Arsenal has confirmed that one of its most decorated club legends, Ray Parlour will attend the closing ceremony of the Airtel Rising Stars clinic in Accra.
Ray was a key member of the Club’s ‘Invincibles’ squad that registered an unbeaten league campaign during 2003/4, playing twenty five times over the course of the season. Ray rose through the ranks at Arsenal to become a fans' favorite and picked up eight major trophies during his time with the Club. After making his debut under George Graham in 1992, Ray blossomed under the tutelage of Arsène Wenger to emerge as a key part of the Frenchman’s side.
He is poised to attend the first ever Arsenal-managed clinic in the African continent. The clinic which started on the 28th August has brought together forty-one talented youngsters from Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda and hosts – Ghana, and is aimed at enhancing the technical skills of the young boys and girls who were selected during Airtel Rising Stars regional and national programmes in their respective countries.
So far, the starlets are being taken through a specialized course taught by two experienced coaches from the Arsenal Soccer Schools program. The courses are based on the same principles used at the Club’s training ground to ‘Play the Arsenal Way’ and develop young players’ technical skills and passion for the game, to ensure that their potential is realized.
Speaking about the planned visit, Airtel Africa’s Chief Marketing officer, Andre Beyers said: “The Airtel Rising Stars program was structured to provide a platform for upcoming talent to showcase their raw talent and improve through interaction with coaches and top players. We are happy that we have a partner in Arsenal, a club that believes in nurturing young players and giving them the opportunities to excel”
Commenting on the Airtel Rising Stars Clinic, Head of Global Partnerships, Vinai Venkatesham, said: “The Airtel Rising Stars clinic is one of the most important parts of Arsenal Football Club’s three-year relationship with Airtel and we are delighted to support Airtel Rising Stars with some of our most experienced Arsenal Soccer School coaches. As a Club, we have a long and proud history of developing and nurturing talent, so perhaps these clinics will help to uncover the next generation of stars!”
The Accra Clinic is part of a three year partnership agreement signed between the north London club and Airtel across five countries in Africa. The partnership allows the select Airtel operations to tap into the football club’s deep reservoir of technical resources and assets such as content, merchandising and hospitality.