• The Loan Report: September
  • The Chelsea Academy Class of 2020

Chelsea Academy In A Time Of Lockdown

It’s been three months since everything shut down. Ordinarily a thriving, energetic hub of promise, innovation and teamwork, Chelsea’s Cobham training ground has been reduced to a skeleton operation where the first team are only just getting back to business, but for the academy, everything has changed. How do you run a youth development system remotely? Well, you adapt. You find a way, and you return to your principles. For…


Academy Season Review: Under-18s

In any ordinary year, you might look at this Chelsea Under-18 team as being just as dominant as many of their predecessors were. They’re FA Youth Cup Semi Finalists due to host Manchester United for the right to play in yet another Final (with a decision on whether the competition continues or not still pending) before Covid-19 intervened, and with just two defeats and three draws in the league, they…


Academy Season Review: Development Squad

The season ended prematurely and in circumstances nobody saw coming back in August but, for Chelsea’s Development Squad, 2019-20 was memorable in so many ways. They might yet be crowned PL2 champions – that’s a decision for another day – but whether they’re officially awarded the title or not, going unbeaten in all 18 league matches up to the start of March when action was brought to a halt is…


In Their Own Words: Chelsea’s 2016 UEFA Youth League Winners

Five years ago this week, Chelsea became the first English club to win the UEFA Youth League, beating Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2 in the Final. Four years ago today, they retained it – becoming the first and only title holder to successfully defend their crown – in a dramatic 2-1 win over a much-fancied Paris Saint-Germain team. Here, with thanks to ChelseaFC.com and Chelsea TV, is how they did it, in…

DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 10: Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea looks on from the Chelsea bench prior to the Pre-Season Friendly match between Bohemians FC and Chelsea FC at Dalymount Park on July 10, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Developing On and Off The Pitch

Frank Lampard’s youth revolution at Stamford Bridge has been one of the talking points of the now temporarily(?) suspended 2019-20 campaign but, as exciting as the on-pitch development has been, it’s just as fascinating looking at his backroom team. Chelsea have been consistently successful in developing coaches for the future just as much as they have players; some might indeed argue that they’ve been even more successful in that regard….


Whatever happened to…the Academy Class of 2011?

By the time the academy class of 2011 signed their scholarships and began their journeys to professional football, the Cobham revolution was already well underway. Neil Bath and company had been given a remit to build Europe’s best youth development system in 2005, soon after Roman Abramovich’s arrival at Chelsea, while 2008 saw the opening of the new Academy and Community Building on ‘the other side of the road’ at…


My Favourite (Academy) Match: The 2014 FA Youth Cup Final

With real football on pause, we’re afforded an opportunity to reflect on the past, more so than usual. Let’s look back at one of my favourite all-time academy matches; the 2014 FA Youth Cup Final Second Leg between Chelsea and Fulham. The Background Six years ago, the academy wasn’t quite the trophy-laden winning machine it became throughout the rest of the decade, but it was firmly on that trajectory. A…


On Armando Broja and Development

Exactly one year before Armando Broja made his Chelsea first-team debut against Everton, he was a second-half substitute for a toiling Under-18 team heading for a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal, who were about to end the academy’s four-year reign as South section champions. Far from showing glimpses of the potential that would see him become one of the club’s twenty-five youngest debutants, he was so far off the radar that…