From mascot to starter

By Kayla Knapp

Many kids dream of being rock stars, astronauts or famous athletes, but very few actually see that dream become a reality.

Nico Yennaris is one of those lucky few.

The now 19-year-old grew up as an Arsenal supporter – he was even the Gunners’ mascot for their match against Coventry City at age seven in the League Cup.

Since then, he has made his way up through the ranks in Arsenal’s academy, and had his Premier League debut in January of 2011 against Manchester United. Talk about a tough opponent – but he had a solid outing despite facing such an intimidating side.

On Wednesday, 12 years after that adorable picture was taken, Yennaris started for Arsenal in their third round match against none other than Coventry City in this season’s League Cup. The young midfielder played all 90 minutes in the Gunners’ 6-1 victory.

Yennaris has truly lived out his dream, and there is likely much more to come from this young rising player.