Steve Holland in 'good place' to help England Under-21s

Wednesday 27 Nov 2013
England Under-21s assistant coach Steve Holland.

Steve Holland is hoping he can use the experience he has gained at both ends of the coaching game to help England Under-21s in their development.

The Chelsea assistant first-team coach has been working as Gareth Southgate’s right-hand man this season during the Young Lions's impressive start in their Euro qualification group.

Holland began his coaching career at the renowned Crewe Alexandra academy, overseeing the development of a number of young players who went on to play both top flight and international football in their careers.

And after working at Stamford Bridge since 2009 with the club’s reserve and youth sides, he now assists Jose Mourinho in the first team environment and believes he can offer a lot to England’s rising stars in Southgate’s squad.

Steve Holland speaks to



“My background is in development,” he told

“I was academy manager at Crewe Alexandra for 17 years and working with players from the age of six, right through until the first team.

“That gave me a great grounding, working very closely with Dario Gradi and enjoying that period.

“In my time at Chelsea, I worked for a couple of years with the reserves, trying to fine-tune the 17, 18, 19, and 20-21-year-old age group.

“But in the past three or four years, I’ve managed to have the experience of working at the senior end as well, which has been a great experience to add to the knowledge that I’ve been able to gain in the development role.”

In the past few years, Holland has worked with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez and Roberto Di Matteo before Mourinho’s return to the west London club.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho chats to assistant Steve Holland.

Jose Mourinho chats to assistant Steve Holland.


And Holland was amongst the Chelsea coaching staff which has overseen success in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in that time, working with some top players along the way.

“All things considered, I think it’s put me in a good place now to understand big players from big clubs with big reputations,” he added.

“I know how they operate and work and what motivates them, as well as the guys who want to make progress and find their way.”

England Under-21s are next in action on Wednesday 5 March, when they resume the Euro qualifiers by hosting Wales.

By Nicholas Veevers