Jordan Houghton: The Plymouth Argyle midfielder on his homecoming ahead of Chelsea FA Cup tie

  • Video report by Ross Arnott

At the age of eight, Jordan Houghton was offered the chance to join the Chelsea Football Club academy.

Nearly 20 years later, he's able to realise one of his dreams of playing at Stamford Bridge in front of a packed crowd.

He may not be wearing the Chelsea strip, but on Saturday Houghton will line-up with his Plymouth Argyle teammates at the home of his boyhood club.

In June 2017, Houghton joined the Green Army for a second spell after being on loan in 2016. He's then become a mainstay in the team this season.

He was favoured by previous manager Ryan Lowe and his influence has not changed since Steven Schumacher took over the team.

"I really love it here, I knew from my first spell with the club how great the fans were and the club as a whole so I was excited to join.

"My family have moved down now as well so it has very much become a second-home for me."

Jordan Houghton with Chelsea legend John Terry, Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic. Credit: Jordan Houghton

The 26-year-old may be settled in the West Country now but for 15 years of his life he was under the tutelage of some of the best footballers and coaches in the world at the Chelsea academy in Cobham.

"I have said it before but for me the Chelsea academy is the pinnacle of youth football," he explained.

"Chelsea was the Oxford or Cambridge of football. I'm pleased to have gone through that and experiences what I did because I don't actually believe that I would be here enjoying my football at Plymouth without it."

Jordan was part of a stellar Chelsea youth team that included current Blue's stars Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen, the team actually won the FA Youth Cup in 2014.

"I remember that game and it was definitely one of my highlights of my time in the academy.

"It was something that we had worked so hard to do and when we finally did it, yeah it was an incredible feeling.

"I have the picture of me and Andreas framed in my house somewhere, I think it is a mixture of emotions in that one but now my overwhelming feeling is just pride."

Jordan celebrating with current Chelsea star Andreas Christensen in the FA Youth Cup final. Credit: PA

Despite his obvious sub-conscious allegiance to the team who helped develop him in to the footballer he is today, Jordan said he's looking forward to going back to the Bridge and walking out as a professional footballer for the first time.

"It will be a special occasion for me and my family and hopefully some of my old team mates are lining up against me," he said.

"It will be a weird experience but it is one I am looking forward to for sure.

"I don't have any regrets I always try to look forward I want to be a positive person but walking out in front of a full crowd and a full away end of Argyle fans will be a really nice moment."