Chelsea FC Academy Under 6 Fun Festival
The Arena, Chelsea FC Training Ground, Stoke d’Abernon
Saturday 22nd October 2016
The Club’s U6 Mini-Rangers had their first taste of Club football today when they travelled to Cobham for the Chelsea FC U6 Fun Festival.
One of eight teams invited to the event, the festival also heralded the opening of Chelsea’s new Indoor Arena training complex, giving the boys an opportunity to play on 3G, while parents and siblings cheered the team on from the sidelines.
Managing the team were Adam ‘Mourhino’ Maltby of Woking FC and Sean ‘Conte’ Crooke, WRFC Club Development Officer.
The event lived up to its name as the boys had fun battling it out with teams that included FC Real, Hearts of Tedlothian, Cookham, Bedfont, Ruislip Rangers, Ashford and APB Barnet. The team played seven, 10-minute matches, utilising a 4v4 format with roll on/off substitutes, no goal kicks or corners. A multi-ball system was used to keep play flowing and occasionally caused a few upsets when the boys found themselves chasing the wrong ball at one end of the pitch!
The standard was high and the sportsmanship excellent, from both players and spectators. Our U6s truly excelled themselves and were a credit to their Club, playing 7, winning 2, drawing 1 and losing four matches. Our first two matches were probably the toughest, against sides with an obvious academy line-up. It’s breathtaking to watch five-six year olds performing step-overs and the odd Cruyff turn – whether they are on your team or not! Even more entertaining was watching the expression on Adam’s and Sean’s faces when they were up against an opposition manager sporting a tactics board – which he proceeded to use with his squad!
This was truly a team effort by a hard-working group of players. That said, special mention in this match report to Callum for opening the team’s account against FC Real and to Oscar for some sterling work between the sticks, saving his team mates on many an occasion, including one where he transformed himself dramatically into a true ‘sweeper-keeper’!
A big thank you to Alex Osbaldeston for co-ordinating the kit loan for today with the U7s (thanks guys, it will be returned shortly….) and to Craig Carter of CD Carter and Co. for the purchase of Club jackets for all the players in the U6 squad.
Those who were able to turn out today looked like the real deal as a result!
Finally, a big thank-you to Brian Mustill and his team at Chelsea FC for our invitation and for providing a truly memorable experience for some of our Mini-Rangers.
A selection of individual player photos follows….