The Chelsea U18 youth team have won the south section of the U18 Premier League for the third successive season following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Leicester City at their training ground in Aylestone. The Baby Blues clinched the title with two games to spare, while Reading, Arsenal, and West Ham fight it out for the rest of the top four.
The four best teams from both the South and North sections (the latter dominated by Manchester City) advance to the top group in the second phase, the winner of which mini-league will then earn qualification in the UEFA Youth League — though this is likely a non-issue for Chelsea this season with the senior team looking likely to return to the Champions League after a year’s absence. (The youth teams of all Champions League group stage participants automatically qualify for the Youth League.)
Chelsea were unable to defend our back-to-back titles in Europe’s premier youth competition with the first-team finishing just tenth and the U18s finishing just third in last year’s second phase and UEFA not granting an extra spot to the defending champions for whatever reason.
In any case, congrats to the kids and head coach Jody Morris!
Incidentally, the next game for the U18s is another trip to Leicester, this time in the quarterfinals of the FA Youth Cup. Chelsea are the defending back-to-back-to-back Youth Cup champions and have made the final six out of the last seven years, winning five times.