It’s not been a banner year in terms of actual on-pitch results in the Chelsea Academy, at just about every level form U18 through U19 to U21/U23 — the U23 Development Squad could in fact still be relegated from the PL2 should we fail to win our final game of the season, this weekend against Spurs — but the U18s have redeemed those recent failings a bit with an excellent 2-1 win over Fulham in the U18 Premier League Cup final on Wednesday night.
While obviously the primary aim of the Academy remains to nourish and develop raw talent, instilling them with a winning mentality is also a big part of the education, a big part of the Chelsea DNA. Players like Mason Mount and Reece James were winners well before they ever got to lift the Champions League Big Ears trophy last year in Porto.
Last night’s win was certainly well earned for Ed Brand’s young charges, with an early goal rom Luke Castledine canceled out by the visitors before the half, but Chelsea winning it late with Charlie Webster setting up the winner for Jude Soonsup-Bell. Harvey Vale, Lewis Hall, and Dylan Williams all started as well, but they certainly won’t be the only names to watch for in the years to come.