This month’s issue of Chelsea magazine features an exclusive interview with Tammy Abraham, who is revelling in the opportunity to shine on the Premier League stage with the Blues.
The 22-year-old has been in red-hot form in front of goal since returning to the club from a loan spell with Aston Villa, earning a recall to the full England squad after scoring regularly in the opening two months of the campaign.
It has been a long road to the men’s first team for the 22-year-old, however, which began with him starting out in our Academy as a promising young centre-back before making the move up the pitch and becoming a keen goal-getter throughout the age groups.
Now he’s doing it at senior level and loving the experience of playing alongside some of his peers whom he grew up alongside here, not to mention working under coaches who have guided him every step of the way.
‘It’s always been the thing that there are people who have faith in the Academy, for a long time now,’ he tells Chelsea in the cover feature. ‘We’ve had great players come and go, but there is no better time for the likes of me, Mason, Fikayo and the others to be at Chelsea, with such a good manager, who believes in young talent and has worked with us as well.
‘This season, I’ve joined the first team at the same time that Joe [Edwards] has moved onto the coaching team and I’ve worked with him from a really young age. I think I was in the first group he coached, actually, so he has a lot of stories about me!
‘Joe’s been a huge part of my growth at the club. I have to give credit to the others who have coached me as well, but he was my first coach at Chelsea and my manager in the Under-18s, so we had that journey together. He told me when I was wrong, he pushed me to the max and I will always respect him for that. Now, I’m here in the first team with him as well, and playing for Frank Lampard.’
Read the full interview for Abraham's recollections of his prolific goalscoring when a junior and breaking his duck for the men's first team this season.
In the magazine’s latest look back at our greatest Champions League matches, to mark the 20th anniversary of our debut in Europe’s premier club competition, we recall a trip to Lazio’s Stadio Olimpico in 2003.
In the early days of the Roman Abramovich era it was one of the first matches when it felt like the Blues had truly arrived as major players in the European game, with our current head coach Lampard playing a major part in the game with the No.8 shirt on his back.
Start to Finish is a pictorial look back at a Blues legend’s career from, you guessed it, the very beginning right the way through to retirement. This month Ricardo Carvalho gets the full treatment as we pay homage to one of our greatest centre-halves, who played his part in winning trophies galore at the Bridge – and, in fact, just about everywhere he played. And, yes, the famous image of his goal celebration after a title-clinching goal against Manchester United is included!
Our former midfielder Ray Lewington recalls his spell with the Vancouver Whitecaps, when he won the Soccer Bowl, after the heartache of seeing his career with his boyhood club cut short prematurely.
We also have interviews with the Academy’s latest goalscoring sensation, Armando Broja, and new Chelsea Women captain Magdalena Eriksson, plus a detailed look at the links between Chelsea and Brighton through the years after we beat the Seagulls for a record ninth league game in succession.
The November edition of Chelsea magazine is available to buy for £3.95 in the Chelsea Megastore at Stamford Bridge and all good newsagents. It can also be ordered online