Coach Andy Myers is happy to finally have the development squad named Premier League 2 champions after what has been a very difficult time for all.
A decision to curtail academy competitions was made back in March following the coronavirus pandemic making it unsafe for the season to continue.
The young Blues were today awarded the title by the Premier League after its shareholders and academy managers agreed on a points-per-game system to decide the final league standings. For Chelsea our position remained the same as the Blues were unmoved at the top of the pile.
The boss is pleased to learn of the season’s outcome which he feels will lift all in the Academy.
‘I’m really pleased that we’ve won the league title, especially as nobody knew what was happening, understandably due to more important world matters,’ he told the official Chelsea website. ‘It’s long overdue and I’m really pleased for the players, coaching staff and everyone in the Academy as it’s a feeling that we haven’t had for a little while.
‘When I think back to pre-season this time last year, we had a small squad, quite a young squad too, in terms of experience at this level, and the main focus was to keep players fit as they would have to play across a few competitions. I’ve got to give credit to the strength and conditioning staff and the medical staff who made sure preparations were done in the morning and worked hard on injury-prevention tactics, which was something we focused on in the previous campaign - and most importantly the players all bought into it.’
One of the main purposes of an Academy and its Under-23 side is to develop players for the future, something which Myers feels strongly about, but he also believes the winning mentality is deeply rooted within the foundations of Cobham.
‘Neil [Bath] has always made sure that our Academy stands for player development, and as coach you are more than happy having players who give 100 per cent in training and in matches as they are improving day-by-day, you may not get the reward of trophies at times but it’s about the development process for us. If we win competitions along the way, as we have this season, it’s a bonus.
‘There’s a winning mentality within the Academy which starts from the Under-9s and by the time those players get to Under-23 level it becomes real life as there are leagues and competitions to play for. The last time we won the title at this level was in 2013/14 with Dermot Drummy, I’ve still got the picture up of him holding the cup, and I think winning it this year means a lot for the club as we continue to create a pathway for players.’