The 2013/14 Chelsea Academy Player of the Year has been won by Lewis Baker, to add to the Goal of the Season prize he picked up earlier in the evening.
The club’s annual awards ceremony is taking place right now in the Great Hall at Stamford Bridge. Hosts for the evening are Chelsea TV’s Gigi Salmon and Trevor Nelson, the Radio 1 DJ and a Chelsea season ticket holder.
Baker has enjoyed a fine season for our Academy sides at Under-21 and Under-19 level, and was rewarded with a first team debut as a late substitute in the FA Cup win at Derby. He was also on the bench, though remained an unused sub, for our Capital One Cup win at Swindon in September and more recently at Anfield when we defeated Liverpool.
On receiving the award, his second of the night, Baker said: ‘Even to win one award is an amazing feeling and for me to get this award as well tonight is a great achievement.’
The 19-year-old has scored 17 times from midfield this season across the Under-21 Premier League, the UEFA Youth League and the Under-21 Premier League Cup, with the most recent goal, away to Arsenal, voted the 2013/14 Chelsea Goal of the Season earlier in the night.
Supporters were given the opportunity to register their vote on this website from a selection of 10 outstanding goals, with Baker’s deemed to be the pick of the bunch.
The young midfielder was playing for our Under-21 side at the Emirates when he met Islam Feruz’s centre with a mid-air flick that flew into the bottom corner in a game we eventually went on to win 2-1.
Baker’s performances in midfield have helped our Under-21 side reach the Under-21 Premier League play-off final, which we contest against Manchester United on Wednesday night. He has featured in all but one Under-21 Premier League game this season.
Shortly before Baker received his second gong of the evening Cesar Azpilicueta won the Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year award.
The award, which was voted for by members of the first team squad and technical staff, went to Azpilicueta after a fantastic second season at Stamford Bridge.
Having been mostly deployed at what was an unfamiliar position of left-back for most of the season, the Spaniard has displayed exceptional consistency throughout. His hard-working, disciplined and decisive performances over the course of the season have played a major part in our defence being the tightest in the league. He also scored his first goal for the club in the Capital One Cup win at Arsenal back in October.