Having scored in the UEFA Youth League semi-finals for a second successive season, Chelsea skipper Charlie Colkett thinks his team are well equipped to complete their title defence.
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For Chelsea captain Charlie Colkett it is "amazing" to be back in the UEFA Youth League final – with Monday's showpiece match against Paris Saint-Germain one he believes the defending champions can approach with total "confidence".
Central midfielder Colkett produced an authoritative display capped by Chelsea's second goal in the 3-0 semi-final dismantling of Anderlecht. He regards Friday's performance as a strong statement of intent from the London club, saying: "I thought it was great at times. We showed how good we could be on the ball, we were very composed and we didn't concede, which was really important for us. It was a great game."
Colkett's own individual moment of glory came just before the hour, yet if it was the 19-year-old's first goal of the entire campaign, it was hardly without precedent. In last season's semi-final against Roma, Colkett struck early in the second half; this time his was a 56th-minute intervention at the Colovray Sports Centre, dispatching a cool low finish from Mason Mount's cross after an interchange between the skipper, Kyle Scott and Mount.
"It was amazing to win, especially 3-0, and to keep a clean sheet – to be in another final just like last year is amazing," continued the Londoner, before issuing a manifesto on behalf of Adi Viveash's team. "We've got a lot of strengths. We have good power at the back, ball players, people who like to get stuck in, and Tammy Abraham [eight goals in eight games this season] who can score goals up front. I think we have a great balance."
Colkett also played the 90 minutes of last year's decider against Shakhtar Donetsk – a 3-2 victory – and thinks his side are benefiting from the lessons learned 12 months ago in Nyon. "You have to take all the confidence built from last year's experience into these games and we clearly did that against Anderlecht. Hopefully we can carry that on in the final."
If they do so, it would put the seal on a memorable week for a player who made his first appearance in a Premier League matchday squad in Chelsea's game at Swansea City on 9 April.