By Rob Kelly

Emmanuel Frimpong has revealed that growing up in Ghana is the main motivating factor in his desire to succeed at Arsenal.

The 19-year-old lived in Africa until the age of eight before moving to England, and said that the experience has helped shape his outlook on life.

“I feel that living in Ghana when I was young has made me appreciate things in life. I didn't have nice trainers, socks, things like that, or a particularly comfortable place to sleep,” Frimpong told the Official Arsenal Magazine.

“It was nothing bad, mind you, and I was looked after well by my sister and my gran because my mum was already over here. But I am receiving good things and I don't take that for granted - it makes me work even harder to achieve more.

“It's made me a different person. In life sometimes you experience different things to make you a better person, and hopefully that has been the case with me.”

Frimpong played for a local team in Ghana before his move to England, but admitted that his progress accelerated once in London.

“After arriving in England I played for Welbourne Primary School in Tottenham,” he said.

“We didn’t have a very strong team, but we were OK. After that I went to Broadwater Farm - who Daniel Boateng also played for - and their manager, Clasford Stirling, had links to Arsenal. I went on trial for a couple of weeks and didn’t look back.

“I already knew about Arsenal’s Academy teams because we used to play in friendly tournaments and beat them! Our players were all big and strong – Arsenal had the technique and we had the physique.”

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Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
20 Dec 2011