Speaking to Chelsea website one of the Blues best talents, Dominic Solanke, analysed the season that just ended, focusing on the Youth teams triumphs.
To define the campaign, he started like this:
“It’s been brilliant,”
“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 impressed this season scoring 41 goals across all competitions, including in the FA Youth Cup final.
Tammy Abraham is another very striker in Chelsea Academy and has also been extremely prolific in the last campaign: Solanke admits their healthy rivalry brings the best out of both players.
“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. Everyone in football is competitive and the fact myself and Tammy are both scoring helps push us both on”
Solanke travelled with the first team in the post-season tour in Thailand and Australia: he also managed to score the winner against Thailand-All Stars in Bangkok:
“When the season finished I was told I’d be going on the trip and it was a chance for me to impress”
“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 had the chance to play with footballers like Diego Costa, Loic Remy and Eden Hazard and he was impressed by their really welcoming behavior towards the youngsters:
“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”
“They’ve done brilliantly this year and the experience was an enjoyable one for all of us”.