A Brief Youth, Reserve and Loan Round-Up

In the past week or two, there has been plenty of action in the lower ranks at Chelsea, but little of it has been ‘big’ enough to constitute a full-blown report.

Thankfully this is where a round-up comes into its own, so let’s take a look back at all the bits and bobs that have taken place of late.

As you’ll already be aware, the Reserve team kicked off their campaign yesterday with a 3-2 victory over Sunderland at Cobham. Some of those involved are expected to go out on loan in the coming fortnight, joining the three the club has already sent elsewhere.

Sam Walker’s season at Northampton Town has started in fine fashion, with two clean sheets and a win away to Championship opposition in his first three outings.

The Carling Cup victory at Ipswich Town was a career highlight for the former Tractor Boys season ticket holder, and whilst he was beaten by a spectacular Jay Emmanuel-Thomas effort, the giant stopper was a key part of another upset cup win for the Cobblers.

In League Two action, Gary Johnson’s team have started off well, recording a 1-0 win at Aldershot after an opening day stalemate with Accrington. Walker is yet to be beaten and made a fine last-minute stop against the Shots to secure all three points.

Shifting attention to Germany, Jeffrey Bruma recovered from a pre-season ankle problem to make his first appearance for Hamburg at the weekend in a 2-2 draw with newly-promoted Hertha Berlin.

Partnering former Blues defender Michael Mancienne at centre-back, Bruma was reportedly hit and miss, with some erratic moments sprinkled in with some impressive play. He got better as the game went on and will be afforded every opportunity to play and develop throughout the season.

Thibaut Courtois, meanwhile, is yet to begin his La Liga fixture list with Atlético Madrid, and with the league set to strike for the first two rounds of the season, he may be waiting until September for his first taste of action.

In other news, Chelsea’s Under-18s face their big kick-off this weekend with a trip to Newcastle and warmed up in style last week with a series of strong showings in a five-team tournament hosted by Manchester United.

The Blues beat Arsenal in a remarkable match which finished 5-4 and featured two goals for schoolboy midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who a week earlier had led a younger age group to a fourth placed finish at the Manchester United Premier Cup World Finals.

A defeat to Tottenham was followed by a 3-0 win over Aston Villa and a goalless draw with the hosts, results which suggest the boys are in fine fettle for the year ahead.

First year scholars Lewis Baker and Ali Gordon impressed with the England Under-17s during the Nordic Tournament in Iceland, whilst Fankaty Dabo and Jordan Houghton have been selected for the same age group in the upcoming FA International Tournament in the South-East of England.

There is also representation at this week’s England Under-16 trials camp in what is a prosperous era for the club’s academy.

Don’t forget, you can keep up to date with all things youth and reserve here at TheChels.net and on Twitter by following @chelseayouth.