Feature

Young Gun: Kostas Pileas

Young Gun Kostas Pileas

In Young Guns, featured first in the official matchday programme, we find out about the next generation of Arsenal youngsters, in their own words. This week we spoke to defender Kostas Pileas.

I signed for Arsenal as a scholar this summer but have been part of the Arsenal youth setup since I was 10 years old. I first played for Olympiacos when I was spotted by Gunners scouts with my local side in Cyprus, Arsenal Olympic. A scout from the UK came to watch us play. After one game, I was invited for a trial to become part of the Arsenal Elite Academy in Athens.

Steve Morrow came over for the trials, which went very well for me, and at 10 and a half years old I left my family and home in Paphos, Cyprus and joined the Arsenal Academy in Greece.

It was quite tough at first because I was very young and I missed my friends and family, but I got used to the new life quite quickly, mainly because I was embroiled in football and I became good friends with my team mates who were all experiencing the same feelings.

We helped each other and had good support from our coaches. It was like a family and I spent more than five years of my life in Greece with the Arsenal Academy. I developed as a player and made some good friends – Savvas Mourgos and Ilias Chatzitheodoridis were with me in Greece. We are now all together at Arsenal in England and they have helped me settle in well.

 

 

 

 

When we were in Greece we came over to the UK quite often, so when I was invited for a trial in the summer I felt at home and I was so pleased when I was offered a scholarship.

Things have gone well for me since I moved to England. I played the pre-season games but was finally able to play my first official game for the under-18s a couple of weekends ago and I absolutely loved it.

I played at centre back and I enjoyed the physicality of the game, the tempo and the way that the game is played. I’m a technical player and passing is a big part of my game. At Arsenal we’re encouraged to get the ball down and play a quick passing game.

"My target is to progress well enough to feature in the under-19s Youth League this season"

Kostas Pileas

I’m always looking to improve my game and I already feel like I’ve developed since coming to England. I especially enjoy the fact that I can watch and learn from Laurent Koscielny close up.

I admire the way he’s strong and determined on the pitch, the way he looks to attack and his heading ability. There are other players too that I learn from such as Thiago Silva of Paris St Germain who is excellent when it comes to one- one-ones. Sergio Ramos is another that I look to learn from, his passing and tackling are excellent.

I hope to further develop what they have in my game and my target is to progress well enough to feature in the under-19s Champions League this season and hopefully be invited to train with the first team too.

A few favourites

Positions I can play in…

Centre back, left back and midfielder when I was younger.

Best aspect of my game…

Passing.

Thing I can improve on…

One on ones.

Player I’m similar to…

Thiago Silva in style of play.

Footballing hero…

Lionel Messi.

Favourite food…

Souvla.

Best friends in football…

Savvas Mourgos and Ilias Chatzitheodoridis.

Choice for my squad number…

I would choose number six.

Most used app…

Instagram.

Favourite TV series…

Match of the Day.

Tracks on my ultimate playlist…

Various English and Greek tunes but my favourite current track is called Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Da… but I like anything by Greek singer Mitropanos.

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Premier League
Ticket Info