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Published 01 December 2022 7 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Trent Alexander-Arnold's grassroots story

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Trent Alexander-Arnold

How having his name pulled out of a hat started a journey which sees Trent Alexander-Arnold at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

My earliest football memories would be watching Match of the Day around the age of five. I was never allowed to stay up late on a Saturday night to watch it so I would watch it on a Sunday morning while having my breakfast.

Growing up, we lived on a main road so we had our front garden, which wasn’t massive, and then we had Larkhill Park, which was across the road, and me and my brothers would go and play with our mates. 

I have two brothers – one older and one younger – called Tyler and Marcell. From as far back as I can remember, my mates were not that into football at a very young age so I grew up seeing my older brother playing with his friends and I would always join in with them. So I grew up playing with lads who were four years older than me.

I was six when I started playing for Liverpool after I got picked up at a half-term camp. There were invites sent around to the schools in my area and it was for my year group and class. But there were not enough spaces for everyone to go when everyone put their hands up, so it ended up with names being pulled out of a hat!

I always like to believe that there is a plan and a route for everyone. There is always going to be an element of luck involved though and my luckiest part was my name being pulled out of that hat!

The man who scouted me had a Sunday league team so when he spoke to my mum, he mentioned about bringing me up to the academy three times a week, or whatever it was, and then once I had started to do that, because I wanted to play more football, he mentioned that he had a team who played on a Sunday that I could join. So I played grassroots football for Country Park from the age of six until the age of eight. 

16 Jan 2021 12:42

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My overriding memory of grassroots football was just pure fun. At the time you felt like it was the end of the world when you would lose and when you win, you feel like you are lifting the Premier League. 

You don’t realise there is no pressure until you play with real pressure and then you realise you are literally just having fun with your friends. It brings a smile to my face when I think back to those times. 

I always enjoyed grassroots football more because growing up in the academy, there was a lot of training around skills and drills but I just wanted to play games. I was always very competitive so if it wasn’t a competition then I wasn’t as committed to it and would sometimes get a bit bored of just doing the skills and keepy-ups. But when it was two teams at the end of training or a tournament, I loved it.

I was a Liverpool fan growing up because it was around the time of the Istanbul final and Liverpool were very much the dominant team at that time so watching the bus go past my house, it was never going to be in question.

I also played for my school team at St Mary’s in Crosby for a couple of years, but then I went to Rainhill High School and that was when my school football stopped because it was linked to the Liverpool Academy.

I’ve had so many people who have helped me: coaches, friends and family. It’s almost unfair to mention anyone in case I accidentally miss someone out because there were so, so many people who have helped me.

Everyone who has helped me, from the start and then all the way through the academy, I owe everything to them because they were the ones who have helped develop me into the player that I am today.

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