YOUNG BLUES HEAD EAST
Chelsea fans in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur will get a glimpse of the club's future this week when the youth team arrives for a week-long tour of south-east Asia.
As part of the 'Here to Play, Here to Stay' ethos laid down by the club during the first team's pre-season tour last year, the youngsters will visit Thailand and Malaysia from July 25 to August 1 to help maintain the club's presence and purpose in the region.
The tour will include training sessions and warm-up matches to help manager Adi Viveash prepare his Under 18 side for the forthcoming season and will also coincide with the launch of the Chelsea Soccer School (CFCSS) in Bangkok.
The squad arrives in Bangkok on Wednesday and will hold a morning training session at the Leo Stadium on July 26, which will be open to the public. They will also attend an afternoon press event on July 27 to unveil the CFCSS Bangkok, which will include a coaching clinic supervised by the Youth Team coaches and players.
There is then play a friendly match against a Thai Under 19 select side, the Leo All Star Team on Saturday, July 28 before they move on to Kuala Lumpur on July 29 and hold a training session at our Blue Pitch the following afternoon, which will be open to the public.
They will train at the Football Association of Malaysia's Wisma Field on July 31 morning and play against a Malaysian youth side later that evening behind closed doors. Following the match, they will have a chance to discover the sights and sounds of the Malaysian capital before returning to London on the evening of August 1.
Chelsea Academy Director Neil Bath believes that the tour will be of enormous benefit to the young players.
'We are delighted to be travelling to Asia with our Youth Team,' said Bath. 'Our first team attended Asia for their pre-season in 2011 and we are pleased to be doing the same.
'We have two good games scheduled against the U19 LEO All-Star team and the Malaysian National U19 team.It will be a new experience for all of our players to be travelling to Asia and we are very much looking forward to it.'