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Academy To Take Nine Full-Time

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Nine young players are ready to taste life as full-time scholars at Chelsea for the first time next season. The new intake is a mixture of local and international players, some of whom have been in the Chelsea Academy set-up for several years, some of whom have already featured in the club's youth and reserve teams.

The work of chief scout and director of youth development Frank Arnesen, Academy manager Neil Bath (pictured right), youth team manager Neil Clement (pictured left), Academy chief scout Lee Congerton and the scouting team has selected and developed the players.


Neil Bath provides a short introduction to the new first year scholars.

Aldi Haxhia

A goalkeeper who has been with the Academy since the Under 12s level. Aldi is a good shot stopper who distributes the ball well. He has already made his debut in the youth team, starting one game and coming on as substitute once last season.

Sam Walker

A 6ft 5in goalkeeper, Sam joined us last season from Millwall and he also featured in the youth team, playing four games. Another good shot stopper who collects crosses well and distributes well.

Tom Hayden

Tom is a right-back who has been with the Academy since the Under 12s. He is comfortable on the ball, has good pace and made his full debut in the youth team in April.

Jeffrey Bruma

Although Jeffrey was top appearance maker in the youth team last season, playing 28 games and also appearing three times in the reserves, he only becomes a first year scholar this year. He has been with Chelsea a year and is a Dutch Under 17 international although he missed the recent European Championship due to injury. A centre-back, very good on the ball and a very good athlete. He has scored four youth goals.

Vincenzo Camilleri

A centre-back who has joined us from Italy where he is a junior international. Tactically, he reads the game well and is comfortable on the ball.

Conor Clifford

Conor is an Irish international at Under 17 level who played in last month's European Championships. He is a central midfield player, hard working, strong in the tackle with good distribution.

Jacopo Sala

An Italian Under 17 international, Jacopo is a versatile player, capable of a number of positions but predominately on the right. Good game awareness as well as a good athlete. He made two starts and one sub appearance in last year's youth campaign.

Aliu Djalo

An attacking midfield player joining us from Portugual where he has played for the junior national team. Technically very good. Aliu is nicknamed 'Kaby'.

Frank Nouble

A forward capable of playing central or wide, Frank has been with us since Under 12 level. A south London boy, he is very quick and strong in one-on-one situations and started 14 youth games with 12 sub appearances last season (3+2 in the FA Youth Cup run). He scored six youth goals and made his team reserve debut in November.

Source: Chelsea FC

Edited by EskWeston
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Only 2 players (Kaby and Camilleri) brought in from outside the club this season is quite a small number compared to previous seasons. Which means the younger age groups are doing exceptionally well.

Kaby is supposed to be an incredible talent and it will be good to see him in action. I am sure there will be a few other new names in the youth team this season too that are not on full time.

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