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Quick Fire Questions with Volenti Academy player Clement Asiedu

Palace for Life are partners of the Volenti Academy, a development centre that allows young people the opportunity to broaden their educational training while participating in a fully comprehensive training and football programme.

We caught up Clement Asiedu, a young south Londoner who has flourished at the Volenti Academy, for some quick-fire questions about representing Palace and furthering his studies. Clement is on course to win the NFYL Premier Division for the 3rd year in a row, has been selected for the NFYL all-star team and has now started coaching for us on our youth academy programmes. 

Hi Clement! What’s it like to represent Crystal Palace as part of the Volenti programme?

Representing Palace is amazing – wearing the Palace kit when people see me, it makes me feel a little bit special. Ex-Palace player Bobby Bowry is also one of my coaches and is one of the best I’ve ever worked with. He’s so good, he produces every single day, his training sessions make sure you’re on it every single day, every single game. I’m so lucky to have him as a coach.

Clement (right) in action at Selhurst Park

What’s your proudest achievement during the course so far?

There are so many. For me, it’s improving as a player. I’m really proud of myself because when I first came through, I wasn’t as good as I am now. Another one of my proudest achievements it’s getting through into the men’s team, being around that environment, and finally getting into the NYFL all-star team. That makes me feel really proud of myself.

What about your educational achievements?

I got my extended diploma level 3, and am completing the first year of my blended degree. which will really help me in the future. On Tuesday, we get in and train and after training, we go into classes, we focus on our coursework, and make sure we get the work done, which is really important.

What opportunities do you think this programme has given to you and other young south Londoners?

Crystal Palace and Volenti have helped me get into the men’s team which I’m playing in regularly and really enjoying it. For the other young people, it’s a really good opportunity to work hard.

Tell us about the work opportunities, like your coaching work?

I’ve had the amazing opportunity to start coaching and I’ve really enjoyed following in the footsteps of my coaches to help develop some of the younger players. The participants are in years 8 and 9 and come down on a Friday when I and one of my coaches take a session with them.

Why did you get involved with the Crystal Palace and Volenti programme?

I got involved because first I wanted to improve as a player – I was told when I came in that if I work really hard, I’ll get opportunities…and I did! It’s really benefitted me, I’ve mentally, physically, and technically improved, so it’s really good.

What advice would you give to somebody thinking about applying to the programme?

It’s so good and I’d really recommend it. If you’re willing to work hard and put in your best, Volenti is the right place to come because if you come out there and work hard, there opportunities will come your way.

For more information on the Volenti programme, please head here.

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