Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s rise from the academy has been widely celebrated, but his story is only part of the minority, and he is now eager to help those left behind.
Talented young players around the country set their sights on making it as a professional footballer, working their way through academy ranks in search of ‘making it’.
Not every story ends like Alexander-Arnold’s though, with countless youngsters released at various stages along their journey – altering their life’s vision in the blink of an eye.
Having watched as close friends are informed of their release over the years while racking up first-team appearances for his boyhood club, Alexander-Arnold was inspired to act.
The After Academy Phase 2. I’m buzzing to announce that the jobs and opportunities platform is now live and available to all past and present academy players. The hard work continues, visit the PFA website to check out the jobs now live. https://t.co/8JmMSvNiik pic.twitter.com/s2YwiVHYVW
— Trent Alexander-Arnold (@TrentAA) February 6, 2024
And he has now officially launched The After Academy, an initiative that aims to support those who have dropped out of the system by providing career opportunities to former academy players.
Hosted and supported by the PFA, the project provides former players with the tools and support needed to find a new career path, with jobs available from the likes of Liverpool FC, Red Bull, Adidas and Therabody – some of Alexander-Arnold’s partners.
Liverpool’s right-back will also make funds available for a course with the PFA Business School to 12 academy players who aren’t yet ready to move into their post-playing career.
“The sheer number of people who need support and opportunity because, of course, I know there’s so many, I know so many lads myself who have needed that support,” Alexander-Arnold said.
“It’s just overwhelming to know how many people actually need it and how many people think it is needed as well.
“To actually find and put something into place for them and be there for people is an amazing feeling.”
Liverpool have an alumni project to support those who have been part of the club’s youth set-up and they previously pledged to work with The After Academy.
* The After Academy can be found here, the jobs board is only accessible to former academy players