Ahead of the FA Youth Cup final against Manchester City on Monday night we provide you with an introduction to each of the players that have helped get us there.
Since the start of this Youth Cup run, in December last year, a couple of the bigger names in the squad, Ian Maatsen and Armando Broja, have departed on loan for their maiden experience of regular men’s football. But 21 other players have been involved in the victories over Huddersfield, Bradford, Wolves, Millwall and Manchester United, and here we detail their background and playing style…
Lucas Bergstrom – 1 Youth Cup appearance this season
Lucas Bergstrom signed from Turun Palloseura in his native Finland during the 2018/19 season. At 6’ 7, he is a very tall and imposing keeper, and has represented Finland at Under-16 level.
He signed his scholarship deal in July 2019 and turned professional in September that year. A knee injury disrupted last season but he was fit to return and keep a clean sheet in the semi-final.
Jake Askew – 4 apps
Jake Askew first signed as an Under-9 after progressing through our development centre programme. A big Chelsea fan and former ball-boy at Stamford Bridge, Jake has always played in goal but is very confident and technically strong with the ball at his feet.
He has played in the UEFA Youth League and prior to the semi-final was an ever-present in this season’s FA Youth Cup, not conceding and saving a penalty in the big win over Wolves.
Levi Colwill – 4 apps
Levi Colwill has been registered with us since the Under-9 age group and is an England Under-17 international who plays mostly at centre-back. He can also slot in on the left as full-back or wing-back, and enjoys stepping forward as a ball-playing defender.
Last season, Colwill’s progress was such he made appearances for the development squad and signed a pro contract, and although his campaign ended early after picking up a knee injury, he was back in the side for Friday’s win.
Henry Lawrence – 5 apps, 1 goal
Henry Lawrence has been deployed in a variety of positions throughout his schoolboy years, predominantly in central midfield, but is now more often found at right-back or the right side of a back three, as against Man United in the semi-final.
His performances have seen him feature at international youth level for England, and he signed his first professional contract in October 2019. In this Youth Cup run Lawrence has been ever present, and scored in the win over Bradford from right-back.
Tino Livramento – 5 apps
Outstanding in the semi-final win, Tino Livramento is a defender who plays predominantly at right-back or right wing-back, from where he likes to get forward and attack.
The Croydon-born teenager has been a regular for our Under-18s and development squad since singing turning pro last November, and he is also an England youth international.
Dynel Simeu – 5 apps
Dynel Simeu originally joined our Academy as an Under-13 via winter trials from local recruitment.
A Southampton boy who was born in Cameroon, he is a strong, imposing central defender who has been an ever-present in this Youth Cup run. He has also represented England up to the Under-17 age group, and signed his first professional contract at the club in March 2019.
Sam McClelland – 1 app
Sam McClelland joined our Academy from Coleraine in his native Northern Ireland. A tall, strong central defender who reads the game well and enjoys playing out with his feet, he has represented Northern Ireland up to the Under-19 age group and been called up to their Under-21s. McClelland signed his first professional contract at Chelsea in July 2019 and made 34 outing across the Academy teams during the season.
Bashir Humphreys – 0+1 app
Bashir Humphreys signed for us at the start of his Under-15 season from grassroots football, following a previous spell in the academy programme at Reading. A versatile defender who enjoys playing with the ball at his feet, Bashir began the 2020/21 season captaining Ed Brand's Under-18 side and signed his first professional contract with Chelsea in October until the summer of 2022.
Charlie Wiggett – 0+1 app
Charlie Wiggett joined from Swindon Town in his Under-15 year. A defender who leads from the back with his tough tackling and vocal personality, he signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2019 and will remain a Blue until 2022 at least.
Tino Anjorin – 4 apps, 1 goal
Captain of our Youth Cup side this season, Tino Anjorin played a couple of games for Chelsea’s senior team last season, a sign of his rapid progress through our Academy.
A regular goalscorer from central midfield, Anjorin is a powerful, box-to-box midfielder who has played for England’s Under-19s and was a Youth Cup winner the last time we won the competition, in 2018.
Thierno Ballo – 0+4 apps, 1 goal
Thierno Ballo is an exciting player who joined our Academy in January 2018 from Viktoria Koln in Germany.
An Austrian Under-19 international who can play as a striker or as a number 10, he has good speed and agility, and can create and score goals. He signed a first professional contract at the club in January 2019 and has been a regular in our development squad for the past year.
Lewis Bate – 5 apps
Lewis Bate is a slight but combative midfield player with an eye for a defence-splitting forward pass. He signed for Chelsea as an Under-9 having progressed through our development centre programme.
Bate has represented England at youth level and signed his first pro contract with Chelsea in October 2019. More recently he was one of Frank Lampard’s subs for our game at Sheffield United towards the end of last season.
Marcel Lewis – 4+1 apps, 5 goals
Marcel Lewis joined our Academy in 2015 after signing from Cambridge United as an Under-14. An attacking midfield player, he can play wide or as a number 10 and has good technique, which he works hard to improve all the time.
Lewis netted his first FA Youth Cup hat-trick in the 7-0 win over Wolves, having notched a brace in the previous round against Bradford. Those strikes came after his first goal at development squad level, in the 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge in September 2019.
Myles Peart-Harris – 3+1 apps, 2 goals
A goalscorer against Huddersfield and Bradford in this FA Youth Cup run, Myles Peart-Harris is a tall central midfielder who has been training with Chelsea since the age of eight. He signed his first professional contract in September 2019, and has played for England up to Under-17 level, as well as featuring for us in the UEFA Youth League more recently.
Dion Rankine – 1+2 apps
Dion Rankine has been with us for three years after signing from Cambridge United as an Under-14. An adventurous and pacy wide player who can operate on the left or right, he made his Youth Cup debut in the 5-0 win over Bradford in January, and starting in the semi-final victory over Man United.
Xavier Simons – 4 apps, 1 goal
Formerly of Brentford, Xavier Simons is a vocal and tough-tackling central midfielder. He captained our Under-16s to Premier League Cup glory and is also an England Under-17.
He signed his scholarship deal in July 2019 and turned professional in February 2020, shortly after scoring against Wolves in the FA Youth Cup. Simons has also featured in the UEFA Youth League
Harvey Vale – 0+1 app
Harvey Vale made his FA Youth Cup debut on Friday night as a sub against Man United, having only recently penned his first professional contract at Chelsea. Vale is a talented midfielder who can also play higher up the pitch, and is an England Under-17 international.
Joe Haigh – 0+1 app
Joe Haigh is a local boy from Ashtead who joined as an Under-10. He plays mostly in central midfield but can also operate wide and enjoys running with the ball and taking on defenders. Equally capable of creating chances or converting them, Haigh has represented England Under-16s.
Bryan Fiabema – 1 app, 1 goal
Norway Under-17 international Bryan Fiabema scored the winner against Man United on his FA Youth Cup debut, a clinical finish that highlighted his clever movement.
Fiabema joined our Academy in February 2020 from Tromso and signed his first pro contract after turning 17. Fiabema is very good with his back to goal and is capable of bringing others into the game. Comfortable leading the line as the central striker, Fiabema has scored goals at all levels.
George Nunn – 0+1 app
George Nunn is a left-sided attacking player who joined our Academy from Crewe Alexandra at the end of his Under-16 year. He is a bright and intelligent footballer with good technique, and has been a regular in our Academy teams during the past couple of years, as well representing the Republic of Ireland at Under-19 level.
Jude Soonsup-Bell – 0+1 app
The youngest member of the squad at 16, Jude Soonsup-Bell joined Chelsea after leaving Swindon Town’s Academy. He has most often featured as a forward for the Under-18s, and he has international recognition with England at Under-16 level. Soonsup-Bell made his Youth Cup debut off the bench against Man United and looked sharp.