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News

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ALL SET FOR HONG KONG AND TOULON

Ten Chelsea players from our Academy have arrived in Hong Kong ahead of the annual Soccer Sevens tournament there.

Dermot Drummy is taking charge of the young Blues squad for the seven-a-side tournament which begins on Saturday.

A number of players to have featured in our recent successes at Under-21 and Under-18 level are selected, includingJamal Blackman, Islam Feruz, Adam Nditi, Fankaty Dabo, Charlie Colkett and Kasey Palmer.

Billy Clifford, recently back from a loan spell with Royal Antwerp in Belgium, is also in the squad along with defenders Alex Davey and George Brady. Tom Howard, a part-time Development Centre coach at the Academy and a former youth team player, completes the group of 10.

Other teams involved in the seven-a-side tournament this year are Manchester City, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Sunderland, Rangers and 2013 winners Leicester City. The British clubs have sent young teams and are joined by a selection of local sides, which this year includes Kitchee, a first team opponent in 2011.

The main tournament begins with 16 teams split into four groups of four. Each team in a particular group plays the other, with the top two progressing to the quarter-final stage. Teams finishing third and fourth in a group contest the Main Plate knockout competition.

Those teams that qualify in first or second from the group stage, but then lose their quarter-final game, take part in the Shield knockout competition. When Chelsea last entered, in 2012, we lost the Shield final to Leicester.

This year, Sunderland, Kitchee and HKFC Captain's Select are paired with the Blues in Group B. We play all three sides on Saturday. Knockout games are played on Sunday.

Matches are seven minutes each way, rising to 10 minutes for the knockout stages of the Main Cup and the Shield Cup. There are no offsides.

If knockout games are tied, an extra-time period of four minutes will be played with the 'golden goal' rule applying. Four players from each side will contest extra time, and if there is no goal in that time a penalty shoot-out will decide the winner.

There is a Masters tournament that runs simultaneously to the main one, with former Blues Pat Nevin and Frank Sinclair representing separate local sides.

You can get more information on the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens, including ticket details, here.

Elsewhere in the world of youth football, the prestigious Toulon Tournament begins today and will also have young Chelsea representation. Josh McEachran and Nathanial Chalobah have been selected for England, for whom Steve Holland is assistant manager. Lucas Piazon will represent Brazil, while Cristian Cuevas is in Chile's squad.

The national team competition has been held in the south of France since 1974, with 10 Under-21 national sides split into two groups of five. The winners of each group then contest the final, won last year by Brazil.

Cuevas will hope to be involved when Chile take on France at 7.30pm this evening (Wednesday), before Brazil and England get their involvement underway tomorrow (Thursday) against South Korea and Qatar respectively. Their group of five is completed by Colombia. For more information on the Toulon Tournament, click here.

At 6pm today another young England team, including our own Dominic Solanke and Izzy Brown, will contest the final of the Under-17 European Championships against the Netherlands in Malta.

Solanke has scored three goals in the tournament so far, including the crucial opener against Portugal in the semi-finals, and the 16-year-old spoke to the FA's official website ahead of the game.

'Winning the Youth Cup was a massive boost before meeting up with the squad, and I've tried to carry that form through into the Euros,' Solanke said.

'We had a slow start against Portugal - but we came out fighting in the second half and ready. I was so happy to get the first goal.

'We are really focused now. Since we came here our aim was to get to the final and we have achieved it. Now we want to go the next step and win it. It's the last game of the season for everyone - we have to put it all in.'

England Under-17's final with the Netherlands is live on Eurosport later today, with coverage starting at 5.45pm UK time.

You'll be able to keep up to date with how all our youngsters get on right here on the official Chelsea website.

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