Trent Alexander-Arnold launches new initiative to support released players

While Trent Alexander-Arnold resembles the new poster boy for Liverpool’s academy, his story is a rarity, with countless other youngsters left behind.

Towards the end of every season, academy director Alex Inglethorpe holds meetings with young players whose contracts are almost up.

Some will be offered extensions and others will be directed to interested clubs.

For many, though, they will be informed of their release.

This is not only the case for players already on the radar, but also those within the pre-academy ranks who, for one reason or another, have not made the grade.

Alexander-Arnold has now launched The After Academy, an initiative that will provide career opportunities for former academy players who wish to forge a new career path outside of professional football.

Supported by the PFA, The After Academy is designed to support those who have not made it as footballers in finding a new path.

Led by Inglethorpe himself, Liverpool already have an alumni project in place to support those who have departed the academy, but the club has also pledged to work with The After Academy through its own programme.

Alexander-Arnold’s partners, Red Bull, Under Armour and Therabody, have committed to offering opportunities as part of the new initiative.

That includes jobs, work placements and internships across various departments.

MADRID, SPAIN - SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates with the trophy and his family after the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. Liverpool won 2-0 to win their sixth European Cup. (Pic by Peter Makadi/Propaganda)

“I loved my time at the Liverpool academy, it gave me everything I have today and I’m so grateful to be in the position I’m in,” Alexander-Arnold said.

“That feeling of lifting trophies for your childhood club is magical and I wouldn’t swap it for anything in the world.

“But if things didn’t work out the way they did I could have been one of those being told the dream is over.

“I’m fortunate to not know what that conversation is like but I know from my friends and other former players how hard it hits and how tough it can be.

“I’m proud of this programme as it looks to give another chance to those who didn’t make it, and I hope it is just a first step towards a brighter future for these young players.”

The After Academy platform will go live later this year, with further information available via Trent and the PFA’s channels closer to launch.