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Former Gospel Oak School pupil Trae Coyle signs for Arsenal

17-year-old midfielder says it his 'childhood dream' to play for the Gunners

18 January, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Trae Coyle signs his Arsenal contract, watched by parents Rodney and Michelle [Pic: Arsenal]

ARSENAL have just unveiled their latest star signing, and it’s one that has left football fans and coaches across Camden and Islington buzzing. Trae Coyle celebrated his 17th birthday in style last week by signing his first professional contract with his boyhood club.

The attacking midfielder, who grew up in Chalk Farm and used to attend Gospel Oak ­Primary School, posted a picture on Instagram of himself putting pen to paper on the deal with two simple words: “Childhood dream.”

Asked what the best thing about being at Arsenal was, Trae, who joined the club just before his ninth birthday, said: “I think that it’s probably seeing all the big players every day – you see Arsene [Wenger], and all the first-team coaches. Especially me, as a fan, seeing all my idols growing up, the coach, getting to go and watch every game, that’s ­probably the best part.”

Discussing his own ambitions and what he needs to do to get in the Gunners first team, Trae added: “I want to be the best I can, win as many trophies as I can and just be remembered. I have to work hard every day. I think the main thing is giving them a reason to pick you or to involve you, that’s probably the biggest thing.”

Where it all started: Trae Coyle in the Camden Year 6 District Team

Arsenal work hard to protect their young stars and keep them out of the spotlight. That was a feat made somewhat harder back in 2015 when Trae scored against Barcelona from the halfway line during an Under-15s match. So why has a player who has been kept under wraps already got so many well-wishers in north London? Perhaps part of the answer was revealed when, in an interview with the club’s official website, Trae was asked about his earliest footballing memory.

“I used to play for Hampstead FC when I was about seven,” he said. “I just remember being a striker, scoring loads of goals and having fun.” A gifted and physically commanding player, Trae has already made a mark in both Camden and Islington. He scored a hat-trick in the final of the Kay Trophy back in 2012 when Camden’s Year 6 District team beat Bermondsey 3-2 – ending the borough’s 17-year wait for silverware.

Trae Coyle at the 2015 London Youth Games

In 2015 the former St Aloysius schoolboy also helped Islington capture a silver medal at the London Youth Games. On hearing the news that Trae had signed his first pro’ contract, his old Camden District coach, Abul Koyar, said: “He’s a shining light for young footballers. His commitment to District football was second to none. Professional clubs often play youth games on Sunday, so I’m sure they wouldn’t want their players turning out for their district side on the Saturday, too. But he was at one of the biggest clubs in Europe, yet Trae was always there – he never missed a game.”

Mr Koyar added: “He also scored the quickest hat-trick I’ve ever seen in the final of the Kay Trophy, banging in three goals in just 10 minutes. He was a goal machine.”

You can always hear Tottenham fans singing “he’s one of our own” every time Harry Kane scores. Now, with Trae Coyle, it seems Camden, Islington and Arsenal have found one of their own.

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