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Saying goodbye to four

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As July winds to a close, four of Chelsea’s longer serving Reserve teamplayers are coming to the end of their time at the club and will‘officially’ become free agents on July 1st. Anthony Grant, AdrianPettigrew, James Simmonds and Phil Younghusband have each been part ofChelsea for the best part of a decade, but the 2008 summer becomestheir time to move on.

Each of them had times when, one way or another, the future lookedincredibly bright. Grant probably led the way in this respect, as theonly one of the four with a first team appearance to his name - asubstitute at Old Trafford late in Jose Mourinho’s debut title winningseason of 2004/05. ‘The Judge’ still impressed at times last season inthe Reserves but never showed the progress other, younger players atthe club were showing, and was being left behind.

Pettigrew has been a long standing captain of the Reserve team, butlike Grant, despite numerous spells on loan in the Football League,failed to show sufficient development to warrant further time atChelsea. James Simmonds came through at the same time as school friendMichael Mancienne, and their respective careers have gone in wildlydifferent manners. Whilst Mancienne has been representing England’sUnder 21s, James has been helping Dover Athletic to the title inEnglish football’s 8th tier.

Phil Younghusband probably has the brightest immediate future of thefour. A Filipino international goalscorer (with an impressive record of6 caps/7 goals at time of writing), he has only failed one loan spell-at Esbjerg fB in Denmark this past season. Stories suggest he will,for the immediate time being at least, spend some time in ThePhilippines where his mother, sister, and elder brother James - also aninternational and formerly of Chelsea - are residing. Phil and Jamesare rising superstars in their mother’s native country and both arerather well-known models as well as footballers.

As this blog expands to include a section following former Chelseaacademy players in brief detail, the whereabouts of these four will bebrought to you when they eventually land on their feet elsewhere.Plenty of players have spent many years coming through the Academy tohave impressive careers in the lower leagues, and in time, there’sstill every chance these lads can. We wish them all the best.

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