Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Arsenal coaches to Greek trialist: “You showed energy and played well”
Nikos Karelis, is a 16 year old schoolboy playing for Cretan side Ergotelis in the Greek league.
As we reported a few days ago he was suddenly summoned by Steve Gatting, coach of the Arsenal Under 16s, to go on a trial with Arsenal in Italy and participate in the Atalanta Cup tournament.
Nikos scored two goals, one against Chievo and the other against CSKA Moscow and also scored his penalty in the shoot out against Juventus in the final.
His room mate and fellow trialist Norwegian goalkeeper Sean McDermott saved one and scored another as his was the penalty that won the competition. So both trialists seem to have done very well in the end.
Sean plays for Norwegian outfit, IK Vag.
His father is from Donegal and his mother from Norway so he is eligible to play for both Norway and the Republic of Ireland.
He has chosen to play for the Republic of Ireland and is considered to be a young goalkeeper with a bright future.
Nikos was instructed to play as a centre forward in a 4 3 3 formation and he reveled in that position.
The travelling from Greece to London and then back again to Italy all within 24 hours must have taken a lot out of him.
However according to Greek sports paper “Goalday” the Arsenal bench seemed satisfied with his performance labelling it as energetic. He was told that his trial went well and that contact will be made soon.
Nikos himself said that “It was a tremendous experience for me playing at such a high level of football and with some footballers who will be the stars of the future”
While he waits for that phone call his mind will be full of the memories of the last few days:
Scoring the goals, lifting the Cup along with the other Arsenal young stars and singing «we are the champions» in front of the spectators (which were mostly Juventus fans).
What also made an impression on him was the fact that the Arsenal defenders always played the ball on the ground!
Greek wonderkid completes trial with Arsenal scoring two goals in Italian tournament