Arsenal are starting to reap the rewards of their academy programme in Greece almost three years after it opened.
The Gunners’ Elite Academy Greece, based in the city of Loutraki near Athens, was established in 2011 and is headed by former Arsenal trainee Matthew Rose & ex-Greece international Lakis Papaioannou.
Elite Academy is the first of its kind in Europe, drawing players aged 12 to 16 years-old from a network of 30 Arsenal Soccer Schools.
Arsenal’s involvement in the annual Ferroli Cup has seen the club bring two Greek-based trialists with them to Italy; Kostas Pileas and Mourgos Savas.
Pileas, a promising left-back, was plucked from the Arsenal Soccer School in Cyprus while Savas – also a Greek-Cypriot – is a centre-back who has already played and impressed for the Gunners’ under-16 side.
Both Savas and Pileas will be hoping they’ve done enough to earn themselves a scholarship with Arsenal who are already through to the semi-finals of the Ferroli Cup where they will face Real Madrid later this evening.