OVER a decade on from his football beginnings at Littledown Centre in Bournemouth, teenager Tino Anjorin could be the star of the show when he returns to compete in Dorset this weekend.

The highly-rated England youth international is set to be part of the Chelsea side which takes on Poole Town at Black Gold Stadium tomorrow (3pm) in a much-anticipated pre-season friendly.

Having joined the Blues academy from the age of seven, Poole-born Anjorin has gone on to win the FA Youth Cup, scoring in the 2018 final against Arsenal, while still a schoolboy.

Now 17, midfielder Anjorin penned his first professional contract with Chelsea eight months ago and is preparing to challenge in the club’s under-23s side for the upcoming campaign.

And Tino’s father, Sheriff Anjorin, recalls the early days when he first discovered his son’s talent for football.

He told the Daily Echo: “At Littledown they used to do a club called the Baby Brooklyns club, I guess it was named after Brooklyn Beckham.

“It was for two to three year olds. He was in that. He went down there and it was just ridiculous. He was just dribbling past everybody, even boys that were older than him and it just started from there really.

“What took us to Littledown was Adam Lallana started there as well, in the indoors. Littledown was definitely the place where all of my boys started playing football.

“Baby Brooklyns was on a Wednesday. Because he (Tino) was so good, I used to skip off work and go down and watch him and then go back.

“He then went on to other clubs but in the end, the starting point is always Littledown.”

Before moving to Chelsea permanently, Anjorin was schooled in Dorset at St Aldhelm’s in Branksome and QE in Wimborne, the same secondary school as Cherries boss Eddie Howe.

Sheriff, a football coach now at Leatherhead, brought Tino into his Greenfields youth team in Bournemouth before he was snapped up by professional clubs.

Explaining how his son got a move to Chelsea, Anjorin said: “He could’ve gone to Bournemouth, but at the time they said he was too young.

“So then Southampton took him in when he was about six to do a little bit of training and while he was there, I got a job relocation.

“I was going to move up to Croydon, but in the middle of all that Tino ended up going to Chelsea. But then the job fell through and we were a bit stuck.

“We were a little bit caught between the two, but we still continued the commitment of getting him up and down. Thankfully it’s all paid off.”

He added: “Chelsea bent over backwards. We often went up there maybe once a week, sometimes twice. But because I used to coach an older age group at Greenfields, he used to join in with me and do a little bit. He was able to develop without the pressure of being in the car all the time. Because we were a football family it was kind of like, we always knew that we weren’t going to take it too seriously until he got a bit older.

“Then fast forwarding it on, when he got to 14, Chelsea schooled him. They gave him a place in their own private school, took him up there at 14 and he did his GCSEs up at Chelsea and it went from there really.

“It was only really, really serious when he got to 14.”

Since then, Anjorin has gone from strength to strength in the Chelsea ranks as well as on the international stage, finishing last year as the top scorer for England’s under-18s.

But the next step on the journey is Tatnam tomorrow afternoon.

“I’ve still got a house in Poole but we’re actually in Surrey now,” said Sheriff Anjorin.

“But we will be back and I’ll be there of course on Saturday.

“Tino is almost nailed on but in terms of the other boys that are going down there, we still don’t know the squad.”