A True Blue at heart, Chelsea right-back Todd Kane has become sort of a cult hero to some due to his talkative persona not only in the press but also on social media. And for maintaining ambitions such as becoming a Chelsea legend.
"I don't just want to play one or two games for Chelsea. If they offered me a 10-year contract, I'd take it now. I support Chelsea, I've been there a long time, my whole family is from the area - it's the ultimate goal. What you saw with Ryan Giggs at Manchester United, that's what I want to be at Chelsea."
"A lot of clubs are interested. Clubs came in for me in January, but I had a talk with Chelsea. Everything has gone well here [at NEC] and I don't want to change that. I signed for NEC for a year and I'm not the type of person to go against his word, even though the clubs that were interested were very big and it'd be nice to play there. I could have gone but I felt that at this time in my career, I should just keep going. Don't fix what isn't broken."
The 22-year-old defender has been with Chelsea since 2001, having joined the club at the Under-8 level. His debut for the U18 side came in the 2009-10 season, and in the youth ranks he had the opportunity to play with (and lead as captain) many prized youngsters, most of whom have already left the club in search of a more stable career.
Kane reminisced of the days when he and his colleagues dominated other team's academies in England, and claimed that it's due time for someone of the group - including himself - to be fully integrated into Chelsea's first-team.
"When I was younger, we were probably the best academy in the country, one of the best in the world. We would go to tournaments and win them. I've won a lot with reserves and youth teams."
"I think it's time for someone like myself or from the group of us who won the youth cup [to come through], and there will be a time when a few lads get into the team. When that'll be I don't know, but it will happen."
"I've got about nearly 100 games so they can't say anything about my experience. I'm learning all the time."
Kane's enthusiasm when talking about the prospect of finally playing a part in Chelsea's first-team is exhilarating, but the reality of the situation is that even our highest profile loanees have a hard time making that crucial, final step. While Kane is still optimistic about his chances and doesn't plan to leave the club until he's shoved out, he knows he might have to look for alternatives at the beginning of the next season.
"Unless I get the boot, I'm not going anywhere. If clubs in the Championship come in for me, and I'm sure there will be a few, I wouldn't do it. If there was a club in Europe, I'd choose that over the Championship."
"If I have to go on loan or anything to get my chance [with Chelsea], whatever it is, I'll do it. But if it's not Chelsea, then I'm sure there'll be other clubs."
"My agent had a meeting with Chelsea. You have one year away, you go back, sit down and have a talk about the coming season. I'm not thinking about next year at all."
"I'll get this year out the way, get my head down, and then come the end of the season I'll review it. I'm not back at Chelsea until July, so there's time to go on holiday, think, have meetings and see what options are on the table."
-Todd Kane; source: Goal
With a new manager in town, hopes of seeing Kane and other prospects get a shot at making that transition into the first-team have been rekindled. But the road for these youngsters to a Chelsea career remains long and difficult.
Todd Kane might still make it though. Against all odds.