Eddie Beach - Chelsea FC First Team
In July 2022, Former New Forest Football Academy player Eddie Beach signed a 3-year Professional Contract with Chelsea FC. Eddie immediately joined the Chelsea FC First Team on their pre-season tour and started in their opening fixture against Borehamwood FC alongside N'golo Kante and others. Eddie very quickly asserted himself as the first choice goalkeeper for Chelsea FC U23 in the Premier League 2 competition and played a vital part in the Papa Johns Trophy as Chelsea FC U23 faced the likes of Oxford United, Leyton Orient and Cheltenham FC First teams. Eddie was soon regarded as Chelsea FC First Team fourth choice keeper behind Kepa and Mendy, regularly training up with the First Team and involved in shooting practice with the likes of Aubameyang, Sterling and Mount. Just before the World Cup, Eddie Beach was 3rd Choice keeper for Chelsea FC First Team against Arsenal, Man City and Newcastle United where he can be spotted on the bench. Eddie is currently mentored by former legend John Terry and Henrique Hillario, as well as receiving wise words from the likes of Gareth Bale when he has been called up to Wales U21 International Duty.
Eddie Beach joined New Forest Football Academy in 2013, when he was nine years old where he regularly attended our Holiday Football Courses at Woodside Park, Lymington. In 2015, Eddie became one of the first players to join our newly established Elite Development Centres running in Lymington, at the time Eddie was an exceptionally talented midfielder and didn’t play in goal until the end of his time at New Forest. In June 2015, Eddie played a vital role in New Forest Football Academy’s first ever fixture against Arsenal Soccer School and he scored a screamer of a free kick whilst playing a commanding role in midfield. In August 2015, we were invited to an AFC Bournemouth Under-11 Academy Tournament, where Eddie and the team reached the final to play AFC Bournemouth. After a close battle between both sides, AFC Bournemouth scored a last-minute winner however it was no shame for the Academy as they proved to be a real class act and some of their passing football and transitional play was just outstanding. Eddie shared many lasting memories at New Forest Football Academy as he was one of our original players and played a very important role within our squads. Towards the later end of Eddie’s time at New Forest, he transitioned from his preferred position of midfield to becoming a goalkeeper and due to his fantastic ability on the ball and his staggering height, Eddie proved to be an extremely effective Goalkeeper. It wasn’t long before Professional Football Academy Scouts from Premier League Clubs came to watch Eddie in action, however when Southampton FC Scouts came to watch the hot prospect goalkeeper, they were surprised to see that Eddie was dominating the game as a midfielder. Eddie joined Southampton FC Academy in 2019 and in 2020 was offered a Two-Year Academy Scholarship with the Saints, during this time Eddie spent his Summer Holidays coaching at our Holiday Football Courses in Lymington. Eddie spent a spectacular two years at Southampton U18, where he was regularly called up to international duty with Wales U19, receiving caps whilst playing in the U19 European Qualifiers. In 2022, Eddie was crowned as champions of the U18 Premier League South and went on to play a full 90 minutes in the U18 Premier League Final against Manchester City at St Mary’s stadium in front of 13,000 fans.
Academy Director, Niall Marr - “Eddie was a real leader on the pitch, his passion for the game was infectious and James, his Dad, also dedicated hours coaching Eddie's grassroots team, at Milford-on-Sea Youth. It’s been so fantastic to see Eddie’s footballing journey, from a youngster within our programme, with just a pure love for the game and it shows with the right attitude, it’s never too late to take the step into professional football. It couldn’t happen to a nicer lad and special mention must go to Eddie's parents, Tamsyn and James, as well as his brother Alfie, for all the dedication and support that they have given Eddie throughout the journey in fulfilling his dream. We can’t wait for the next chapter.
Head of Academy, Jamie Wise – “We are so proud to see what Eddie has achieved over the years as a player and we are very excited to continue following his journey over the next few seasons. Eddiehas been a fantastic contributor to our Academy over the last few years, serving as a Player, Academy Coach and now as an ambassador for New Forest Football Academy. Every one of our current Academy players really look up to Eddie as a role model and they have loved spending time with Eddie at our Training Session over the last seasons. His footballing story is really inspiring, achieving your football dreams couldn’t have happened to a more well rounded lad than Eddie.”
NFFA Academy U11’s too strong for Arsenal Dorset (June 2015)
NFFA Academy : 5
Arsenal Dorset: 4
The NFFA Academy U11 squad took on Arsenal Dorset on a sunny but very windy morning at Brockenhurst College. Made up from the top players from Schools and clubs in around the Lymington, Brockenhurst and New Milton area it was the perfect opportunity for the NFFA Academy to test itself against the well established Arsenal Dorset side. From the first whistle the NFS Academy pressed the Arsenal players creating some excellent chances but were faced with an impressive Arsenal goalkeeper, pulling off some close range early saves to keep the scores level. It wasn’t long however until the deadlock was broken by NFFA’s right winger Harlee Hackney who was causing the Arsenal defenders all sorts of problems on the right hand side. Some neat interplay with Ben Dukes and a calmly slotted finish gave NFFA a well deserved lead. NFFA grew in confidence and continued to keep Arsenal pegged back in their own half with some excellent attacking football. Eddie Beach was playing a commanding role in the NFFA midfield, picking up the ball from deep and bringing teammates into the game with some lovely accurate passing play. It was Beach that then doubled the lead soon after for NFFA with a sweetly struck free-kick from just inside the Arsenal half that lobbed the stranded Arsenal goalkeeper who had been caught off guard by Beach’s long range strike. Ben Dukes and George Richard’s caused Arsenal more problems as they created further chances with some lovely pieces of individual skill but once again found the Arsenal goalkeeper on top form, whilst Arsenal still offered a threat on the counter attack. Beach continued his dominance in midfield and was able to get his head on the end of a Hackney corner to make the score 3-0. George Richards then made the score 4-0 before the break to complete a confident start for the NFFA Academy side on their debut fixture as Arsenal struggled to cope with the pace of the game.
The interval saw the rotation of several NFFA players and the high wind caused the match to become a slightly more scrappy affair with neither side managing to keep any sustained possession of the ball. A shot from long range gave the Arsenal side an early goal in the second half as they finally began to penetrate the NFFA defence on the counter attack. A second goal from a set play soon followed for Arsenal as the NFFA side struggled to adapt to the changes made in the interval. NFFA continued to push forward and after numerous squandered chances some tidy interplay in the final third saw George Richards give NFFA Academy a 5-2 lead to kill the game off. With Arsenal pressing high late on, it lead to a few misplaced passes as NFFA tried to play out from the back and a couple of neatly taken strikes gave Arsenal 2 late goals as both teams rotated their players in the final half. Although it was a convincing victory for the NFFA Academy side, it provided the squad with lots of areas for development and an opportunity to build on this victory over the Arsenal Dorset team.
NFS Academy Squad: Louis Tollerfield, Kai Newland, Harlee Hackney, Arki Galton, Eddie Beach, Ollie Brown, George Richards, Ollie Tuckey-Wyatt, Ben Dukes, Marley Coster, George McGinn, Bill Hillier, Matthew Rule & Cian Wilson.
NFFA Academy U11’s Coach Hugh Dathan commented “despite not performing to anywhere near their potential, it was the first time this group of players have played a fixture together and so it was nice to get a fairly comfortable victory against a well established Arsenal team and really demonstrates what talented players we have this side of the New Forest”.