Chelsea set to launch eighth Asian Star initiative

The winners along with Sam Khan (centre) and Tore Andre Flo after the Asian Stars event at Cobham Training Ground

Chelsea’s ground-breaking Asian Star initiative returns for an eighth year in May.

The first of its kind undertaken by a professional football club, the scheme is designed to give a much-needed boost to Asian participation at all levels of the game.

More than 300 youngsters attended last year’s event, with former Chelsea striker and club ambassador Tore Andre Flo (pictured above) casting his eye over those playing, before handing out the trophies at the Blues’ Cobham training ground.

Flo, who played for Chelsea between 1997 and 2000 and now works in the club’s 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 trying to develop grassroots football and most of all allowing children to enjoy themselves, which they do on such a day like this.

The crowd cheer after the Asian Stars event at Cobham Training Ground

“It must be a great day for the children, coming to Cobham and using the facilities at Chelsea. 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 it’s so great to be 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 were 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.

Asian Star returns on Monday 30 May, with applications for players aged 9-12 now open – click here for more details.