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Arsenal U21 and England Youth star Kaylen Hinds grew up in an area of London where great new facilities are transforming football opportunities.

“I grew up around Elthorne Park and Islington and there was definitely more gang-related stuff when it was just concrete. This area means a lot to me because it’s come from concrete to the facilities we have now. I’ve been doing the Kicks project here since I was about 11 and kids who aren’t really doing much outside school come here to keep themselves out of trouble and have fun.”

There’s a real feeling that football investment in the area has changed people’s lives. Alongside our continued belief in Premier League Kicks, we have built facilities that ensure more people have a top-class place to play.

“I was playing at Market Road from age seven with people from lots of different areas in North London. It’s changed massively and is a big improvement.”

Kaylen has now played in a wide range of venues and he talks about their impact in our exclusive video above.

I was playing at Market Road from age seven with people from lots of different areas in North London. It’s changed massively and is a big improvement.”
Kaylen Hinds, Arsenal U21 and England Youth

“It was a proud moment when I scored at the Emirates. My friends at Elthorne see me come from the area and I think they are proud of me – because a boy from the area has done good.”

Inspiring the next generation

Ten year old Arda was born in the same year Kicks was founded – and couldn’t wait to join in as soon as he was old enough.

“I started coming to the Kicks sessions at Elthorne as soon as I was allowed, because my big brothers have been coming for ages and they love it here. I come down two times a week and I really love it too.”

Young boy at an Arsenal Kicks session

The Market Road pitches, pictured above by day and night, were delivered by the Football Foundation and made possible thanks to a partnership between Islington Council and Arsenal FC. Funding was also provided by the Premier League, The FA and Government via Sport England.

Thousands of amateur footballers use the new pitches and changing room complex every week, with the home of two of the borough’s most popular leagues being secured for at least the next decade. The five-a-side pitches help act as a stepping stone for teams looking to play the 11v11 format of the game in those leagues.

Arsenal in the Community continue to run a number of weekly sessions at the newly refurbished facility, working with local schools and community groups.

Market Road is one of 589 artificial grass pitches supported by the Premier League to date.

Positive Pathways

We are developing potential through participation, competition and opportunities to volunteer. Results include improved health, confidence, employment and even careers in football.

Opportunity

Fun, inclusive sessions in schools and communities to develop a life long love of sport.

Progression

Progression to teams and leagues and playing in local and national competitions.

This kind of tournament inspires them and gives them the belief that they can succeed. That’s life skills, not just football.”

Gemma Brown, Sunderland teacher

Ambition

Finding talent and developing home-grown players in our Academies.

325

male community participants registered with a club Academy

203

female community participants progressed to a development centre/centre of excellence

Elite

A Games Programme that ranges from U9 festivals to an U23 Premier League International Cup.

Marcus (Rashford) used to come down to our Wythenshawe community sessions on his bike – he’s still in touch and even dropped back in the day after he made his first team debut. His brother used to help out at one of our partner primary schools too.”

Nick Bradshaw, Manchester United Foundation

Opportunity

Fun, inclusive sessions in schools and communities to develop a life long love of sport.

Progression

Progression to teams and leagues and playing in local and national competitions.

This kind of tournament inspires them and gives them the belief that they can succeed. That’s life skills, not just football.”

Gemma Brown, Sunderland teacher

Ambition

Finding talent and developing home-grown players in our Academies.

325

male community participants registered with a club Academy

203

female community participants progressed to a development centre/centre of excellence

Elite

A Games Programme that ranges from U9 festivals to an U23 Premier League International Cup.

Marcus (Rashford) used to come down to our Wythenshawe community sessions on his bike – he’s still in touch and even dropped back in the day after he made his first team debut. His brother used to help out at one of our partner primary schools too.”

Nick Bradshaw, Manchester United Foundation

  • Investing in high quality facilities
  • Focus on young people
  • Skilled staff and coaches