Academy: Half Season Report
So at the half way stage of the 2013/14 season and while the academy is on a short break it is time to sum up how things have gone so fa...
So at the half way stage of the 2013/14 season and while the academy is on a short break it is time to sum up how things have gone so far and to take a look at how the stats are standing up.
As things stand the U18's are currently in 5th place out of 11 in the Southern Premier League bearing in mind that only the top 2 from the Southern will progress to the play offs it may not look ideal but the table is a very close one. Currently sitting top are Fulham with 6 more points than Chelsea but they have played 2 more games. In fact taking into account the games in hand there is only a couple of points separating the top 5 in the group so it is all to play for still.
So far Chelsea's record is played 15, won 9, drew 3 and lost 3 scoring 41 goals and conceding 17 which is pretty good going. The best results so far are the 6 - 0 thrashing of Reading in the U18's last outing and a 5 - 0 win over Middlesbrough earlier in the season. As you can see scoring goals has not been a problem for the U18's and the top scorers so far are Domonic Solanke with 13 goals, Ambrose Gnahore with 8 and Kasey Palmer with 5. Solanke according to my records also tops the assists charts but my U18's assists record may not be 100% accurate.
At U18's level Chelsea have used so far a total of 32 players which is a rather large squad and of that number 14 of them are age 16 or younger which is just under 50% of the players which is very good for these young players to get the experience of this level so early. Top appearance maker so far is center back Jonathan Muleba with 15 appearances followed by Chike Kandi with 13 and then Ola Aina and Kasey Palmer with 12 each which is out of a total of 16 games played so far at U18's level. With regards to actual minutes on the pitch Muleba also leads that stat but second is Aina and third is Solanke.
Moving onto the U19's and it has been flawless for the them so far winning all 6 of their group games scoring 18 and only conceding 1. They will now go on to face AC Milan at home in the next stage of the competition.
In terms of goals John Swift is topping that chart so far with 5 goals closely followed by Alex Kiwomya with 4 and then Lewis Baker and Islam Feruz with 3 each. On the assists front Alex Kiwomya is in the lead with 4 assists followed by John Swift with 3 so it has been a very productive competition for those 2 players so far.
In terms of appearances it has been a fairly settled team so there are 4 players who have played every game and they are Ake, Baker, Kiwomya and Feruz. There are 6 players that have only missed one game too and they are Beeney, Christensen, Wright, Loftus-Cheek, Swift and Brown. Only 2 players however have played every minute of every game so far and they are Ake and Baker.
With the U21's now and as you are no doubt aware only the top 4 teams in the league with progress to the play offs in the U21's league and Chelsea currently find themselves in 5th place but only 3 points behind 2nd place so they are in a strong position to compete for one of those top 4 places. The results show 10 games played 5 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses.
Isaiah Brown is the current top scorer at U21's level with 7 goals followed by John Swift in second place with 5 goals and Lewis Baker and Islam Feruz with 4 each. Browns figures were greatly helped by the hat trick he scored in the last game as he had not scored in 7 games following his good early season form. Surprisingly Billy Clifford tops the assists charts with 5 having only made 5 appearances this season, 3 of those assists however came in one very impressive performance against Leicester early on. Brown and Baker follow on from Clifford in terms of assists with 4 each.
Out of the 11 U21's games played so far only 3 have appeared in all of them and they are Ake, Swift and Feruz but Christensen, Loftus-Cheek, Brown and Baker have 10 appearances to their name. Nathan Ake is the only player however to have played every minute for the U21's with Baker and Feruz not far behind. So far there have been a total of 31 players used at U21 level and only 11 of those are of an age over 18 years old and those players who are over 18 have barely played and have picked up minutes here and there like Billy Clifford, Josh McEachran, Tomas Kalas and others.
Across all 3 age levels of the academy so far there have been a total of 49 players used many of whom have featured across 2 if not all 3 age levels already this season. The overall top appearance make this season so far is Loftus-Cheek with 18 and behind him is Nathan Ake and Islam Feruz with 17 and then Lewis Baker, John Swift and Isaiah Brown with 16 each. Nathan Ake has played the most minutes with Lewis Baker in second and Islam Feruz in third.
The top scorer in the academy so far this season is Domonic Solanke with 13 goals. John Swift is having an impressive season for goals and is in second place with 10 goals and one goal behind in third with 9 goals in Ambrose Gnahore. Top of the assists so far is Alex Kiwomya with 7 assists in joint second with 6 is Solanke, Baker and Swift.
So that is where we are at this half way stage in the season and there is still a good way to go and with 13 goals already there is a good chance of Solanke finishing with a very good total of goals at the end of the season.