Six of Chelsea’s budding young footballers have spent much of the last week on England duty at Under-17 and Under-18 levels, and return home with positive results and performances in the bag.
Ola Aina, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Charlie Colkett and Alex Kiwomya were all part of John Peacock’s Under-17 team playing in the initial round of the European Championship Qualifiers. The draw pitted them against home nation rivals Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Estonia, who were selected to host the group.
The Three Lions took nine points from nine and gave healthy playing time to all of their squad, meaning the Blues quartet started games as well as coming off the bench. The highlight of the week’s fixtures from a Chelsea point of view was a goal for midfielder Loftus-Cheek, who netted against Northern Ireland to help England to a 3-2 victory.
They progress into the next round, where they will once again be paired with three teams in a group format with the winner advancing to the finals tournament in Slovakia.
On Wednesday night, the rarely-seen Under-18 age group played Italy in a friendly at Mansfield and ran out impressive 2-0 victors. Midfielder John Swift was handed the captaincy by Noel Blake and played well throughout, whilst there was also a second half substitute appearance for versatile defender Alastair Gordon.
The England representation continues next week when youngsters Mukhtar Ali and Dominic Solanke – both part of the club’s recent Premier League Tournament successes at Under-15 and Under-16 levels – play for former Blue Kenny Swain’s Under-16 team against Wales in the Sky Sports Victory Shield.