Chelsea Academy Player of the Year Conor Gallagher is one of the many youngsters who were invited to training camp with Frank Lampard last Friday, and while he may not be staying too much longer beyond yesterday’s preseason friendly, it’s been a fantastic learning opportunity already. Gallagher, like many others who have come through the youth system in the past decade, considers Lampard one of his idols, after all, which has only been adding to the whole experience.
“It’s great working under the gaffer and I have to say that Frank was my idol growing up, so it’s fantastic to have him here as manager. I’m buzzing with how things are going and I can’t believe it really. Winning Academy Player of the Year was fantastic and then to travel with the squad to Baku was great.”
Gallagher was only named to the bench for the Europa League final but he was one of the starters last night against Bohemians, putting in a solid shift as the nominal No.10 behind Michy Batshuayi and flanked by the equally willing Kasey Palmer and the always hard-working Pedro. Together with the two deeper-lying midfielders Ethan Ampadu and Danny Drinkwater, the front players showed plenty of willingness and desire to play Lampard’s up-tempo, aggressive, high pressing game — certainly when compared to the second half bunch — and Gallagher came away with plenty of credit from his 45-minute shift (was probably one of the “young lads” praised afterwards by Lampard).
“I enjoyed it, it was a good game and it was good to be back out there playing a proper game. Obviously the main thing is all about getting fit and that’s what pre-season is for. It’s not about the result, it’s about getting fit, even though of course we would have liked to have won the game
“It wasn’t our best performance and you could tell that we weren’t quite at it, but it’s about getting that sharpness back and that’s what these games are for. You could tell that they were slightly ahead in that respect, because they are midway through their season, but it was a good, tough game and they are a decent side, for sure.”
Gallagher is one of the most promising midfielders coming through the Academy. Whatever may be next for the 19-year-old, you know he’s going to be great. Though maybe he’s going to have to wait until next summer to truly get his shot with the first-team.
“Being part of the squad out here is great and I’m really enjoying myself. I just want to keep working hard now.”
-Conor Gallagher; source: Chelsea FC
That’s the spirit!