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Riley Robinson learns plenty after training with Arsenal

Bermuda’s Riley Robinson meets Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya

Bermuda midfielder Riley Robinson is still flying high after being given the opportunity to train at Arsenal last week.

Robinson, who was called up to the Bermuda squad for the recent Fifa Series matches in Saudi Arabia, headed to London Colney, Arsenal’s training ground, after being selected by Binfield FC coach Ross Weatherstone as one of a handful of players for the training session.

The 19-year-old was thrilled to have been chosen and get a taste of what life is like at a Premier League facility

“I have dual registration with two clubs over in England and one of them is Binfield FC,” Robinson said.

“I was down in Reading on the last day of the league just to watch their game and the manager had been asked to identify a couple of players to train at Arsenal, so I went.

“It was great and the facilities were something that I had never seen before, going to a Champions League club and a team in the title race this season. It was really an eye-opener, just seeing everything they have at the club.”

Robinson, 19, was coached by one of the senior members of Arsenal’s staff and also had the opportunity to meet some senior players.

“I was coached by the head analysis coach [Ben Chadwick] and I also got to meet David Raya, who was there at the training session. Some of my family are Arsenal fans, so I took a picture and sent it to them.

“I’d done the drills before but these were more defensive because Arsenal are one of the best defensive teams in the league this year and that’s what they really focus on. There was a lot of attack versus defence, but the key thing for them, when you compare it to other places I’ve been, is the attention to detail, the pacing of the game and the technique.

“I learnt a lot from the session and one of the biggest takeaways was when the game is in transition. When you lose the ball, they are looking at your reaction, how quickly are you trying to recover the ball rather than throwing your hands up and wishing somebody else could have done something. It’s about individual responsibility.”

Robinson played for BAA in Bermuda before moving to England last year and he feels he has improved as a player since making the switch

“It’s been an adjustment compared with playing in Bermuda last season and getting used to the pace out here, but I feel I’ve adapted well and I’m ready to take that next step,” Robinson said.

“Bermuda has more laid-back, relaxed games but over here it’s much quicker and a much more physical game.”

Robinson scored against Grenada during Bermuda’s Concacaf Under-20 Championship qualifying campaign in February and was pleased to have had the opportunity to be a senior player at that level

“That experience was pretty good,” Robinson said.

“With previous national trips that I’ve been on, I’ve always been the youngest so I was able to be one of the oldest in the team this year. It was a good experience to lead some of the younger guys on that trip and help them to progress to that stage of football.”

As he has already said, Robinson is keen to take the next step in his career and he is confident of being selected for the senior squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in June and he enjoys working under coach Michael Findlay.

“I’m looking forward to preparing for the World Cup qualifiers with Bermuda in June and hopeful of being in that squad,” Robinson said.

“The new coach’s style is good and I like it. He allows the younger players to make mistakes and play the game. He helps us a lot in that aspect and allows us to play freely.”

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Published May 08, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated May 08, 2024 at 8:57 am)

Riley Robinson learns plenty after training with Arsenal

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