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More than a game: Guéhi's Kicks Masterclass

Club Captain and England international Marc Guéhi joined four lucky Premier League Kicks participants at the Crystal Palace Academy as part of the Premier League’s More Than A Game campaign, which aims to showcase the connection between Premier League Kicks and real-life stars.

Tylei, Ceren, Josh and Jayden are four talented players who participate in our weekly Premier League Kicks sessions in south London. As part of the Premier League’s More Than A Game campaign, they were joined and supported by Palace Captain Marc Guéhi, as the group took part in a series of knockout football challenges including classic ‘Wembley ‘singles where each player tries to score or stop the other player from scoring, a Crossfield ping, tapping into Marc’s pinpoint long passing expertise, and a top corner whip, which pays homage to Michael Olise’s wonderstrike against Luton.

The Premier League’s More Than A Game campaign aims to connect the world of Premier League Kicks with real-life stars and showcase the vibrancy of Kick’s community programmes and the ‘ballers’ within them. You may have already seen how Tylei’s sights are set on the WSL, or Ceren’s desire to inspire the new generation of female footballers.

The More Than A Game campaign aims to demonstrate how the Premier League’s wide-ranging investment into all levels of football enables people connected to clubs to have a positive impact on their local communities.

Marc told us about the experience:

“It was really good; they were showing off some of their skills and abilities, and I was just there to assist and watch.

It’s really good [to get involved in the Foundation] because it’s giving back in a way, lending a hand, and if I can do that in any way, in any shape or form, for me, that’s great.

“You could see by the way they were smiling when they were playing football and the camaraderie between them; just by their reaction, you know they enjoyed it.”

A strong battle saw Tylei victorious in round one and round two, with Ceren winning round three, leaving her the only remaining candidate and overall winner.

“I joined around two years ago and it’s made a major change to my life,” says Ceren. “It doesn’t only help with talent, but as a person you grow.

“You meet new people, your communication skills improve and they give you the best opportunities, like being able to go down to Palace’s games for free or coming down to the training ground.

“It’s like a little family we have now. It’s the most beautiful thing.”

Marc agrees:

Palace do some great things in the community, constantly inspiring the next generation of communities to go out and do great things; whether that’s in football or not.

Palace are giving people a platform, giving them a foundation to go out and be themselves and be their best selves which is amazing.

At Palace, we’re so proud of our Kicks community. We’ve been running the programme for over 15 years, and since its inception in the 2006/07 season, nearly 9,000* young people have participated, and over 12,500* hours of free activity have been delivered across south London thanks to funding from the Premier League and generous donations from Palace fans.

*statistics up to the 2021/2022 season.

“I grew up Lewisham.  The club is a massive family club and so is south London in general. It’s full of so many communities and has a family-feel-good-factor, people looking after each other, so being able to do that today was brilliant, says Marc.It’s brilliant to do these types of things, it makes you think of the game when you first started growing up at grassroots level.”

For more information about Premier League Kicks, please head here

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