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Arsenal youngster hails the influence of God on his pledging career

PUBLISHED: 14:00 29 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:11 29 December 2016

Arsenal defender Tafari Moore is currently on a season-long loan at Eredivisie side FC Utrech

Arsenal defender Tafari Moore is currently on a season-long loan at Eredivisie side FC Utrech

Archant

Former Brent district player Tafari Moore says that without the influence of God he wouldn’t have got to where he is today in football.

The 19-year-old Arsenal defender, who is currently on a season-long loan at Eredivisie outfit FC Utrecht, is a proud Rastafarian and says that religion has helped him enormously in his career.

He said: “Everything that has happened so far in my career and life has made me feel truly blessed. I wouldn’t say I was the most confident when I was younger but I’ve always been a child of God and my dad has always drummed that into me, too. It’s got me on the right path, and this is only the beginning now.”

Moore endured a frustrating spell on the sidelines last season, before returning to the fold and he signed a new two-year contract at the Emirates in January.

He added: “I wouldn’t be where I am now without God.

“He puts people in their place to set them on their path. He did that with me and still is helping me.

“It’s about keeping the faith at all times. All the stuff that happened when I was out injured, I could already see where I was going so that kept me strong.

“Having God’s presence around me has really helped.”

Raheem Sterling is someone Moore knows well, having played together during their youth days at QPR.

The latter followed Sterling out of Loftus Road when he was just 12, and says his dad constantly tells him of his belief that the teenager can make the same impact Sterling has on the domestic and international circuit – and do it side-by-side.

“I know Raheem from our time at QPR together. He remains a good friend of mine and someone I look up to in high regard in the game,” Moore said.

“My dad always says he sees me playing in the same team with Raheem in the future, doing my thing, so it was great to be able to tell him that I was playing with Raheem again [when I trained with England in September].”

Moore’s opportunity to train with the national team came about after he impressed Three Lions boss Sam Allardyce in a England Under-20 fixture against Brazil – with the youngster recalling a funny tale from their conversation that day.

He said: “I went inside but realised I had left my boots outside on the pitch and Sam was standing right next to them and as I went to grab them he said ‘we’ve got a lot of wannabe rappers in this team, are you one of them?! [pointing at my dreadlocks]

“I replied: ‘yeah I’ve been told I’ve got a decent voice’ and he came back and said ‘a bit of Bob Marley eh?’

“We both laughed, and he said we could put that voice to good use and I said ‘any time boss’.

“It’s a shame what happened with Sam, but I have nothing but respect for him and I’m very grateful for the opportunity he and the coaching team gave me that day – it will stay with me forever.”

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