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Smith Hoping for a Positive Season

Nathan Salmon

Chelsea captain Mark Smith says that training at Cobham ‘is just as exciting now, as it was the first time.’

Chelsea Amputees will compete in The EAFA National Football League for the first this weekend thanks to the support of the Chelsea FC Foundation.

And leading the squad is captain Mark Smith, who is heading into his fifth season in amputee football.

A man of many accolades, such as Britain’s Strongest Disabled man and many years of service in the British Army, Smith is also a Blues fan and regularly attends Stamford Bridge, so pulling on the lion-crested blue shirt is sentimental.

“I don’t think that feeling is ever going to wear off,” he said.

Every week, the squad trains at Cobham, the breeding ground for players such as; John Terry, Reece James and Mason Mount, just to name a few, with the amputee squad sharing this space.

Smith believes it is a perfect motivator for his team.

He said: “we’ve been there six or seven months now and it is just as exciting now as it was the first time.

“I keep having to pinch myself.

“The club have gone above and beyond in terms of helping us and making us feel a part of the club.”

With the league officially starting this weekend, Chelsea face Everton and Arsenal at Reaseheath College in Nantwich and despite them being a fairly new team, the captain says his squad are well prepared.

“I said to the lads at the last training session, that Chelsea have kept to their end of the bargain, even going above and beyond what we hoped they would offer us, and the league is our turn to repay some of that enthusiasm, time and effort that they have put into us.

“We’ve got two or three fantastic coaches that the club have assigned to us, and we owe it to them and the club to go and have a really positive first season at Chelsea FC,” said Smith.

Chelsea training sessions are open to all ages and coaching some of the younger players gives him great inspiration.

He said: “I really get a buzz and a rewarding feeling working with the younger players and I hope that once someone comes to Cobham for the first time, they want to come back.

“We have put in place something that will be in place long after I have done playing, there will be some top-quality young players coming through to represent the club.

“That’s what I’m most proud of.”

Chelsea training takes place on selected Saturdays 2-4pm at the Chelsea FC Cobham Training Ground. Membership for the season is £30.

For more information contact Ellie Crabb on:


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