Chelsea F.C have announced that their ground-breaking Asian Star initiative will return for an eighth year in May, and promises to be bigger and better than ever.
The scheme, the first of its kind undertaken by a professional football club, is designed to give a much-needed boost to Asian participation at all levels of the game. This year’s event will take place on Monday 30th May at Cobham training ground.
World Cup Winner and Chelsea Forward, Pedro, has lent his support to this year's Asian Star initiative, he said;
‘Chelsea are doing a lot of work in the community and Asian Star is another example of that,’
'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.
'We need more young Asian players in the Premier League and in general here in the UK and in Europe 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.’
Former Chelsea striker and club ambassador Tore Andre Flo was in attendance to cast his eye over those playing last year as more than 300 youngsters attended the event.
Flo, who played for Chelsea between 1997 and 2000 and now works as a coach in the Academy, was making his first appearance at Asian Star and was hugely impressed with both the day and the talent on show.
He said: ‘It’s great for the club to be involved in a project like this. Chelsea are involved in a lot of great things for children, including developing grassroots football and most of all allowing children to enjoy themselves which they do on such a day like this.
‘It must be a great day for the children, coming here to Cobham and using these facilities at Chelsea Football Club. I can imagine that this day is like a great adventure for them.
‘Chelsea are doing a great job with grassroots football especially with events like Asian Star, which is why I enjoy being involved with this club.’
Asian Star was launched in 2009 and has grown in size ever since, with those attending competing in a series of matches and tests to examine speed, skill and ability. The winners in each age group are all invited to join the Chelsea Foundation’s Football Development Centres.
Chelsea will also be inviting managers, coaches and scouts from clubs at all levels of the game to identify talented youngsters. Workshops and useful information will also be available on the day for parents.
Chelsea F.C first team players have recently been showing their support for the campaign by holding the red cards in their native language. Click here for more information.