Having been at the club since the age of 13, Naomi Williams achieved her childhood dream this week as she put pen to paper on her first professional contract.
The talented young goalkeeper is yet to feature for our first team, but was included in a number of our matchday squads last season for her impressive performances in training.
"It feels amazing to have grown up at this club and to have gone through different levels," Williams told Arsenal.com. "To be able to now call football my job, it’s a cliche, but words can’t really describe it.
"Since I was young and I first signed for the club as an academy player, [I’ve felt] that family, togetherness. It’s just always there and it’s really shone through the levels. There’s the inclusion and pushing yourself to the next level possible. That’s what Arsenal means to me."
So what is Naomi looking forward to in 2022/23? And how has she adapted to life at London Colney with the first team?
"I've always really enjoyed redefining the expectations of myself and really pushing myself to the next level. Whether it’s physical, nutrition or the amazing facilities at London Colney, they all help to aid that. Next season I’d really like to cement myself as a player, keep progressing and redefine the expectations and limits you put on yourself.
"The first team have given me so much advice. It’s not just on the pitch, it’s how they carry themselves off the pitch as well - how they are as people and what they contribute there, it’s [also their] attachment to the fans that I really admire.
"You learn a lot of different things - on the pitch and off the pitch - how they carry themselves professionally, how they connect with the fans. Being able to explore new places and play football at the same time is just a dream come true."
Press play on the video above to see the full interview
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