The Young Generation: Neil Bath on plotting pathways and his pride in Porto

Bath is keen not to dismiss the mountains of work done with the younger boys in the Academy. The full-time school programme has continued throughout the season, albeit virtually for much of the academic year in line with UK Government restrictions. Similarly, coaching has continued with our youngest players, with technology playing a greater part in the programme given the limited contact time available.

Naturally, the end of a season sees some players leave the club, many going on to join other professional academies or senior teams. For those who find themselves pursuing a different avenue, the Chelsea Academy has an extensive post-16 education and welfare programme in place as well to provide appropriate aftercare support.

Marcel Lewis, Jonathan Russell, Jack Wakely and Pierre Ekwah Elimby all depart this month, as does more senior graduate Izzy Brown.

‘This time of the season is the part when you have to make difficult decisions in regards to retain and release,’ adds Bath. ‘We are always determined to help any player in their chosen pathway, in or out of football, for as many years needed.