Levi Colwill has plenty to reflect on at the moment as he speaks exclusively to the matchday programme for tonight’s Carabao Cup third-round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Chelsea Academy graduate has become a regular first-team player this season, signed a new six-year contract in the summer and recently received his first senior England call-up. Now we prepare to face the club where he shone on loan last season, as the Seagulls visit Stamford Bridge, and he is looking forward to the reunion.
'Playing against old mates… when you step onto the pitch, it changes,' he says in tonight's matchday programme. 'It goes from playing against mates to rivalry. At the end of the day, you both want to win.
'Having done that already against them in pre-season has helped me a lot and when we go into this game, we’ll hopefully do the same thing – go on to win and get into the next round. Of course, they’re a good team but we can definitely beat them.'
Levi Colwill has started every competitive game in 2023/24, after returning to Chelsea in the summer, and explains how positive his discussions with Mauricio Pochettino were during pre-season.
'This is my home,' he says. 'When I was speaking to the gaffer in the summer, I just wanted to know, "If I train well and get the chance, and take it, will I be considered as a first-team Chelsea player and not just a player from the Academy?"
'And he said, "Yeah, of course, if you do the right things, you’re going to get a chance. Everyone’s got a chance."
'That was music to my ears because then it’s down to me at the end of the day. If I do well, I play. If I don’t do well, I don’t play. That’s how football should work. It’s simple as.
'To then come back here after pre-season and play the first five Premier League games is something I could only have dreamed of.'
Elsewhere in the programme, we hear from former Chelsea and Brighton man Chris Hutchings on his fondness for both clubs, and ahead of this weekend’s Women’s Super League game between Chelsea and Tottenham, we take an in-depth look at the women’s team’s growing relationship with Stamford Bridge.
You can also find all your regular favourite features, with updates from the Academy, insights into the game ahead and all the key stats and facts of the moment, plus the latest columns from Mauricio Pochettino and Reece James.
Make sure you pick up a copy from the programme sellers around Stamford Bridge or from the Reach Sport online shop.