Chelsea prospect could make Swift Blues return

Gosport-born John Swift has signed his first professional contract with Chelsea after being released by Pompey
Gosport-born John Swift has signed his first professional contract with Chelsea after being released by Pompey
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Pompey may one day get their hands on a local player they let slip through their fingers on two occasions.

Gosport-born John Swift has just signed his first professional contract with Chelsea until the summer of 2015 and is lined up to play in their reserve side this season to aid his development.

But even though the former Brune Park student was released by the Fratton Park outfit as a schoolboy after being deemed not good enough by the club’s former youth coaches, he could yet be tempted to come back on loan in the future.

That’s according to his represenative Barry Wilson, who claims the Stamford Bridge first-year professional would fit perfectly into Michael Appleton’s youthful vision.

‘He was at Pompey when he was 10 or 11,’ said Wilson.

‘They never really give a reason when boys are released but his youth coach at the time didn’t rate him.

‘He went back to play for his club side Pace Youth and got spotted by Chelsea but they released him as well.

‘But Chelsea took another look at him a year or so later. He also had interest from Fulham, Pompey and Southampton at that time.

‘I wouldn’t imagine that Chelsea would be looking to get him out on loan this season. They don’t tend to let them out when they are first-year professionals.

‘He will be in and around the reserve team. He will be part of the FA Youth Cup team and I would think that it might be the following season that they may look to get him out on loan. But you never quite know.

‘If they got a request from a club like Pompey, they might look at it differently.

‘I’m sure Michael Appleton is aware of him and seems to want to go with younger talented players.’

Central-midfielder Swift played in every game for Chelsea as they lifted the FA Youth Cup last season, beating Blackburn Rovers in a two-legged final.

And Wilson believes the 17-year-old, who has already represented England at under-16 and under-17 level, could benefit from a spell on loan – even though he is already well-grounded.

Wilson added: ‘John’s a tremendous lad. He’s very unassuming and has looked after his family from an early age.

‘When he signed his scholarship, the very first thing he did was to pay for his mum to have her nails done!

‘He is very well thought of at Chelsea. He’s a big lad, he can play in the holding-midfield role or a bit more attacking.

‘Chelsea look to develop complete players these days. John is naturally an attacking player but he has worked hard on the defensive side of the game as well.

‘But there is nothing quite like the experience of playing first-team football.’

Swift said: ‘I am at what is probably the best academy in the world and one of the best clubs.

‘This is a very exciting time in my career and everything seems to be happening so quickly – first my England call up, then my scholarship contract, then we won the FA Youth Cup and now my first professional contract.

‘I am aware there is still a lot of hard work to be continued and this is a foundation for me to build on.’