NEW YOUNGSTERS PROFILED
Academy manager Neil Bath has overseen a busy summer in the Academy, with a number of changes to his staff while also welcoming 13 new first-year scholars into the club on a full-time basis.
Steve Holland's promotion from reserve team coach to assistant first team coach following the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas as manager allowed Dermot Drummy to step up from overseeing the youths to the reserves, with his position filled by his former assistant Adi Viveash.
To fill that gap Joe Edwards, a former Chelsea Academy player, has been promoted to coaching the Under 16s, while former Chelsea left-back Andy Myers will now work full-time and coach the Under 15s.
'We feel we have staff within our setup capable of moving up, so we didn't hesitate in promoting Dermot to reserves, Adi to the youth team, Joe Edwards to the Under 16s, and Andy Myers, who everyone knows as an ex-Chelsea player, to become full-time and working with the Under 15s ,' said Academy manager Neil Bath.
'The group of boys joining the first year we know very well. They have been heavily involved in the day release programme and are a smashing bunch of lads with great attitude to training, and I hope they can continue along those lines.'
A Dutch boy, Nathan will join us when we go to Austria next week, as he was also involved at the Under 17 World Cup. He is a versatile player who plays mainly on the left side, and can also play as a centre-half or in midfield.
Lewis joined us at Under 10, and is technically very strong. Lewis is a bright midfield player, two-footed and has recently been selected for England.
A full-back, Sammy can play on either side but probably prefers the right. He is very competitive in terms of his tackling and determination, has a good attitude and supports the attacks from his deep position. He joined at Under 13.
Nathaniel joined us at Under 10, and recently came back from the Under 17 World Cup. As we know he has already featured in the reserves and youth team a lot, and is about to travel to Asia with the first team. He is a versatile player, in that he can play in central midfield or central defence, and played for the first team in pre-season last year. He was also on the bench for a Carling Cup game against Newcastle. From the Croydon area.
Alex joined us at Under 11. He's a boy from Hertfordshire who plays as a centre-back. He is comfortable on the ball, happy stepping in to win it and has made a lot of progress in the past 12 months.
A Battersea boy, Walter joined us quite late as an Under 16, and plays best as a number nine. He has a fantastic mentality and attitude to training, and has already scored goals in the youth team as a schoolboy.
Ali is very versatile, can play right-back, centre-back or holding midfield, and joined us as an Under 14. Hailing from south-east London, he has a good attitude, is very competitive and leads the side well.
Tom joined as an Under 8 and plays right-wing in a 4-3-3. Unfortunately he has had lots of injuries going through various growth spurts in the past two years, but this will be Tom's first real run of pre-season.
Adam joined us as an Under 13 and plays predominantly down the left-hand side. He has featured many times in the youth team already and is very quick, comfortable playing either in defence or on the wing.
Unfortunately Nortei had an injury that will put him out of the game for nine months, but his best position would be right-back. A west London boy who joined at Under 15.
Anjur is Swedish and was able to join us as an Under 16 about six months ago. He featured mainly for the Under 16s last year, and is an attacking midfield player, another who is technically very strong.
Ismail joined at Under 13 and can play anywhere along the front line, on either wing or as a number nine so is another versatile one, who is also very quick and sharp.
John joined at Under 14 and is an England international. He is a box-to-box midfield player, technically good and a hard-working player who is capable of scoring goals. John hails from Portsmouth.