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FA Youth Cup

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Chelsea are leading 3-0 at half time in the FA Youth Cup semifinal second leg against Blackburn at Stamford Bridge.

The U18 won 1-0 in the first leg away and now are leading 4-0 on aggregate.

Dujon Sterling scored the first goal at minute 13: a beautiful finish after a stunning pass by Mukhtar Ali.

Then followed the goal by Jacob Maddox at minute 30′ and Tammy Abraham at minute 35′.

A couple of minutes before half time another goal by Abraham was disallowed for offside.

 

CHELSEA – Baxter; Grant, Tomori, Clarke-Salter (c), Chalobah; Sammut, Ali; Sterling, Mount, Maddox; Abraham.

Subs: Colley, Wakefield, Cumming, Christie-Davies, Ugbo.

Coach: Joe Edwards

BLACKBURN – Fisher: Travis, Askew, Hardcastle, Platt, Wharton (c), Pemberton, Rankin-Cabtello, Mansell, Tomlinson, Howarth.

Subs: Grayson, Ascroft, Fawns, Magloire, Steer.

Coach: Billy Barr

 

Scorers: Sterling 13′, Maddox 30′,  Abraham 35′

Referee: Gavin Ward

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK

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Chelsea are up 1-0 at minute 25 in the FA Youth Cup semifinal second leg against Blackburn at Stamford Bridge.

The U18 won 1-0 in the first leg away and now are leading 1-0 after Dujon Sterling scored at minute 13: a beautiful finish after a stunning pass by Mukhtar Ali.

The official line-ups for this game:

CHELSEA – Baxter; Grant, Tomori, Clarke-Salter (c), Chalobah; Sammut, Ali; Sterling, Mount, Maddox; Abraham.

Subs: Colley, Wakefield, Cumming, Christie-Davies, Ugbo.

Coach: Joe Edwards

BLACKBURN – Fisher: Travis, Askew, Hardcastle, Platt, Wharton (c), Pemberton, Rankin-Cabtello, Mansell, Tomlinson, Howarth.

Subs: Grayson, Ascroft, Fawns, Magloire, Steer.

Coach: Billy Barr

 

Referee: Gavin Ward

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK

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fa-youth-cup

Chelsea’s U18 side has progressed to the fourth round of this season’s FA Youth Cup after easily overcoming Huddersfield Town 6-1 in Aldershot. 

The Blues, who knocked out the Terriers at the same stage last season, started well and opened the scoring after just three minutes; Jay Dasilva delivering a pinpoint cross from the right which Tammy Abraham headed in to put the hosts in the lead.

Despite Town keeper Jake Turner brilliantly twice denying Abraham as the half wore on, Dasilva’s trickery proved too much as again a pinpoint cross was converted by Abraham half an hour after the opener.

Rekeil Pyke then spurned a good chance for the visitors after he could only place his header into the arms of the Chelsea keeper, before Huddersfield pulled one back just after the start of the second half as captain Jamie Spencer headed home a corner.

Dasilva then continued to wreak havoc on the visitors’ defence as the Blues restored their two goal lead. The winger snaked past his man before laying the ball across the box which was inadvertently turned into the Huddersfield net by defender Jacob Hanson.

Ike Ugbo then tapped home a fourth after Abraham hit the post, the latter then again denied by Turner with a wonderful save to push Abraham’s freekick onto the crossbar.
However, as the clock ran down, Chelsea netted two more through Dujon Sterling and Abraham, who sealed his hattrick late on.

 

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Chelsea’s 18-year-old Jake Clarke-Salter has signed a new four-year deal with the Blues.

Young defender helped Chelsea youngsters to win UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cup. Clarke-Salter is called a ”powerful, composed centre-back” by his club. He has been at the club since Under-9 level.

He joined the Blues senior team during club’s pre-season tour.

Chelsea’s official statement read:

“Under-21 defender Jake Clarke-Salter has today signed a new contract until 2019.”

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Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke has spoken of his happiness at his success last season.

Solanke was part of the Chelsea Under 19 side that won both the UEFA and FA Youth Cup, and was named the Academy Player of the Year last week.

The 17-year old also made his Chelsea debut last season, being a second-half substitute in the Blues’ Champions League group game against Maribor last October.

Solanke also appeared for Chelsea at the end of last season, as Jose Mourinho tried to introduce some of club’s youth players into the first team with the title already secured.

“It’s been brilliant,” Solanke tells the official Chelsea website.

“Last season was good for me with winning the Youth Cup and the European Championships with England Under-17s, but this season has been even better.

“The Youth League was a competition we all wanted to win, it’s only been running two years so to win it in its second year was very good for us.

“It’s amazing to have been crowned the best Under-19 team in Europe. We got to sample a lot of different places and cultures in the tournament, and to come out on top shows the level we’re at.

“I’ll never forget making my first-team debut. It was an amazing opportunity for me to go out and play in front of all of those supporters. I can only learn from that type of experience. I was the youngest ever player to do it for the club as well so I was really pleased.”

Solanke, who is currently on a loan spell at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, scored an incredible 41 goals last season, including in the FA Youth Cup final, and the England U17 striker says he thrives on finding the back of the net:

“I got around 20 goals last season and everybody was telling me I’d have to do the same, but I managed get double it so it’s been a really good season for me,” he said.

Solanke was one of a number of youngsters chosen by Mourinho to take part in Chelsea’s post-season trip to Thailand and Australia, starting the game against Thailand All Stars in Bangkok. After just a few minutes, he’d scored.

“When the season finished I was told I’d be going on the trip and it was a chance for me to impress,’ he said.

“I managed to score against the Thailand All-Stars and it was the winning goal, so that was good for me.

“It was the best time to impress because there weren’t so many of the first-team players there and we all managed to get some game time. When those opportunities come along you have to take them.”

Solanke was afforded the opportunity to work alongside attacking talents such as Diego Costa, Loic Remy and Eden Hazard, learning from all three, and he praised the senior players for their welcoming manner.

“Having people you know here helps you because you feel more comfortable and you can speak to them whenever you need to, but all the first-team players have been really helpful,” he added.

“They’ve done brilliantly this year and the experience was an enjoyable one for all of us.”

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Former Chelsea striker Tore Andre Flo has backed academy striker Dominic Solanke to eventually become a first team regular at the club.

Solanke has been a key part of the Chelsea Youth set up this season, helping the club to win the UEFA Youth Cup and the FA Youth Cup.

He scored a hattrick for the Blues U21’s against Liverpool last season – taking his goal tally up to 41.

Solanke was handed his first-team debut by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho in the 6-0 Champions League group win over Maribor last October, and speaking to Sky Sports, Flo insists the striker has the graft and skill to succeed:

“He takes things the right way. He doesn’t get big-headed, he keeps his feet on the ground and of course he’s very good going forward.

“He’s got a very good physique and I think he’s got great touch on the ball. He’s quick but often what impresses me the most is when he looks like he’s lost the ball, he somehow manages to get out with the ball, no matter how tight the situation is or how difficult it looks.

“But it’s vital he continues to keep his feet on the ground and work hard every day. There is still a long way to go for Dominic even though he has done really well for the youth team.

“I just wish him the best and hope he can someday become a regular player at Chelsea.”

Solanke is just one of a number of Chelsea youngsters emerging from the club’s academy, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Izzy Brown, Jeremie Boga and Andreas Christensen all being involved in the first team during the latter stages of the season.

Flo, who is currently working at Stamford Bridge as a coach after scoring 46 goals in 146 appearances in a three-year spell at the club, has also praised the Blues’ youth setup which has seen them win success both abroad and at home in recent seasons:

“The first team and all the academy teams have done so well,” Flo said.

“All those that have worked within Chelsea are quite proud of what’s been going on. I’ve been here for three years now and I have been so impressed with the set-up, the facilities and the way in which they work at Chelsea.

“I have already learnt a lot as a coach being around such good players and such good colleagues.”

The Norwegian was speaking at the launch of Chelsea’s Asian Star program, the first of its kind in the country. The scheme’s aim is to increase the proportion of Asian players in the game, with 300 youngsters taking part in drills at the club’s Cobham training facility.

“It’s great for the club to be involved in a project like this,” he added.

“Chelsea are involved in a lot of great things for children, including trying to develop grassroots football and most of all allowing children to enjoy themselves.

“I’m really proud to be working for Chelsea Football Club. They are doing a great job with grassroots football – especially with events like Asian Star – which is why it’s so great to be involved with this club.”

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Chelsea are Premier League champions, but according to Graeme Souness, they still have to improve to succeed.

Souness explained his reasons to Sky Sports.

“Didier Drogba found life tough when he got his games towards the end of the season.

“He found it a difficult league to play in at his age.

“So with him going I think they need to get another striker and I’m sure he’s going to address that.

“With Diego Costa, is his hamstring fully cleared up? He arrived with it and it seemed to be a problem for him throughout the season.

“When he was playing early on, he was doing a real job for them. But they will add.

“When you are at that level or perhaps any level, if you’re not adding to it then you’re standing still because your rivals will be strengthening.

“Manchester City will, Manchester United will and Arsenal certainly will. So Chelsea have to strengthen otherwise they’re standing still.”

Mourinho believes the Blues’ youngsters are a key priority. Indeed, he introduced Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Izzy Brown and Andreas Christensen into the fold in the latter stages of the season.

The Portuguese manager even claimed that they won Chelsea’s FA Youth Cup this season,  because some of the youngsters did make the transition into the first-team.

“I think genuine failure if you’re Chelsea is not winning the big trophies,” added Souness. “The failure of not introducing youngsters is a poor second. It’s way down the road.

“I think the priority for Jose, as it should be if you ask any supporter, is to win trophies. But it’ll be hard for him. Winning the Premier League back-to-back is not easy.”

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Last night the 18-year-old Blues player made his first Chelsea debut against his former club West Brom.

A mix of emotions for the youngster, since he was happy for his debut, but disappointed about the result.

He came on as a 79th minute substitute for Blues striker Loic Remy.

The midfielder twitted oh his page:
“Very happy to make my debut for the club I’ve supported growing up, special day for me and my family!”

The 18-year-old was a vital part of the club’s FA Youth Cup triumph this season.

As above-mentioned, West Brom is his former club.

At the end of the 2012/13 season, West Brom rejected an offer for Brown from Chelsea.

However, by the end of July the Blues confirmed they had signed him with a compensation fee between the two clubs set to be decided by a tribunal.

Brown is the second-youngest player in Premier League history at the age of 16 years and 117 days.

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Frank Arnesen, Chelsea’s former youth development chief, says Mourinho must show courage by promoting young Blues stars

According to Chelsea’s former youth development director, Frank Arnesen, Chelsea should promote some of the latest FA Youth Cup-winning side to their senior squad.

The Dane claims that there are three or four “special” players good enough to be part of Mourinho’s plans.

He insisted on saying that Tammy Abraham, Dominic Solanke and Charlie Colkett deserve the chance to get promoted.

At the inaugural Sporting Directors’ Summit at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, Arnesen told Telegraph Sport: “The club have to have the courage to say, ‘Okay, he is not number one, but I want him as second [choice].
“Now, they are third or fourth, and that is the problem. You cannot play with four youth players, if you want to win anything, in the same game. But you can play with one.
“It was obvious that, in the last years, the best youth players in England, by a mile, came from Chelsea.
“But because of the philosophy of the first team, they never got a chance. And if you don’t get a chance then you can never say they weren’t good enough.
“Chelsea have chosen that and have not given the time or the places to the young kids to go in and be developed.”

Arnesen watched the final of the FA Youth Cup on Monday night winning over City.
He added: “It’s interesting to see this bunch of players, which is probably the most talented.
“They were there when I was there. They were only eight or nine years old, like Tammy, like Solanke, Colkett. That was a fantastic job from the scouting at that point.
“That was also my philosophy. I said, ‘Listen, the most important thing is players from the London area between six and 10 years old’.

“The way they’re playing football, the same way we started: 4-3-3, play, don’t be afraid, play possession games, get into the box, play with wingers if possible.”

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YOUTH CUP CHELSEA 2015
The squad celebrates the deserved trophy.

Last night performance is just a big step of a season that presents a team of youngster stars.

This FA Youth Cup final showed us the solidity and the confidence of this team, a great combination of physicality and technique. Indeed they still have so much to learn, starting from the approach of a such important match, conceding a goal after 6 minutes is not what you are expected to do to control a game. But we saw players acting like experienced champions able to command the pace and to being intimidating whenever they had a chance to attack. 

The captain and the brain
The captain and the brain

The team on the whole has a great cohesion – thanks to coach Edwards indeed – but there are some stunning individualities that cannot be ignored as well. I want to mention first someone who hasn’t got his deserved reward, like Jay Dasilva: the left-back who gave the impression to have some engine that gives him extra power to support the offensive transition and while always being always a great committed defender. Worthy of a mention is also the captain Charlie Colkett, the brain of the entire squad who is 17 years old but plays like a wise Lampard. 

Mourinho said he will give opportunities to some of those to be promoted and integrate with the first team once Chelsea have won the Premier League. Roman Abramovičh, who was in the audience last night, would be certainly happy to see some young champs grow and become valuable players to help the club having a shining future and eventually win some important trophies.

So let’s celebrate these promising stars now, waiting to see their chance in the first team in the next future.

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