'Pre-season camp showed me I have opportunities'

4 Jul 2019

Martin Onoabhagbe and Scott Armsworth were released by their clubs but have been given new hope by the Premier League

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Martin Onoabhagbe and Scott Armsworth are both young players without a club but they are approaching the future with fresh optimism thanks to a unique initiative by the Premier League.

The 18-year-olds were released this summer and were among 20 players who attended the Premier League's inaugural Pre-Season Preparation Camp for 18-23 year-olds.

The camp combined elite-level training with workshops on career possibilities in and out of football.

"Football is my No 1 priority but these past few days have changed my whole perspective on the opportunities that I may have and what I should consider moving forward," said Armsworth, who had been on Fulham's books.

"There's so many things that you can do, whether it be university, playing non-league or a completely new career.

"The opportunities they have highlighted have really stood out and helped me be more positive, more optimistic."

'It inspires me to work harder'

For Onoabhagbe, who was let go by Crystal Palace, the camp has opened up new career avenues.

"The first few days after I was told that I wasn't going to get a contract were hard for me," he said. "I always wanted to play for a big club like Crystal Palace.

"Talking to quite a few people here has helped me widen my horizons. I never actually thought about playing non-league football so maybe that's something I could get into.

"I've also thought about doing psychology, too. Obviously I am going to have to push on from that.

"I know that I'm going to have to go through some ups and downs. But coming here and knowing that there are people also in my position, it inspires me and makes me want to work a lot harder for myself and for people who know me and know what I'm all about."

Also in this series

Part 1: Released players given new start by Premier League
Part 2: Powell: Make it your destiny to come back up

(Crystal Palace photo courtesy of PPA for CPFC)

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