Arsenal Star and Black Stars captain Thomas Partey has launched a foundation in his hometown – Odumase Krobo, with the aim of allowing talented but underprivileged young footballers to make it to the highest stage.

The midfielder who signed for Arsenal on the deadline day of the 2020 summer transfer window started his playing career at Krobo Youth FC –a colts club in Odumase Krobo, managed by his dad, Jacob.

Partey then moved to revelation FC in Ashaiman and to Ghana Premier League side Tema Youth before joining the youth setup of Atletico Madrid, Partey says it’s his own way of giving back to society.

“Well, I think everyone will understand why this foundation is made or unveiled today. Because knowing where you come from, how hard it is to get to where I am without help is very difficult. So this foundation is made to make all the young ones with the talent to be able to reach where they want to reach – give them the opportunity that they deserve, the opportunity most of us did not get – some of my friends did not get when we were young – so that they’ll be able to be someone or more than me in the future,” he told Joy Sports.

Joe Addo, ex-Black Stars captain and advisor to the current deputy captain of the senior national team, commends the efforts of the player, admitting that the demands of football makes it difficult for active players to engage in such projects.

“[It’s] very, very difficult, because when you are playing, you don’t think of stuff like that, because your concentration most of the time is how you’re going to win games. These days salaries are so huge that you don’t want to be distracted by anything, but for him to have one week – he only has a one week break because he came from UK went straight to the national team camp, and he has one week and he’s supposed to leave tonight.

“But for him to put that in his program, to come all the way he grew up to do something like this, I think it’s a very good initiative, and I hope the other players will look and see if they can help the youth from their villages. It doesn’t always have to be the urban areas. It could also come from the rural areas.

“As you know, most of us footballers who played in the Black Stars and stuff, we didn’t come from Tema and Accra, we came from our villages, and for him to have this initiative right here in his village is a tremendous achievement,” the former Black Stars defender said.

The Black Stars midfielder also revealed his intent of setting up an academy in his hometown.

“We’ve been doing this for the past three years. We have so many things that are yet to be unveiled, so the first step is to open this, and for the people in this country/city to be aware of and to be able to support with whatever they want to do and be able to push the talented ones. Everyone will have their opportunity as they deserve,” he said.

Thomas Partey is expected to join his Arsenal team mates as Preseason schedule begins.