Our series looking at the upbringing of our Academy youngsters returns for another season and new scholar Jude Soonsup-Bell talks about his footballing journey, idols and England hat-trick.
What is your first memory of playing football?
I remember being four years old and I always used to ride my bike down to the local park with my brothers. We used to set the goal posts up using our bikes and kick about for hours until it got dark and then ride home. That’s probably my first memory of playing football.
Where did your footballing journey start?
When I was five I joined my local team called Calne FC and I was just playing football for fun. A few months later a Swindon scout approached my parents and asked me to come and train at the club – I found it quite tough at first but they wanted to sign me within a few weeks. I played at Swindon until I was an Under-12 and then I left the club and joined Chelsea.
Were you into any other sports as a youngster?
I played lots of sports, swimming, golf, basketball and table tennis. I used to be really good at table tennis – I played at my local club but it was just for fun as football was my priority. Golf is a sport I’m starting to get back into now and will definitely play in the future.
Did you play in any other positions?
I was put in every attacking position when I first joined Chelsea, but my preferred role was as a centre midfielder and I played there for a couple of years. But the coaches soon realised that my best position was as part of the front three and I’ve been a forward ever since.
Who were your idols?
My first idol was Cristiano Ronaldo, mainly because of his mentality. He strives to be the best and that’s why I still look up to him – I don’t think anyone can compare to him.
Non-footballing idols would be my parents, they have both helped me in every way possible throughout my career and I’m grateful for their sacrifice.
What is your earliest memory of watching football?
My older brother had a tournament and I remember going to watch him play, at the time they were all so big and much stronger than I was. I watched my brother and was picking up tips from him on how to play, football was new to me at that time and I loved it.
Which one footballing memory stands out in your career so far?
My hat-trick against Spain for England last year. It was a small tournament at St. George’s and we it was the final – we won 3-1 and I got the three goals. It was against Spain, one of the top nations in the world, it was a special moment for me.
Favourite holiday destination as a youngster?
Mum’s Thai green curry
Favourite TV programme as a teenager?
Favourite boots from your childhood?
Total 90 Lasers
Jude and the Under-18s welcome West Ham to Cobham this morining, the London derby being the first home game for Ed Brand's team this season. Kick-off is 10:30am and you can keep up-to-date with the scores by following the aciton on our official @Chelseafc Twitter page.