As we hit the time of year where many clubs are deciding upon scholarship offers for their 2014-15 intake of Under-18 footballers, it might be considered a quieter one than usual for Chelsea, where many of those moving into Adi Viveash’s group next term have long since been offered terms.
However, that’s not to say that the staff at Cobham are resting on their laurels and where opportunities exist, they appear to be happy to investigate. The most recent and perhaps most intriguing of Under-16 trialists is an exciting young winger by the name of Faiq Bolkiah.
Coming from a background rarely seen in football circles – he is the nephew of the current Sultan of Brunei – Bolkiah first came to any sort of notable attention last summer when he appeared for Arsenal during their Under-15 tournament in Singapore. He duly impressed but didn’t sign a long-term contract with the Gunners and instead reportedly joined up with Reading.
Schooled in England, he has continued to work at his craft and has recently undertaken a spell at Chelsea, with an offer of a scholarship now rumoured. He would potentially join a group of first-years which include Dominic Solanke, Mukhtar Ali, Tammy Abraham, Jay Dasilva and a host of others who have already had plenty of exposure to competition at the next level.
Another former Arsenal schoolboy, Ghanaian goalkeeper Corey Addai, has also linked up with Chelsea as part of his trial rounds after receiving news that he wouldn’t be offered a scholarship at his former club.