Charlie checks in at Chelsea
on February 5, 2016
Soccer Elite FA are proud to announce that Swadelands under 8 player Charlie Bell has been offered a two year contract with Chelsea.
Charlie, from Snodland, will formally sign to become a Chelsea player in March and follows in the footsteps of his sister Taylor in signing for a professional club; Taylor joined the books of Millwall last season along with fellow SEFA girl Mallie Bates.
A skilful and tenacious left-footer, Charlie first came to the attention of the SEFA staff when he attended one of our Maidstone Soccer Schools during the 2013/14 season, and quickly made his way through the SEFA Player Development Pathway to our Friday Elite sessions at Swadelands.
After taking part in showpiece fixtures against the likes of Millwall, Brighton and Chelsea, Charlie started training with Chelsea in March 2015 after being scouted by the London giants. Charlie’s mum Michelle takes up the story: “Charlie started with Chelsea nearly a year ago and worked his way through their development centre to academy sessions, and in the last 3 months he has been in their advanced group at Cobham.
“After moving to Cobham Charlie was involved in fixtures against other clubs, and off the back of this he received his offer to formally join the academy last week.
“In the last few months his strength and skills with the ball have really developed, he can express himself with his dribbling and he listens and picks up very quickly what is asked of him and he loves doing it.
“When he was told he was offered a place in the team he was very happy and couldn’t wait to go straight into training! He knows it’s hard work but he enjoys every minute of it. We are so proud of his achievements and his attitude towards everything he’s done, he always takes everything in his stride and he’s happy whenever he is training or playing.”
Michelle also offered her thoughts on how SEFA helped Charlie’s early development: “SEFA gave Charlie the platform to develop and learn and I believe ignited his passion for playing the game.
“He loved the SEFA coaches and especially training with Whitey and Croucher, and during his time with SEFA he was given various opportunities to play at professional clubs and I think these games gave him the determination to get there himself.”
SEFA coach Ryan Croucher, who worked with Charlie at our Swadelands centre, is understandably proud of our young star’s achievements to date: “It is absolutely fantastic to see Charlie earn a deal with Chelsea and it is no less than he deserves.
“Charlie has always stood out as a player who not only has excellent technique and game understanding, but as someone who’s attitude and desire to learn has meant he is always improving and pushing his game with every session and match he is involved in.
“He has dealt with every challenge that has been presented to him including training with older players and taking part in our fixtures against professional teams. With Charlie’s ability to take on and overcome challenges, it was no shock to see that he kept impressing at Chelsea and has moved all the way from a local development centre player to a fully fledged academy footballer.
“Charlie is a shining example of the unbelieveable talent we have at our Swadelands centre and no doubt there are plenty more players who will be following him onto the books of professional clubs.
“We look forward to following Charlie’s progress at Cobham as he takes these next steps in his footballing journey!”