Chelsea - Academy Through to Milk Final
Chelsea FC's U-15 Academy side are through to the Final of the 2010 Milk Cup over in Northern Ireland.
Teams from around the world, including Everton, Man U and Chelsea, compete in a week-long tournament on the North Coast area of Northern Ireland. The teams are divided into three categories: Elite, Premier, and Junior for Under-19s, Under-17s and Under-15s respectively.
Chelsea aim to enter a young team into the Junior section of the tournament in readiness for the Academy season ahead. Whilst we have the ability to enter teams at U-17 and U19 level, these players are at the stage of Reserve football and will be concentrating on other pre-season friendlies.
Chelsea were placed in Group A with 11 other teams, however only 2 group matches are played. After these games, 8 teams 'qualify' for the quarter-finals which were played on Wednesday.
The great thing about the Milk Cup is not only do the spectators get to see future stars wearing their favourite jerseys but for teams from other countries to face each other.
CFC began with a 3-0 win over South Coast Bayern, an American youth team, on Monday over in Coleraine. On Tuesday for their second game, the U-15s saw off Co.Armagh convincingly with one of the highlight displays of the week - 7-0.
Back in Coleraine on Wednesday for the quarter final, Chelsea managed a 1-0 win over Co.Tyrone to book a place in the Semi's yesterday.
"You have to remember these schoolboys only finished their school year on the July 20th, so they`ve been back training for two or three sessions before we came to the Milk Cup," Geoff Harvey, team boss, revealed.
"I think tiredness came into a bit (against Tyrone), three games in three days is a real test for them. The boys then faced Dundalk SL and destroyed the team 4-0.
The last game of the week at 4pm today sees Mexican side Cruz Azul as the last team in the way of another piece of Blue silverware. As Neil Bath, Academy Manager, said recently in an interview, Chelsea are achieving much more in Youth tournaments compared to 5 years ago. Here's hoping that we continue to be this successful.
For those interested Reece Mitchell has been one of the stand out performers. The number 9 has been scoring all tournament and will be looking for more goals this afternoon.