It is not just on the field that young players in the Academy are encouraged to thrive, but in every aspect of life, including their academic studies. While juggling development as young professionals with post-16 qualifications can be challenging, every effort is made to support dual aspirations with the aim of broadening horizons and maintaining interests away from football.
Development squad defender Jack Wakely is one such youngster who has continued his studies long after the required exams have been taken. When his work at Cobham is finished and he heads home after lunch and swaps trading tackles with trading stocks as part of his Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Financial Trading. Earlier this month, the 20-year-old received confirmation that he had achieved the higher education qualification.
‘I really enjoyed it and I’m now speaking about what I can do next,’ he told the official Chelsea website. ‘I’m not sure if I will be able to on top of all my football so maybe it would be best when my career is finished but I’m open to finding out if there is anything I can do while I’m still playing.
‘There are specific things I like to trade like indices and currencies but I’m not so confident with bonds. I enjoyed the technical analysis a lot, especially when we were down in London and we could hear the financial news coming in – having to react quickly and put trades on was a part I really enjoyed.’