The development squad take to Kingsmeadow for the first time this season on Monday afternoon to start the defence of their league title. You can watch the action live and for free on this website and the 5th Stand App, kick-off is 1pm.
Development squad defender Dynel Simeu has had a summer of training at home before assisting the men’s team in restarting the Premier League season during what is usually a holiday period for players.
After a shorter break than usual, he is now back with the development squad at Cobham and preparing for the start of a new Premier League 2 season.
‘Preparations have been top class from everyone involved’, he tells the official Chelsea website. ‘We won all three of our friendlies but it’s been a difficult pre-season because the virus has sometimes decreased our numbers, as players have to train with other groups but I think we’ve coped well and everyone has had a good start.’
'The Oxford game was definitely a good test to indicate and show us where we are at – it gave us a chance to try out some of the things we have been working on in training but I thought we did okay considering we are a young side. It’s all about getting the experience to make sure we are ready next time.'
West Ham are the visitors to Kingsmeadow on Monday and they will arrive full of confidence having achieved promotion by winning the division two title and Simeu recognises the importance of this London derby if Chelsea are to retain their status.
‘West Ham will be wanting to prove themselves at this level, just as we will while being title holders and that’s something we want to retain,’ he said.
‘A London derby can always go either way. It’s a game that everyone wants to play in and it’s always a very competitive and physical battle - it will be an exciting game to be involved in.
‘Playing for a club like Chelsea there’s always pressure to perform. If we play our football, believe in each other and keep working hard using the club’s philosophy I don’t see why we can’t be successful again.’
Simeu has been Myers’ captain throughout the season’s preparations and was given the responsibility again on Tuesday night at Oxford in the EFL Trophy. It’s something he feels proud of and doesn’t take for granted.
‘Every time I wear that armband I feel proud. It’s not something you ever play down, every time I wear it it’s another chance to prove myself and impress. To captain such a big club, even at under-23 level is a huge achievement and I just hope I can captain many more games.'