With a large number of under-16s awarded scholarships for next season and a full-time role at London Colney to go with it, Arsenal under-16s coach Steve Gatting has began to implement a fresh batch of youngsters into his squad who will form the basis of his side next campaign.
Heading the new wave is exciting attacking talent Anthony Jeffrey. A player who joined the Hale End Academy at the age of eight, Anthony has steadily progressed through the ranks and has broken into the under-16s this campaign. A player blessed with quick speed, he is a talented sprinter in spite of his slight frame. Comfortable up front or on either wing, Anthony found the net in the Nike Cup last season and followed that up with a goal for the under-16s against Portsmouth in yesterday’s 3-2 victory.
Tall striker Zak Fagan is another player to look out for. Good at holding the ball up and laying it off for others as well as scoring goals himself, Zak is highly-rated by the coaching staff at Hale End and broke into the under-16s earlier this season.
Midfielder Luke Iffiel is competent at breaking up play as well as creating attacking chances and possesses good passing ability and has been on the fringes of the under-16s squad this campaign.
There are plenty more talented youngsters currently being honed at Hale End, where floodlights were installed late last year to enable the boys to play night games.