Football Grassroots Sport London

From North London to Nizhny Novgorod: Raheem Sterling

Read time 3 minutes 

The next instalment of our blog series takes us to a player who polarises opinion, Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling. We had previously touched on Marcus Rashford’s rise from grassroots to England International. We now turn our attention to speedy forward who in his short career has already had many highs and lows. Enjoy.

Young Raheem Sterling

Originally born in Jamaica, Sterling emigrated to North London at just 5 years of age. The Englishman became part of the QPR academy in 2003 spending 7 years improving his game in West London until the big boys came calling. He headed north to Premier League giants Liverpool. At Liverpool, he had to be patient, until Brendan Rodgers gave him the opportunity which he undoubtedly took. He lined up alongside Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, where they would go on to form a fearsome attacking threesome, almost inspiring them to a Premier League crown.

His instant success drew attention. He deservedly earned himself an England call-up in 2012. Due to his newfound stardom, suitors came sniffing. He eventually moved on from Liverpool under somewhat of a cloud. Maybe it was a fresh start that he needed and soon Manchester City beckoned. He became the most expensive English player of all time. Despite the blockbuster move, many argue he is yet to produce his best form on the international scene. However, in came  Pep Guardiola where his fortunes changed. He and his teammates waltzed to the league this year. He contributed his greatest haul yet, scoring 18 Premier League goals and contributing 11 assists. An impressive feat, making him one of England’s key men in Russia.

Raheem Sterling & French man

Sterling is somewhat of a divisive figure due to his off the field troubles. It seemed at the beginning of his professional career, he was only ever creating negative stories about himself. He, however, seems to of turned a corner and if he carries on letting his feet do the talking I am sure that he’ll get the praise he rightfully deserves.

During his time at QPR Sterling attended Ark Elvin Academy (formerly Copland School), where he was also heavily involved in the football setup. Since his departure, the school has received some major funding. This money has not only been used to rebuild parts of the school, but also to improve and implement state of the art sports facilities. Ark Elvin has recently become a Playfinder partnered venue. Therefore, enabling you to follow in his footsteps and play at this wonderful venue.

Don’t let your favourite stars enjoy all the fun, why not play yourself. You can find and book pitches through Playfinder, a booking portal offering excellent facilities to those who are looking to play at the grassroots level. You may not be selected in Gareth Southgate’s final 23 man squad to travel to Moscow, however, you can still attempt to emulate Sterling’s success by playing on the same turf once graced by England’s number ten!