Arsenal in the Community

Success Stories: Thierry

Success Story Thierry

Thierry is a 13-year-old who has been attending the Camden Premier League Kicks since June 2021, and he has used that as a springboard to find his voice and contribute at Arsenal in the Community and beyond.

He now plays a crucial part in Youth Voice, a Premier League-funded programme that aims to provide a platform for young people to have their voices heard, while giving them a chance to share their ideas on how current and future programmes should look.

As an example, the Premier League has hosted Youth Summits where young people from the Premier League Kicks and Premier League Inspires programmes gather to discuss issues such as youth violence and racism, as well as represent their clubs and amplify the positive activity and social action they’ve been undertaking in their communities. 

The aim of Premier League Kicks at Arsenal is to give young people in the community a sense of belonging and provide them with opportunities to adopt a positive outlook towards life and opportunities fostered by playing football. As well as providing young people with regular football activities, we also aim to support them with personal development opportunities off the pitch.

“I love the people and we play games a lot,” says Thierry. “I also like how the coaches have taught us how to be disciplined, and I love the tournaments we have in the school holidays and during half term.”

During the Christmas holidays in 2022 we held a tournament which Thierry’s team won – and he also went home with the Player of the Tournament award.

Thierry’s coach, Rawand, has been impressed with the youngster’s commitment and development since their very first session together.

“On meeting Thierry he was very shy but his ability on the ball spoke for itself,” says Rawand. “Over the past year Thierry, although he is still only 13, has become a leader who the younger players look up to during sessions. Thierry’s confidence grew with each session, and he began to establish strong bonds with his fellow team-mates and coaches.

“It was evident that he was no longer the same introverted individual that I had met initially. His new-found social skills were a testament to his hard work and dedication towards honing his football skills.”

It’s clear that confidence on the pitch can breed self-belief off it, which is what makes programmes such as Kicks such powerful tools in helping young people develop their sense of self.

“Whenever Thierry gets onto the pitch he never failed to leave a lasting impression on everyone around him,” adds Rawand. “He’s constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to showcase his skills and impress both his peers and coaches. It has long been evident that he has a passion for the game and is determined to succeed.”

Thierry says Arsenal in the Community has had a big impact on his life since he first came into contact with us: “The sessions have taught me how to gain more confidence within myself while encouraging me to play football more often. I’ve also learned plenty of new skills that other people use, and the coaches allow me the freedom to try them out during the sessions.

“As an Arsenal fan, it feels amazing and exciting to go down the road and play football with Arsenal. It’s very enjoyable being coached by Alexia, Tilly, Rawand and Jan. The kids are also very fun to play against since they are good sports.”

Oh, and there are other benefits from taking such an active role in Kicks sessions and within Arsenal in the Community.

“I was given tickets to watch Arsenal vs Leeds in the Premier League last season and this season I’ve watch the Under-18s play at Emirates Stadium in the FA Youth Cup,” says Thierry, who is also a keen student of the game.

“I’ve made many friends throughout the time I have been playing and whenever I walk through Camden or Kentish Town I see at least one or two people that I know,” he adds. That sense of community, and sense of belonging, spreads beyond Emirates Stadium and the streets of Islington.

Success Story Thierry

Thierry is well known to many of the leading figures around the club thanks to his success with Arsenal in the Community

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Carabao Cup
Ticket Info