For the 10 young soccer enthusiasts attending the inaugural Samsung-Chelsea FC Dream The Blues camp in Cobham, London, yesterday turned out to be an exciting day.
Except for Yam Jiajan from China and Brazilian Antonio Victor Arruda, who got injured during the morning training session at the Chelsea Training Centre.
Jiajan, who had scribes in stitches as he somehow managed to kick the ball smack into his face during the warm-up kick-about, ended up drawing everybody’s sympathy when he injured his right arm after falling awkwardly.
He had to be rushed to hospital, crying hysterically, while the talented Arruda twisted his left ankle just towards the end of the two-hour session conducted by youth coaches Steve Winnett and Oliver Woodall.
The two South Africans, Goitsemang Lengene (12) and Mvelo Mvuleni (10) lived up to their promise and showed some great skills during training, especially when the players were split into two groups for a game of soccer.
Then it was off to Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football club, where the group, including parents, guardians and members of the media were taken on a tour.
It started at the museum, where the entire club’s history is kept, with pictures of all the greats such as Bobby Tambling – scorer of 202 goals, a record recently broken by Frank Lampard – Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba and the current crop of stars including John Terry and Fernando Torres.
The stadium still stands on the site where it has been since the club was founded on March 10, 1905.
It has become a huge complex with two luxury hotels, restaurants, the museum and a megastore.
The young players sat in the Press Room where the players usually have post match interviews, and also visited the change-room and the dugout.
The only restriction was not being allowed to walk on the pitch that will host Chelsea’s final Barclays Premiership match against Everton on Sunday.
There was a commotion towards the end of the tour and everybody ran towards the entrance at the news that Nigerian star Victor Moses was in the area but the entourage just missed him.
As fate would have it, no sooner had the group settled in their bus then towering Brazilian defender David Luiz drove up in a sleek black sedan, stopped in front of the bus to sign an autograph for a lucky fan who was at the right place at the right time, and drove away before any member of the party could snap a picture of him.
» S’Busiso Mseleku is in London courtesy of Samsung SA
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