Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that it is working with American youth soccer club Richmond Strikers and kit partner Nike, offering technical assistance in a joint project that offers a unique training programme for a selected group of young players in the Virginia state to further enhance their development.

The Richmond Strikers, a Nike Premier Club, currently provides both recreational and elite player programmes that help develop the skills and foundation knowledge of children aged 5-18 year olds. This new initiative has been implemented at the Strikers’ soccer complex in Richmond by Director of Coaching and former Youth U.S. National Team coach Bob Jenkins, and incorporates a specially designed Arsenal technical programme created with input from Arsenal legend and International Partnerships Performance Supervisor Steve Morrow. Arsenal plans to expand the programme in the coming years, with the long term aim of finding talent in the States to compete at a professional level. 

Morrow said of the programme: “As a club we are dedicated in offering support to not only grassroots initiatives but also activity that helps develop footballing talent across the globe in a constructive and visionary way, whether that be through club-run soccer schools or by supporting third party operatives. Having played and coached in the States I know the talent level is really high, there’s great potential that we can help develop with elite player programmes. It’s a market that we believe in a lot and, working alongside the Richmond Strikers who are committed to providing attendees with a dynamic and progressive approach, we are excited about the venture.”

Bob Jenkins, Richmond Strikers Director of Coaching added: “We are honoured to be chosen by Arsenal FC to implement this new programme in the United States. We believe, with Arsenal’s direction and support, the Richmond Strikers will be a leader in the evolution of youth soccer in this country.

“The ability to partner Arsenal FC with the Richmond Strikers is unique and will significantly enhance the development of the Strikers Youth Academy”, said Nike's Director of Soccer Sports Marketing for North America Joe Elsmore.  "We look forward to bringing the most innovative apparel and footwear to the partnership."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 Sep 2010