Daprela eager to impress

Fabio Daprela is eyeing a first-team appearance at Chelsea on Saturday after leading West Ham United in their friendly defeat by MLS side San Jose Earthquakes.

The highly-rated Switzerland Under-19 left-back has worn the armband for Alex Dyer's reserves in recent weeks and is eager to take those leadership qualities into Gianfranco Zola's first team.

Zola and first-team coaches Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen were among those watching Monday's meeting with the Earthquakes, and the 19-year-old will be hoping to have done enough to be given an opportunity to make his Barclays Premier League debut at Stamford Bridge.

"San Jose were a very good team and played very good football. We wanted to play football but it was very difficult and we saw the result. We lost, but I think we lost to a good team. I'm enjoying being captain of the team, but we lost and it's hard.

"It's a dream when I can play at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, but we don't know if that will happen. On Saturday, we will see what the manager does. I'm always ready when the manager wants me to play and I'm happy."

While Daprela continues to progress well at club level, the teenager is also an integral part of his country's U19 side.

The defender played in last week's 1-1 friendly draw with Poland in Renens, and is likely to be involved again when the Swiss contest their UEFA European U19 Championship Elite Round qualifiers with hosts Austria, Denmark and Serbia in late May.

"With the Under-19s you are all the same age and it's not the same level as playing in the reserves or in the Premier League, but it's a good level. I enjoy playing there, but I want to play a little bit higher.

"We are a good team and our Under-17s won the UEFA European Championship in November 2009. We have Serbia, Austria and Denmark in our group this time. It's a tough group and we shall see how we do."