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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 9 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 2, 2007

Kenyon pledges Chelsea will blood youth

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is confident the club will reap the rewards of its academy investment but admits young talent face a 'difficult' task breaking into Jose Mourinho's first team. Despite a number of England internationals currently being on the Blues' books, skipper John Terry is the only first-team regular to have come through the ranks at Stamford Bridge with the remainder all multi-million pound arrivals. The FA Cup holders recently unveiled their state-of-the-art training headquarters in Cobham, with work on the new academy set to be complete in 12 months, as the club step up their attempts to increase their influx of homegrown stars. And Kenyon revealed that is where the club's long-term priorities lie. He said: 'We think it is critically important to develop our own talent and bring it through. Once you have done that, the affinity that everyone has with that player within the club is immeasurable. 'What we are doing here is putting in the facilities that will attract the very best footballers - whether it is a Kaka, so that he would be blown away by the facilities - or equally a 12-year-old or a 16-year-old with his parents who know that he is going to be looked after. 'If you talk about stability for building foundations for the future Cobham really underpins it. 'I think it says we are going to be around for a long time and we are going to be serious for an awful long time to come. That's a great message to send to everyone. 'In 12 months time there will be an academy building 100 metres away and it is aspirational.' Although Kenyon, speaking in an interview with ChelseaTV, admits the club's young talent face a daunting task breaking into a first-team squad already brimming with world-class players. He said: 'I think it is always difficult. It is easy to say we have two right-backs, let's go and get two more right-backs who are better than the ones we have got - that's the challenge. 'But we have had people out in LA with us. We have got a good young crop coming back. We have put the other players who are not quite ready to join the first-team squad out to other teams to learn the skills so I think we have a great plan in place. 'I think we will start to see very quickly players coming through who have come through that structure.'