Chelsea’s search for the next Asian star is coming back for its seventh year in a bid to increase greater participation at all levels of the game.
The club launched ‘Asian Star’ in 2009 and it has grown in popularity ever since. Last year 400 young players attended the event at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground.
It was initially the first scheme of its kind, with Chelsea being the only professional club providing this sort of opportunity to Asian communities.
Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta has this year lent his support to the initiative.
He said: “Chelsea are doing a lot of work in the community and Asian Star is another example of that."
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“It is very important we do our bit in the community and the event gives kids a great opportunity to show what they can do to all the scouts and other people watching.”
While at the event players compete in a series of matches and tests to demonstrate their speed, skill and ability. This year, Chelsea are also inviting managers, coaches and scouts from various clubs at all levels of the game to try and identify talented youngsters.
As well as earning a place at the Chelsea Foundation’s Football Development Centre, the Premier League giants say that seven winners have gone onto join the academies of different professional clubs.
Azpilicueta added: “We need to encourage more young Asian players to play football so it is important Chelsea are trying to help this.
“This has been a success for many years and gives dreams to children who might not have had chances like this before.”
The event will return on May 25, with applications for players aged 9-12 now open at www.chelseafc.com/asianstar