Defender Archie Procter’s rise through the ranks was put into perspective yesterday against a Chelsea XI, but he is determined to maintain his progression.
The 18-year-old was part of a squad for the game at Cobham that included several players who had played together since the age of 11 – and Archie recalled playing junior football at Chelsea’s state-of-the art facility.
“We’ve got a great group of lads,” said Archie. “Since I signed for the club at Under-11s I think we’ve had three signings. The same group has come through from Under-11s. It’s great to be out there (at Chelsea’s training ground) with the same group of lads. We used to play over there on the smaller pitches together, but now we are coming here playing on the big pitch with a stand and against players like Danny Drinkwater, who has won the Premier League, and Victor Moses. We expected them to have a few first-team players out there and we knew they would have spells of possession, but I felt that we dealt with them well, and 1-1 is a good result."
Archie, who signed for us seven years ago after being spotted playing for Esher Wizards, was delighted to recently make his first-team debut in the EFL Trophy victory versus Charlton – and now he’s ready for his next challenge on loan at Carshalton Athletic.
“Pre-season was good, I felt I did well, and I got my debut. Now I’ve signed for Carshalton, so it will be good to go out get some more experience of men’s football. I have my first game coming up this Saturday so I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, I can come back and show the gaffer what I’m about and make my way into the team.
“It was strange (my debut) because it felt almost like an Under-23s game when we played in an empty stadium, but that didn’t take it away from me. It was still a special moment and one that I’ve dreamed of for as long as I can remember. Everyone was saying ‘did it feel weird?’ It was still amazing.”
Click on the link below to watch the full interview with Archie.