Conte encouraged by Youth Cup triumph

Antonio Conte says Chelsea’s FA Youth Cup triumph showed they have players with real potential.

Conte watched alongside club owner Roman Abramovich as Chelsea won the trophy for the fourth season in a row, beating Manchester City in a one-sided second leg at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues boss was encouraged by what he saw but acknowledges it remains difficult for players at top clubs to make the step up from youth level.

“We watched the game together. It is always good to see Mr Abramovich and to see our team win for the fourth time in a row – it was good,” Conte said.

“In this team I saw four or five with good prospects for the future, but you know that it is not easy for them to be Chelsea players in the first team.

“Because of this gap, it is not simple, not only for Chelsea but also other teams. But we must be proud of our work in the academy.

“We have four players (in the first-team squad) from the academy in Nathan Ake, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nathaniel Chalobah and Ola Aina and I think this is great.”