We all have our Chelsea origin stories. Some of us were born into it. Some of us came via video games or books or TV broadcasts. Some by force, some by choice, some by luck and some by random chance. Some had rational reasons; for some it was pure emotion. Ethan Ampadu did it to spite dear old Dad.
As he tells the official Chelsea website, Ethan Ampadu chose to support Chelsea to “go against” his father, Kwame, a former Arsenal player, presumably still an Arsenal fan and, since 2012, an Arsenal youth coach.
Ampadu’s Chelsea fandom has certainly seen its share of ups and downs, trophies and tears, sometimes all at once like for so many of us on that fine May 19, six years ago, when an 11-year-old Ethan watched his beloved Blues ascend to the top of the Europe.
“When Bayern Munich scored I was probably crying, getting angry at the TV! Then I saw my favourite player Drogba do what he does best, step up and score that header and then the penalty. Thankfully we won.”
Ethan played as a striker back then in his youth teams as well, but has since developed into one of the most promising defenders and midfielders in England. As one of the youngest players to ever represent Chelsea or Wales in senior competitions, the sky is the limit for the 18-year-old.
Armed with a new five-year contract, his only job now is to work hard and keep impressing.
“I have now got to keep working hard in training, trying to do the right things, and we will see what goes from there. Hopefully it will turn into some opportunities, but even if it doesn’t I have just got to keep working hard and hopefully the time will come.”
He’s actually only been here for a little over a year, but his meteoric rise has been something truly fantastic to behold. The tricky part, as ever, will be to keep that going, but he certainly seems to have the right attitude at least.
“On the pitch I would definitely say I have learned a lot. I have learned off exceptional, world-class players every day. Even off the pitch I think I have matured as a person, being around very experienced men who have done a lot in the game. Compared to them I have not really done anything, so I would definitely say I have matured as a person which only helps me in life as well.
“It’s all down to the players. They helped me settle in, and it’s not just me, every new player or youngster that comes in, they’re all good and help the player settle.
“I’d like to think my game has significantly improved since I have been here. I have learned a lot from the experiences I have gratefully had so far, and I have still got a lot to learn. Now I only want to keep working hard for more.”
More more more. It’s only the beginning. Having already achieved so many things others can only dream about — playing for his favorite team, representing his country, making his Premier League debut — he wants more more more. In the midnight hour, with a rebel yell, more more more.
“My feet are still on the ground because I have a lot to do. My dad will definitely keep my feet on the ground, and my family, and everyone here. I will keep my feet on the ground because I know I have got a lot to do, and I’ve only had a small taste of what I would like to achieve.”
-Ethan Ampadu; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.