Gary Richards | Chelsea trip an ideal test for U23s

12th July 2019

Gary Richards believes Swansea City Under-23s’ pre-season friendly with Chelsea will provide an ideal test as they step up their preparations for the new campaign.

The development side travel to Cobham Training Ground to face the young Blues, who finished sixth in Premier League 2 Division One last season.

It will be the young Swans’ second warm-up game ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, having opened with a narrow 2-0 defeat against Southern League side Merthyr Town last weekend.

After fielding a youthful side at the Met Coaches Stadium, Richards revealed that several youngsters will be given another opportunity to shine in West London.

And while the under-23s coach accepts that fitness is the main focus for his players, he has encouraged them to capitalise on any chance that falls their way.

“The game is just the sort of test we’re looking for,” he said.

“We’ve played Chelsea a few times in recent years, so we’re well aware of their quality and, at their training ground, we know there will be a very good playing surface.

“We want to build on last weekend’s performance at Merthyr.

“We took a very young squad there and, apart from the two goals we conceded, we were reasonably pleased with the performance and got out of it what we were hoping for.

“We’ll be taking nine of 10 under-18s players away with us again on Saturday.

“Of course, we’re still in the very early stages of pre-season, so fitness is the main priority. However, when these opportunities are available, the boys must make sure they perform to the best of their capabilities.”

The match kicks off at 1pm at Cobham Training Ground.