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Colwill: ‘Come down and support the boys’

From the official Chelsea FC website:

Levi Colwill has urged Chelsea fans to come and support our next generation of exciting talent when we compete in the Under-18 Premier League national final at Stamford Bridge tomorrow night.

The Blues face Manchester United in the Under-18 Premier League national final after winning the southern and northern titles respectively.

Thousands of fans are expected at Stamford Bridge tomorrow night for the 7pm kick-off as we look to win a first Under-18 Premier League title since 2018, having also claimed the crown the previous year.

Colwill knows what it is like to represent Chelsea Under-18s at Stamford Bridge, having also graduated from our successful Academy, and with tickets costing only £5 for adults and £3 for juniors/seniors, the defender hopes Hassan Sulaiman’s side will be well supported.

He said: ‘My message to the fans would be to come down and support the boys. Having the fans there will make it way more special for the players and especially if they get Stamford Bridge rocking.

‘I think it will be a really good night. Hopefully, we can get the win and there will be some good celebrations.’

Colwill has mixed emotions when he recalls his first appearance playing at Stamford Bridge back in February 2020.

Levi playing for Chelsea Under-18s v Millwall in the FA Youth Cup back in 2020

Levi playing for Chelsea Under-18s v Millwall in the FA Youth Cup back in 2020

 

The England international was part of a hugely talented Under-18s side who beat Millwall 1-0 in the sixth round of the FA Youth Cup.

But whilst on one hand, playing at the Bridge was a dream come true, Colwill would go on to tear the cartilage in his knee that night and miss the rest of the season.

He still remembers the surreal feeling of finally lining up at the Bridge fondly, though. ‘It would have been the biggest crowd I had played in front of at that point, especially with how big the rivalry is against Millwall.

‘Both sets of fans were good so it was a great environment to play in to prepare you for getting into men’s football.

‘It was very exciting. I feel like I put a lot of nerves on myself playing at the Bridge because I was a different player back then.

‘It’s just crazy, seeing your family up there. It’s an amazing feeling and it just gives you more motivation to keep going. So it was really good.’

Academy coach John Terry and Levi during the Chelsea Under-18 Premier League match against Brighton in March
Academy coach John Terry and Levi during the Chelsea Under-18 Premier League match against Brighton in March

 

Fans in attendance that night got to see a Chelsea Under-18s team which included not only Colwill but Tino AnjorinArmando Broja, Tino Livramento and Ian Maatsen, to name a few.

And there are likely to be several familiar names on show tomorrow night, with nine of the players eligible for the final against Manchester United having already been involved in senior Chelsea matchday squads this season.

Our starting XI in the Under-18 Premier League South title-winning game against Southampton last week included Josh Acheampong, who made his senior debut against Tottenham earlier this month; Kiano Dyer and Tyrique George, who were also on the bench against Spurs; plus Ollie HarrisonHarrison Murray-Campbell and Ishe Samuels-Smith, three more who have been substitutes for Mauricio Pochettino’s first team in the 2023/24 campaign.

Colwill is among a host of senior players who have watched the Under-18s in matches first-hand over the last month – as has Mauricio Pochettino, his coaching staff and the co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley – and the defender has been impressed by what he has seen.

Levi and Cole Palmer are just two of the first team players who have watched the Under-18s in recent weeks
Levi and Cole Palmer are just two of the first team players who have watched the Under-18s in recent weeks

 

The 21-year-old recalls the ‘little boost’ he would get as an Academy scholar playing in front of the senior pros and hopes their presence at games can help provide similar motivation.

Colwill said: ‘The Under-18s have been really good and even when they’ve come over to train with us, some of the players have been amazing.

‘It’s crazy to think that they are so young and how many levels above me they are when I was at that age, so it is really good to see and it’s encouraging.’

You can purchase your ticket for the Under-18 Premier League national final at Stamford Bridge here for £5 for adults and £3 for juniors and seniors.

For those unable to attend the game with Manchester United in person, a live stream will be available on the Official Chelsea App.


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