Date and venue set for FA Youth Cup fifth round at Liverpool

Ed Brand’s youngsters have already dispatched Leyton Orient and Watford to reach round five and now face a trip to Merseyside, where they will take on a Reds team that were beaten finalists last term.

The tie will take place on Saturday 29 January, kick-off 5.30pm at Liverpool’s Kirkby Academy. Unfortunately, entry to spectators will not be permitted.

Petr Cech column: Timeless Thiago and the pain of retirement

My decision to retire

When you decide to retire, there are usually one of three reasons why:

1. Your body can’t perform at the highest level anymore because it has deteriorated as you get older.
2. You have had enough mentally – enough of the same routine, travelling, training, hotel, pressure, demands – and you have fallen out of love with the game.
3. You want to carry on, you have the same motivation, but your body tells you to stop.

You must consider all three when you’re getting older. The race is against your age and the fact the body could lose its performance.

In my case it was my body that told me to stop. I played in pain every day for the last two years. It was my ankle and my Achilles. It never went away, and it just got worse, even in normal life.

I realised the pleasure of being on the pitch, being part of a team and playing in the best league in the world was keeping me going, but it was the moment to give the body a break. If you feel like you can’t enjoy anything because of the pain, it’s time to stop.

Chelsea Women’s Continental Cup semi-final draw revealed

The Blues cruised to victory on Wednesday night with a 4-2 win over West Ham United following a phenomenal hat-trick from Pernille Harder and a further goal from Erin Cuthbert.

The draw for the semi-final took place this afternoon on Talksport 2 with Emma Hayes’ squad set to welcome Manchester United to Kingsmeadow on either Wednesday 2 or Thursday 3 February. Further details and ticket information will follow in the coming days.

Elsewhere in the draw, Manchester City will host Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea will be hoping to take the Conti Cup title for the third consecutive year, having beaten Bristol City last season and Arsenal in 2020.

Join Gus Poyet for Chelsea vs Spurs – only on The 5th Stand!

Matchday Live

Join us live on The 5th Stand app from 3:25pm on Sunday, 23 January for exclusive pre-match analysis and post-match reaction from Poyet.

3.25pm – 4pm: Pre-match – the studio panel relive their favourite moments from Gus’s career, as well as sharing the latest team news and pre-match build up.

6:30pm – 7pm: Post-match – relive the highlights and talking points from the game with our studio panel and Poyet.

Back to school with the Premier League Inspires programme!

As part of the Inspires programme, we also deliver a range of workshops around female empowerment, mental health and well-being and LGBTQI+ awareness. Next steps for Chelsea Foundation includes establishing an LGBTQI+ youth voice session at The Winston Churchill School, a local partner school in Woking.

Isaac Keighley, Chelsea Foundation’s education officer, said: ‘It’s been brilliant to see the excitement that has been created by the Premier League Inspires programme! All the groups are eager to impress and create the most impactful social action as possible – with a wide range of innovative ideas.

‘The highlight for me is seeing how much each student’s confidence has increased and how they are all now sharing their ideas, with clear leaders developing within each group.’

Valeria, a student taking part in the programme, added: ‘I have enjoyed being part of a team because I don’t always feel like that. I have learned a lot during the lessons, particularly about bullying and cyber-bullying.’

To find out more about Chelsea Foundation’s education programmes, contact foundation.education@chelseafc.com