One Chelsea goalkeeper arrived with much fanfare after even more anticipation, but like Newton’s Third Law sort of states, if one comes, another must go. Admittedly, that’s a strained simile, but it’s been a long weekend, so you’ll just have to deal with it.
In any case, the player leaving after Édouard Mendy’s arrival isn’t Kepa but rather Academy goalkeeper Ethan Wady, who’s joined Dartford FC for the season. So, really, one’s got nothing to do with the other, but, again: long weekend complete with a pink ember nightmare.
The 18-year-old made just 3 appearances for the U18s last season in the pandemic-shortened campaign, serving as the backup to Jake Askew, who’s since been released. Wady looked to be on his way out as well, but ended up signing a one-year contract extension.
Wady moved to the UK in his early teens, joining Chelsea three seasons ago. He’s already had a half season loan at Tooting & Mitcham FC in 2019, making 9 appearances in all competitions for the seventh-tier club. Dartford play one division higher, in the National League South.
Wady heading out on loan cleans up the academy goalkeeping situation a bit.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) September 27, 2020
- Žiger the Dev Squad's main starter.
- Bergström bridges the DS and the U18s, moving up over time.
- Chibueze next in line for the U18s.
- Adegoke to work his way into the U18s when back from injury.
If you’ve never heard what a combination of a NorCal and London accent would sound like, here’s San Jose’s own Ethan Wady talking to the Dartford social media team about his expectations for the season ahead.
️ EW | '' I wanted to come and get some games this season, Dartford seems like an excellent club to be able to do that. Competition always drives the best out of goalkeepers and to be competing with @_Craig_King_ is going to be a great experience.''#dartsfc #dartfordfc pic.twitter.com/li51mG6eQ3— Dartford FC (@dartfordfc) September 27, 2020
Wady’s taking the choice that several Chelsea youth goalkeepers before him have taken, most notably Nathan Baxter, and dropping multiple levels in the football pyramid to get the sort of goalkeeping challenge he would never get at one of the most dominant youth teams in the land, and learn by the non-league fires of propah footie.
The young USA U17 international’s long-term future may not be with Chelsea, but we wish him all the best of luck at The Darts.
️ SK | '' Ethan has had a very good pre-season. He has grown with every game he has played, we needed someone who was going to push Craig and Ethan fits that bill. He has made some outstanding saves in the friendlies, there's still areas to grow.'' 1/2 #dartsfc #dartfordfc pic.twitter.com/qIBWkkh2K9— Dartford FC (@dartfordfc) September 27, 2020