Chelsea will begin defense of the UEFA Youth League title next week, playing, just as last season, the same schedule as the senior side during the group stages. While the competition has been doubled to 64 teams to include the youth sides of other domestic champions, too (not just the teams that also qualified for the Champions League), they contest a completely different set of group stages before any potential meetings in the knockout rounds. So our U19s will also face off against Maccabi Tel-Aviv, FC Porto, and Dynamo Kiev, and since neither of those sides is called Schalke 04, we will most likely win. (Chelsea U19 have won 16 of 18 matches played in the history of this competition; the two losses have both come against Schalke.)
As per regulations, Chelsea have submitted a
40 39-man squad list, which includes several "veterans" of last year's campaign. Before each match, we will have to name 20 as the matchday squad. This flexibility is a large reason why 7 schoolboys and even one on-loan player, Jeremie Boga, has been inluded. Boga's inclusion would seem to indicate that we have a recall clause for him from Rennes in January.
#UYL teams are required to submit a 40-man squad before the tournament starts and then submit a 20-man squad for use on each matchday.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) September 10, 2015
The squad also includes Jeremie Boga in case he's recalled midway through the season; with 40 players and eligibility you might as well.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) September 10, 2015
Regulations also allow three over-age players (i.e. born before 1997), which is how Charlie Colkett, Kasey Palmer, and Ola Aina have been included. They were chosen over Charly Musonda, who has been left out. Whether that indicates a future loan or just full-time concentration on U21 matches with the occasional first-team training remains to be seen.
Chelsea U19s first match will be next week, against Maccabi Tel-Aviv. It will probably be live on Chelsea TV.
Here's the full squad (and current ages), as per UEFA's website:
Goalkeepers: Brad Collins (18), Nathan Baxter (16), Jared Thompson (16), Jamie Cumming (16)
Defenders: Ola Aina (18), Jake Clarke-Salter (17), Jay Dasilva (17), Richard Nartey (17), Ali Suljic (17), Fikayo Tomori (17), Trevor Chalobah (16), Cole Dasilva (16), Josh Grant (16), Dujon Sterling (15), Zech Medley (15), Marc Guehi (15)
Midfielders: Charlie Colkett (19), Jeremie Boga (18), Josimar Quintero (18), Hubert Adamczyk (17), Ali Mukhtar (17), Isaac Christie-Davies (17), Ruben Sammut (17), Kyle Scott (17), Jacob Maddox (16), Luke McCormick (16), Mason Mount (16), Harvey St Clair (16), Tariq Uwakwe (15), George McEachran (15)
Forwards: Kasey Palmer (18), Tammy Abraham (17), Faiq Bolkiah (17), Miro Muheim (17), Charlie Wakefield (17), Daniel Kemp (16), Ike Ugbo (16), Malakai Hinckson-Mars (16), Martell Taylor-Crossdale (15)