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Chelsea Partner With Shield To Develop Talent In SA

Newly crowned Premier League champions Chelsea have joined forces with Shield South Africa to give youngsters in Mzansi the opportunity of a lifetime.

How You Can Win With Shield & Chelsea!

Aspiring footballers from across South Africa can win a chance to participate in nationwide trials conducted by Chelsea coaching staff, with five heats taking place in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Durban. 

One hundred winners per region will be selected to then go into a knockout stage, which will also been shown on SABC's famous football show SoccerZone. A panel will then select the winner, who is in for a trip of a lifetime to train with Chelsea's first team stars.

Soccer Laduma's Joe Crann was one of a selected few journalists who were invited to Chelsea's training ground, and experienced what the lucky winner can expect.

"I was lucky enough to head through to Chelsea's training ground Cobham to have a little look at what was going on there, and to be honest, I was blown away," Crann said.

"Myself and some colleagues were put through our paces a little bit by some of the club's youth coaches, and it was amazing to – at least try to – show off my skills on a field that, on a normal day, hosts guys like Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.

"Whether you're a genuine talent who wants an opportunity to shine or just a failed footballer like myself who wants to experience an afternoon of what life as a pro could be like, it's incredible.

"Literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. No money can buy you that sort of experience."

Meanwhile, Gareth Marshall, the senior brand manager of Shield South Africa, explained what's in store, saying: "It's not about two logos coming together. It's about really looking for that talent in South Africa.

"We have a lot of hidden talent that doesn't often get these opportunities, and it's fantastic that Chelsea are offering us the chance to come and be here."

He also explained that a second winner – boy or girl, old or young – can also win trip of a lifetime and rub shoulders with the likes of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Antonio Conte, while watching a first team training.

"One of the best aspects of this campaign is that it is completely inclusive. It's open to both guys and girls, and there's no age limit on who can enter. They're even giving spending money to the winners!" Marshall added.

The competition will run from 15 May to 30 September, and Soccer Laduma will reveal all details as to how you can participate to win this trip of a lifetime.

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