It’s been a whirlwind seven days down at sunny Cobham as the relative tranquility and peace at Chelsea’s training ground came to an abrupt halt with the return of the Under-21 and Under-18 teams last week and the first team this past Monday.
Come next Monday, however, the site will have returned to a temporary state of hush as all three teams jet off to far-flung locations to spread the club’s brand far and wide, with some interesting personnel decisions amongst each squad.
Jose Mourinho’s first team depart for Asia today, where they will play matches in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia before then heading to the United States for yet more action there. Amongst those on the plane today are youngsters Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh McEachran, Tomas Kalas and Islam Feruz, whilst Brazilian full-back Wallace joins fellow new recruits Marco van Ginkel and Andre Schurrle in their first taste of travelling with the main group.
Belgian midfielder Thorgan Hazard is also expected to be amongst the group, which will be boosted at some point on tour by the club’s returning Confederations Cup performers Juan Mata, Fernando Torres, Cesar Azpilicueta, Oscar, David Luiz, John Obi Mikel, and for the first time, Kenneth Omeruo.
Before Mourinho’s group get to the USA, however, Dermot Drummy and his Under-21 squad are taking in some East Coast experience for ten days during which they will face both the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls Under-23 teams. New signing Isaiah Brown is part of a travelling team which includes many of the familiar players at this level, as well as a smattering of newly-signed professionals including Dion Conroy, Kevin Wright, Mitchell Beeney and Isak Ssewankambo plus youth teamers Jeremie Boga and Ben Killip and Mexican loanee Ulises Dávila.
It makes for a rather young Under-18 squad left behind in England with manager Adi Viveash. They’ll be the first team to take to the field of play in 2012-13 as they host Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday morning before heading off to the familiar climbs of Austria for their annual training camp. Another friendly will likely feature at the end of their stay before returning to their course of domestic preparation.
New first-year scholars Charly Musonda, George Brady, Ola Aina, Kasey Palmer and others will doubtless be involved, as will a budding group of Under-16s who have already begun to make their mark at the next level. Dominic Solanke, Jay Da Silva, Ruben Sammut, Kyle Scott and a number of their team-mates will begin the process of working full-time with the scholarship group and should be expected to feature increasingly as the season develops.
You can, as always, keep up with everything from the first team downwards throughout the summer and the season here at TheChels.net and by following our stable of Twitter accounts.