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.
A versatile player, he made six appearances for the Under-18s in 2015/16, his season prior to becoming a scholar. The following campaign saw the teenager play a far more prominent role in the side as our youngsters tasted success in three different competitions. He missed just one game in the FA Youth Cup triumph and scored the only goal of the game as we beat Liverpool 1-0 away in the league merit round, a key result in our title-winning run.
In 2017/18, the midfielder featured predominantly for our Under-18s once more as he made 42 appearances in all competitions. He netted home and away in our 7-0 aggregate win over Birmingham City in the Youth Cup semi-finals and made his UEFA Youth League debut in October.
After turning 17, Uwakwe signed a first professional contract at the club until the end of 2018/19 before extending that deal upon expiration. He made his England Under-20 debut in a 1-0 victory over Angola in May 2017 starting in mdifield before going on to make a further two appearances for the young Lions.
After an injury four games into the 2019/20 season Uwakwe spent three months on the sidelines. He returned to action in December and got straight back to action with the development squad, he scored his first goal of the season in the 2-1 home win over Manchester City in January 2020.
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.