Teenage Kicks: Ben Elliott
In the latest part of our series looking at the upbringing of our Academy youngsters, midfielder Ben Elliott talks enjoying basketball at school, winning his first tournament with Chelsea and captaining England Under-15s.
He is a player from our development centre programme who played for England Under-17s and made his youth team debut in the 2015/16 season. His maiden campaign as a scholar started well with eight goals in the opening five games a sign of things to come. The striker eventually went on to notch 21 league goals, including two hat-tricks, as he claimed the Under-18 Premier League golden boot. He was also the most-used youth team player as our youngsters claimed a remarkable Treble and made his development squad debut in the Checkatrade Trophy in September 2016.
Taylor-Crossdale was the Under-18 Premier League top scorer in 2016/17 with 21 goals.
An England Under-18 international, Taylor-Crossdale was part of the squad that won the Toulon Tournament in June 2017 before returning to club football, where he split duties between the youth team and development squad in 2017/18. He scored his first goal for Joe Edwards's side in a 2-2 October draw against Arsenal, a continuation of his regular goalscoring ability, which was also seen as he netted a hat-trick in a 6-0 FA Youth Cup win at Fulham in February . In total, he ended the campaign with a goal every other game.
Following his 17th birthday on Boxing Day 2017, he signed a two-and-a-half year maiden professional contract at the club.
Normally at this time of the year, players and staff in the Chelsea Academy would be looking forward to a number of exciting trips abroad to face their counterparts from the biggest club sides in the world at overseas tours and tournaments.