5,000 Gunners fans at national stadium to see squad train
Posted on July 24, 2012, Tuesday
KUALA LUMPUR: Almost 5,000 fans of English Premier League team Arsenal FC flocked to the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here yesterday to see the squad in a training session.
Some fans of the club, dubbed the ‘Gunners’, who were in the club’s jerseys, cheered and called
out the names of the players when the 24-man squad entered the field.
The training session which was monitored by Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, lasted two hours.
Earlier, in the afternoon, four Arsenal players, Thomas Vermaelen, Alex Song, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby shared their football skills with a group of 60 youngsters aged between nine and 14 in a coaching clinic held at The Saujana Kuala Lumpur, Subang, near here.
All the youngsters were also given the opportunity to attend the question-and-answer session, besides getting signed autographs and taking pictures with their favourite players.
The Gunners squad then spent time two hours with a selected group of 400 fans, not only from Malaysia but also from neighbouring countries like Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines..
Midfielder Arteta when met by reporters after the session said as a kid he had always wanted to meet his idols and dream of playing with them.
“The children have a wonderful spirit and it was great to meet young players with such great passion for football.
“We really enjoyed spending time with them and it was inspiring to see how eager they all were to learn new skills,” said the 30-year-old Spaniard.
The Gunners will take on the national squad coached by Datuk K. Rajagobal at the same stadium before wrapping up their Asian Tour with a match against Kitchee FC of Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Stadium, this Sunday.
The Malaysian national squad were thrashed 0-4 by the English side during the latter’s Asian Tour last year. — Bernama