Don’t Dream It’s Over – Beyond the Scholarship

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December 20, 2010

Somewhere in the region of a dozen schoolboys have featured for Chelsea’s academy team so far this season. Many, if not all of those, will go on to secure scholarships with the club going forward, as they continue their footballing development. For others, however, this time of year will be an uncertain one. Staff at Cobham will be deciding upon who will be offered a two-year academy deal (typically at…

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Let’s Talk About Slobodan Rajkovic

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December 18, 2010

If Chelsea were linked with a nearly 22 year-old international centre-back tomorrow, one suspects the reaction would be a positive one. The player in question has over 100 appearances in club football, is versatile, has impressive size and height, and is currently captain of his club side. It all adds up quite well for a potential signing in a position the club has struggled for depth in so far this…

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Under-18s Battle Onwards Despite Injuries

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December 15, 2010

Forgive the rather obtuse title to this article, for I was unable to come up with something more succinct. If one takes a cursory glance at the Group A standings in the Premier Academy League, Chelsea’s name will be found towards the bottom of the table. Certainly, this is unfamiliar territory for a Blues academy who had challenged at the other end in recent years. However, theirs has thus far…

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The Loan Report: December 7-12

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December 12, 2010

After a weather-affected first week of December, the loan report returns this week after a near-full calendar of fixtures was fulfilled. Unfortunately, Michael Mancienne was an enforced absentee from a rare and much-needed win for Wolves on Sunday after picking up a knee injury against Blackburn last weekend. The extent of the issue is not yet known, but it was enough to keep him out of contention this time around….

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Under-18s: Chelsea 5-1 Norwich City

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December 11, 2010

Home comforts have rarely been in evidence at Cobham during the 2010-11 academy season, but in the final league match of the year, Chelsea gave a warming performance to those braving the December weather. A five-star performance crowned by a Billy Clifford hat-trick saw Dermot Drummy’s boys defeat Norwich 5-1 and pick up just a second home win of the campaign. With the fixture falling in between two proposed (and…

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Age – It’s Just A Number

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December 10, 2010

On Wednesday night, Carlo Ancelotti opted to field a near full-strength side in a meaningless Champions League tie against Marseille. Josh McEachran was the sole ‘youngster’ to be afforded a start, with the likes of Patrick van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta left kicking their heels on the substitutes bench, undoubtedly frustrated. It rankled with Chelsea fans, who felt the occasion to be another opportunity to give the next generation some…

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The Loan Report: November 22-28

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November 28, 2010

This week’s loan round-up will be a considerably quicker read than usual, as inclement weather and FA Cup eliminations meant that many of the young Chelsea loanees were left without action this weekend. Sidelined because of snow were Adam Phillip and Michael Woods as both Yeovil’s trip to Hartlepool and Notts County’s home tie with Bournemouth were called off, with the latter being a very late cancellation. Woods had joined…

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Reserves: West Ham United 1-2 Chelsea

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November 24, 2010

Chelsea’s Reserve team returned to action on Wednesday night in front of a rare public viewing, and rewarded those hardy souls making the trek to a cold Bishop’s Stortford FC with a 2-1 victory over West Ham United. Steve Holland was able to call upon three of last night’s first team substitutes, handing Jacob Mellis, Billy Clifford and Jacopo Sala starts, whilst Fabio Borini was able to return to the…

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The Loan Report: November 15-21

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November 22, 2010

League One was the focus of loan attention this week, as Conor Clifford extended his stay at Plymouth Argyle for another month, whilst Adam Phillip took his first steps in professional football. Phillip’s path to professional football hasn’t exactly been a typical one, having been discovered relatively late as a 15 year-old playing Sunday park football. But after two serious knee injuries in three years, he this week joined Yeovil…

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Kakuta: A Contract Saga Update

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November 20, 2010

After a meeting between Chelsea officials and Gael Kakuta this week, it seems there may be light at the end of the tunnel. The 19 year-old French winger, who is out of contract next summer, arrived back in London on Thursday for talks over a new deal, cutting short his international break. Reports in France this morning (emanating from L’Equipe) suggest that those talks lasted four hours and were ‘fruitful’,…

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