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Everton's Josh King announces plans to start free football academy

Everton striker Joshua King has announced he is starting his own free football academy in Oslo, after the pandemic originally put his plans on hold for a year.

Everton's Josh King announces free football academy

Off the pitch, King has been praised for his efforts of making sure children from all backgrounds in his home town can experience a summer soccer school, offered completely free of charge.

Between June 18 and 20 of this year, 200 children will be able to experience the "Joshua King Football Academy" for the first time.

The Everton player told TV 2: "I am really excited. I remember even when I was young, it cost a lot of money to attend football school.

"There were many children who could not afford to attend football schools that cost 500 or 700 kroner.

"Therefore, I thought it would be fun to get something that is free, where the children can just enjoy it, have fun and be trained by coaches at a high level.

"We have achieved this and we have only received a positive response from sponsors, coaches and people who want to contribute.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing the faces of those kids, because I remember myself being one of them when I was young."

King was keen to stress the importance of not charging a fee for his academy having known that football should be accessible to anyone from any background, making sure that money will not deny anyone the opportunity to take part next month.

"There are some who have two or three siblings, and the most important things for that family are food, shelter and education," he added.

"This is the most important thing for most parents. Therefore, free is the main goal here. If you have a family that earns 400,000 a year or if you have a father who earns three million a year, then you should be able to come to this football school, have fun and see that people actually care. It's not all about money."

King also hopes in the future to expand the academy from outside of Oslo and to more districts across Norway to help reach out to any young footballers in the country.

"I have always been a "giver" and not a "receiver". I always think it's better to give. It's me as a person," the forward concluded.

"I've got everything and I have everything I need in life, plus plus. I have had a good career and I have many years left.

"But when you give something to people, and especially children, it is ten times better than getting something.

"I hope it will be a good thing, that people like it and that the children like it, that is the most important thing.

"Then I aim to perhaps expand it to the fact that it is not only in Oslo, but that it will be in districts all over Norway, so that kids have something to look forward to.

"It would have been fun to have a national football school that was free every summer holiday, which the children looked forward to and where they did not have to worry about whether mum and dad could afford it."

Author: Jake Wilkin