club before departing for stints at Leeds United, Millwall and Scottish side St Johnstone.
He returned to Stamford Bridge to work with the Under-21 side in 2013/14, becoming Under-18 manager when Joe Edwards adopted a new role, which sees him monitor the club’s many loan players.
“I like to go and watch him as much as I can. I did the same when Jose [Mourinho] and Guus Hiddink were here,” Morris added.
“Any manager in charge of Chelsea's first team is going to be top draw. I want to learn. I'm always over there watching.
“It helps that the manager staggers the training quite a bit because then I get to train our boys and go over, see what's going on over there. I wouldn't say I have a massive involvement with him.”