Wojciech Szczesny has expressed his delight at being a regular in the Arsenal set-up nearly seven years after arriving at the club as a 15-year old with many dreams to fulfill.
Szczesny, now 22, has been Arsenal’s number one since Lukasz Fabianski’s injury midway through last season and his emergence came at a critical time when there was a lot of pressure on manager Arsene Wenger to bring in a world class goalkeeper.
While the youngster still remains a work in progress, his talent and reflexes have impressed many around English football.
In fact, he is now set to feature for Poland’s national team as they prepare to serve as the co-hosts of this summer’s Euro 2012 competition.
All the success that has come Szczesny’s way has been great for his confidence but more importantly, it has been a thrilling experience for him to see his childhood aspirations turn into reality.
“I think the first time I got scouted by Arsenal was in a game against France [for Poland Under-15s], which we drew 0-0 in and I did quite well. So I was invited on trial when I was 15,” Szczesny started narrating in an interview with Arsenal Player.
The Gunners stopper added: “I loved London from the minute I landed at Heathrow Airport, I thought it was fantastic. I also loved the atmosphere around the training ground and the facilities, it was all just there for me to go on and make a career in football.
“I just thought to myself, ‘it’s a chance you get once in a lifetime’, and so it was quite an easy decision for me to join Arsenal.”
Wojciech also reflected on the impact that the presence of superstars such as Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, and Jens Lehmann made on his development as a young player.
He explained: “I think what really made me motivated was seeing all the superstars around the training ground. Back then you had the likes of Robert Pires, Thierry Henry and Jens Lehmann.
“They were some fantastic players to be around and seeing them there every day just made you think that you want to be there around them [on the pitch] one day. It makes you want to work hard.”
The starlet then went on to express hope that he can now serve as an inspiration and set an example for kids in the Arsenal youth set-up.
“I hope that some of the kids in the youth team now are looking at me and thinking ‘I want to be his team-mate one day’. It has been a very good journey,” Szczesny concluded.