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The Young Generation

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With the Chelsea youth and reserve seasons nowwell underway, we take a look at how things are shaping up in ourdevelopment squads. Both sides suffered a tough start to the season,with a number of talented players out on loan around the FootballLeague, yet coaches Dermot Drummy and Steve Holland remain optimistic.

Reserve manager Holland,who has recorded a win and a loss in his two competitive games, oversawthe friendly win over Ipswich yesterday, and has been happy with theefforts of his players, two of whom were rewarded with first teamsubstitute places against Porto on Tuesday.

' Both Jeffrey Bruma and Fabio Borini have donewell, though there were a number of high-quality players sat in frontof me that were unavailable for the first team against Porto,' heassessed.

'The three Portuguese lads, Didier Drogba, Yury Zhirkov, Joe Coleand Nemanja Matic, so there was an opportunity for them and Carlo hasshown a real interest in the reserves and younger players, which hasbeen quite clear.

'We play in the Carling Cup next week and if theyounger players will break through that's the sort of fixture they needto convince Carlo they can be trusted in, and the friendly with Ipswichwas an opportunity for them, and most players took that.

'I have only been here three weeks but Carlo isin the team meetings, coming over and talking about the players so thesigns are that the opportunity will be there for them if they are up toit.'


Youth team manager Dermot Drummy had kind wordsfor striker Borini (pictured above), who he has watched transform intoa dangerous player at reserve level where he has two league goals intwo games this season.

'[Former reserve and youth manager] Paul Clementdid a lot of work with Fabio when he first came over and I used to lookout of the window and see them doing technical things and it's a creditto both of them, Fabio makes fantastic runs, is emotional and workshard on his game, so any success is due,' he said.

There is more good news too, with EnglishmenMichael Woods and Nana Ofori-Twumasi called into the Under 20 World Cupsquad, a tournament which takes place in Egypt and begins later thismonth.

'I think to be fair both are quite late call-upsafter a few withdrawals but it still reflects well on them individuallyand on the club,' Holland reasoned. 'It will be an experience to playin Egypt for three weeks and one that will benefit them in thelong-term. [Goalkeeper] Jan Sebek now flies out to join the CzechRepublic for the tournament.'

The tournament runs from September 24 untilOctober 16, meaning they will be unavailable for the reserve leaguefixture with Wolves on September 29.

'It is a nuisance for my selection, but that is avery short-term view, and what's best for the players is the mainthing, that's what this is all about,' Holland (pictured below) said.


In the Academy it has been a mixed start to the season with two wins sandwiched between two defeats.

'In general it has been a good start, and overallthe performances have been pleasing,' says Drummy. 'What is worrying iswe have had two players sent off in the last two games, so we havestressed the need to keep composure.

'The diamond is starting to take shape for us,and in general the whole vibe around the Academy from the Under 14s upis very positive.

'With the diamond formation we are using, thefull-backs have different roles, as do the midfielders, and the toppros take it on board easily but these are kids learning the game so ittakes time, but I think it is a good idea to develop them as it helpswhen they go out on loan to be able to play different systems.

'Invariably out on loan they play a flat four, so maybe we need to look at that too.'

Wednesday afternoon saw a 2-1 friendly defeatagainst Reading at Cobham, with both goals conceded in the five minutesfollowing half-time after Philipp Prosenik had given the young Chelseaside the lead.

The team featured Aziz Deen-Conteh, normally aleft-sided player, in the heart of defence and Adie Viveash in thedugout, allowing Dermot to take a step back and assess the players.

'Adie has been taking the team for hisdevelopment and it allows me to stand back and take a look in adifferent way,' said the coach. 'We didn't keep the ball well and moveit between the lines quick enough today, which is disappointing.'

'Aziz has played there a couple of times, and thetruth is without Kenny Strickland we have a slight shortage, sosometimes we will play players in different positions.

'Billy Knott played on the left side of thediamond where he has been playing as an out and out winger, but we hada chat with Neil Bath and Frank Arnesen and we have given him adeveloping role to get him defending more.

'We will play players in different positions and in the end Carlo Ancelotti will watch them and if they are good enough he can decide where they will end up.'

Source: Chelsea FC

Edited by EskWeston
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