The pre-season football tour started just outside the colossal fortress of Wembley stadium. With a fresh squad, a new team of coaches and most importantly, Mr Bradnam taking up his new role as head of football, aspirations for the coming season were as high as could be.
The tour began at Wembley stadium. The gargantuan 90,000 seater stadium, the spacious changing room of the England team and of course, the freshly cut battleground pitch, left us all enthused for Home Close to rise to the same inspirational standards as this arena.
However, time for dreaming had to be set aside, as the intense Chelsea FC training programme was calling for a new squad of players to come and leave their mark upon the Cobham training ground.
We were left in the steady hands of Chelsea’s finest coaches, whose task was to put us through our paces over three days and prepare us for the new season.
In hope of Chelsea scouts watching, we hit the ground running, with three different sessions focusing on midfield play, defense and attack.
The favourite session for many was on the final day. In a last ditch attempt to impress Frank Lampard or any passing Chelsea scouts, with blistered feet and strained muscles we conducted an almighty 11-a-side match in the indoor facilities, putting all our hard pre-season work together.
The final score is unknown to this day, but is rumoured to be in the region of 11-8 to the black team, due to some shoddy defensive blunders in the closing minutes from the white team.
Nonetheless, the new Gaffa looked pleased with the pre-season results. So, after stealing all the possible Chelsea drills Mr Bradman could remember, we headed to McDonalds for a final pit-stop before returning to school.
Toby Turpin (StA)