England pair Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson aiming to inspire south London youth

Tuesday 05 May 2020
Jadon Sancho has been in Germany during the COVID-19 lockdown

England pair Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson have spoken of their pride at being able to use their own achievements so far to inspire the youngsters of south London.

Both players grew up playing in the football ‘cages’ south of the Thames and now find themselves representing their country with Sancho in the senior squad and Nelson among the U21s’ strikeforce.

And the duo, who have been close friends since their days growing up, appeared together in the latest edition of Micah Phones which sees former Three Lions defender Micah Richards catching up with different players from the England squads.

"When I made my debut, it was a big thing where I come from and it’s just giving hope to the youth,” said Sancho, who’s currently back in training with German outfit Borussia Dortmund.


"What me and Reiss are doing now is hopefully making them see that there's a way out and that with hard work that they can achieve anything.

"Once I'd done it [made a senior debut], I wanted to accomplish more and more, to show people from south London not to have a small mindset and to believe in yourself.

"It's about making your families proud and for me and Reiss, that was one of the biggest things growing up.

"Obviously seeing our mums struggling and working so hard every day to see us eat and make us smile.

"For me that's the biggest thing, to see my family living a different life, seeing all my other brothers and sisters growing up and seeing a different view.

Reiss Nelson and Sancho grew up together in Southwark and Lambeth in south London

Arsenal man Nelson, who also spent time in Germany with a loan spell at Hoffenheim last term, added: "We played at youth level together, for the U19s, I think Jadon was playing a year up, but I’d played with him from young, so there was always a chemistry.

"It's about giving inspiration to the young kids in south London, who might have that mindset that they can't really do anything with themselves.

"100 per cent, you can make it out of the area and achieve big things."

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By Nicholas Veevers