'Mind-blowing': Conor Gallagher praises coaches for his Chelsea career and making the academy the best


Conor Gallagher has praised the work of Neil Bath and Jim Fraser following his shock exit from Chelsea on Wednesday.

With the club undergoing a restructuring, it was announced by Chelsea that Bath and Fraser would leave their roles at the club.


Gallagher was key to Chelsea last season as their de facto captain after coming through the academy.Credit: Getty

Bath has held a number of roles at Chelsea since first joining in 1993 but was known for his work with the academy, building it into one of the best in Europe, while Fraser had worked as his deputy and as a scout.

Gallagher is one of Chelsea's many academy success stories, having risen through the ranks and eventually becoming the club's de facto captain last season.

The 24-year-old admitted he owes much of his career to Bath and Fraser for giving him the help he needed to thrive at youth level.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Gallagher said: “I honestly can't speak highly enough of Neil Bath and Jim Fraser. I haven't sent them any messages yet because I've only just found out.

“What they have done for the Chelsea academy is amazing. We have been the best academy for the last 15 years.

“The trophies we have won and the players we have produced are a great credit to them both.”

“I need to give them a message later because what they've done for me personally is incredible and I have to thank them.”

Since Clearlake Capital arrived in Chelsea in 2022, there have been sweeping changes to the staff behind the scenes.

Chelsea's academy has dominated over the years, winning seven FA Youth Cups in 10 years.


Chelsea's academy has dominated over the years, winning seven FA Youth Cups in 10 years.
Gallagher has admitted he owes a lot to Bath and Fraser


Gallagher has admitted he owes a lot to Bath and FraserCredit: talkSPORT

Bath and Fraser had been selected by the American firm to lead the academy into a new era, under the project name Vision 2030, and were considered essential to the club's operations.

However, under a new arrangement, head of scouting Joe Shields is now looking to take control of the academy management structure alongside Sam Jewell, who joined from Brighton earlier this year.

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Bath and Fraser have been crucial to the Blues over the past two decades and have helped the club produce elite young talents such as Reece James, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham, as well as others who left during their academy days, such as Michael Olise, Declan Rice and Jamal Musiala.

Bath was first appointed as academy director in 2004, while Fraser was hired in 2005 as his assistant before holding a number of positions within the youth structure.

During the 2010s, Chelsea's Under-18s won the FA Youth Cup seven times, including a run of five consecutive victories between 2014 and 2018, while the Under-19s won two consecutive UEFA Youth Leagues in 2015 and 2016.

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