Culture3 September 2019
Footballers from 11 youth teams got a taste of the big time in May when they ran out onto the hallowed turf of Stamford Bridge as part of Hyundai FC.
As an official partner of Chelsea FC, this initiative – part of the For The Fans campaign – shows Hyundai’s commitment to football at all levels of the game; from grassroots players, coaches and parents to the elite-level through its sponsorship of Chelsea FC and partnership with FIFA.
The 11 teams – made up of boys and girls from across the country ranging in age from Under-8s to Under-16s – were invited to Stamford Bridge along with their coaches and families to launch the initiative. First, they were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium during which they got to see the press room, sit in the first team changing room, walk down the tunnel, and experience the nerve-tingling view of the stadium from the edge of the pitch.
Then it was time for a pep talk from UEFA-qualified Chelsea FC Foundation coaches and first team legend Gus Poyet.
“Everyone was so excited to get on the pitch and meet Gus,” said Hyundai Brand Experience Senior Manager Susie Jacques. “He spoke about his experiences growing up, explained that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that one day some of them might be back here playing for Chelsea. He was very inspirational!”
After the team talk came the moment everyone had been waiting for; the chance to lace up their boots and play on the same blades of grass as Willian, Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kanté. The teams took part in skills sessions and mini matches on the famous pitch under the expert eye of Gus and the Chelsea coaching staff. Finally, each club was presented with bespoke training plans to help them develop over the coming months.
JUST THE BEGINNING
But the action-packed day was just the start of what is sure to be a fantastic season for these 11 teams.
They have already received new kits for the 2019/20 campaign complete with Hyundai FC badges on the sleeve and front, as well as tracksuits and training tops.
But representing Hyundai FC means a lot more than just looking good. In the coming months, each team will be visited by Chelsea FC Foundation coaches who will meet with their coach to discuss the players, their ability, and their usual training regime, before the Chelsea coaches deliver a tailored training session.
Then, in September, the team coaches will be invited to Chelsea’s state-of-the-art training ground at Cobham for a coaching masterclass, followed by an opportunity to watch the men’s first team train and meet some of the players. Finally, a few months after that, the clubs will get a second visit from the Chelsea Foundation coaches, to see how they are getting on.