Having advanced yesterday into the Champions League semi-finals and sitting at the top of the Barclays WSL table, the 2023-24 season has been one of familiar success for Emma Hayes’ Chelsea Women.

The Blues play their home matches in Kingston upon Thames, at Kingsmeadow Stadium, in front of a crowd of up to 5,000.

While it may surprise many that their stadium isn’t a little closer to home in West London, the league-leaders seem to have turned the ground into something of a fortress; most notably, during the 2020-21 campaign, they won 14 consecutive WSL games there.

However, Kingsmeadow Stadium not only helps them to win games but also to attract more of the footballing community from another part of London.

For example, local football club Richmond Park FC Women and Girls have recently teamed up with Chelsea Ladies as part of the Schools and Sports Clubs Programme. Fans, friends, and family purchasing tickets to matches earn the club a host of exciting rewards.

These give many players a special opportunity to collect a squad-signed shirt, watch Chelsea Women train or even the chance to be a child mascot for a match.

In fact, this programme offers rewards to clubs and schools up and down the country. Through a simple and flexible application process, unique and coveted prizes can be won by many.

Aside from partnerships with the local community, Chelsea Women are looking forward to an exciting and potentially successful finish to their campaign. A strong squad consisting of a number of international stars, such as Sam Kerr and Guro Reiten, has put them in a commanding position come the business end of the season.

However, it’s the Blues’ homegrown talents who have particularly caught the eye over the past year and beyond. Lauren James, brother of Reece, has had a particularly good time in Kingston, with 13 WSL goals in 15 games including 10 at Kingsmeadow.

Both Lauren and her brother, who now both represent England and Chelsea, were brought up locally to Kingston, with the former going to the Whitton School and the latter educated in Isleworth.

Formerly the home of Kingstonian and then AFC Wimbledon, Kingsmeadow Stadium is also used by the Chelsea Development Squad as a home ground. The club has a thorough and successful youth system designed to produce and improve the very best footballing talents.

Chelsea FC Foundation runs sessions and soccer schools all through England, as well as a wide range of community projects designed to give back to local communities around London, Surrey and the South East.

It should be recognised that whilst both Chelsea Men’s and Women’s development aims to produce extremely talented players, it also focuses on providing football for players of all abilities.

Many may see Chelsea merely as a wealthy, ruthless English powerhouse but what goes on behind the scenes and elsewhere in West London is just as important.