NextGen draw throws up intriguing tests for Arsenal youngsters

Arsenal’s participation in the NextGen Series for the 2012/13 campaign was confirmed in April, and yesterday the anticipation ahead of the tournament, which will run for six months culminating in the Final in March next year, was cranked up somewhat when the draw for the group stages was made, pitching the young Gunners against Althletic Bilbao, Marseille and Anderlecht.

The game against Bilbao in particular, with the Spanish side, like Arsenal, renowned for their free-flowing style of play, should prove a watchable affair, whilst Marseille and Anderlecht will also pose difficult tests as the Gunners look to progress out of Group Four. With the club yet to confirm who will replace Neil Banfield and Steve Bould in their reserve and youth roles following their promotion to the first-team coaching staff, however, it is currently unclear who will be taking charge of Arsenal at the tournament.

However, Banfield has indicated that the players Arsenal will use in the NextGen series are likely to be those who are not receiving regular game time in the newly-restructured Premier Reserve League, which will effectively be an under-21 league from next season. The NextGen series is open to players born on or after January 1st 1994, meaning that players such as Martin Angha, Zak Ansah and Kyle Ebecilio, who have become increasingly involved in the Reserve side, will all be eligible to feature, although three over-age players can also be named, meaning that, theoretically at least, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thomas Eisfeld would be permitted to be included, although the club are more likely to include players such as Josh Rees and Jordan Wynter, who, whilst only just entering their first full seasons as professionals, are regarded as over-age players having been born in late 1993.

Group One – FC Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos, Vfl Wolfsburg.
Group Two – Manchester City FC, Juventus Football Club, Paris Saint-Germain, Fenerbahce.
Group Three – Chelsea FC, AFC Ajax, CSKA Moscow, Molde FK.
Group Four – Arsenal FC, Athletic Bilbao, Olympique de Marseille, RSC Anderlecht.
Group Five – Liverpool FC, Borussia Dortmund, Internazionale, Rosenborg BK.
Group Six – Sporting Clube de Portugal, Celtic FC, Aston Villa FC, PSV Eindhoven




  1. Looking forward to seeing Olsson, Bellerin, Toral and Gnabry stacked up against the top talents from other countries. This should really serve them well in their development

    1. ELIGIBLE FOR NEXT GEN 2012/2013


      Reice Charles-Cooke 18 Apr8 1994 Goalkeeper England 93-94

      Josh Vickers 16 Dec1 1995 Goalkeeper England 95-96


      Martin Yves Angha-Lötscher 18 Jan22 1994 Centre Half 187 Switz 93-94

      Elton Monteiro Almada 18 Feb22 1994 Centre Half 192 Switz 93-94

      Isaac Hayden 17 Mar22 1995 Centre Half 185 England 94-95

      Hector Bellerin Moruno 17 Mar19 1995 Winger / r. back Spain 94-95

      Zack Fagan 17 Nov16 1994 Centre Half 190 England 94-95

      Bradley Ormonde-Ottewill 16 Dec21 1995 Left Back England 95-96

      Leander Siemann 16 Oct25 1995 Centre Half 188 Germany 95-96

      Obasiarinse Uade 16 Dec26 1995 Centre Half Nigeria 95-96

      Tom Dallison 16 1996 Centre Half England 95-96

      Overaged defenders

      Samir Bihmoutine 18 Dec8 1993 Left Back
      Morocco 93-94

      Ben Glasgow 18 Oct24 1993 Right Back R.Ireland 93-94

      Sead Hajrovic 19 Jun4 1993 Centre Half 183
      Switz 92-93


      Kyle Ebecilio 18 Feb17 1994 Midfield 180 Holland 93-94

      Jon Miguel Toral Harper 17 Feb5 1995 Midfield 182 Spain 94-95

      Serge Gnabry 17 Jul14 1995 Stiker Germany 94-95

      Kristoffer Olsson 17 Jun30 1995 Midfield 175 Sweden 94-95

      Jack Jebb 16 Sep11 1995 Midfield 183 England 95-96

      Alexander Iwobi 16 May3 1996 Midfield England 95-96

      Alfred Mugabo 16 Oct9 1995 Midfield Rwanda 95-96

      Glen Roberts 16 1995 Midfield England 95-96

      Overaged midfielders

      Nicolas Yennaris 19 Jun23 1993 D.Midfield 179
      England 92-93

      Chukwuemeka Ademola Amachi Aneke 19 Jul3 1993 Midfield 191 Nigeria 92-93

      Thomas Eisfeld 19 Jan18 1993 Midfield 177
      Germany 92-93

      Jordan Wynter 18 Nov24 1993 Midfield 178
      England 93-94

      Joshua Rees 18 Oct4 1993 Midfield 175
      England 93-94


      Zack Andy Ansah 18 May4 1994 Striker 180 England 93-94

      Phillip Roberts 18 Apr7 1994 Striker 180
      R.Ireland 93-94

      Anthony Jeffrey 17 Oct3 1994 Sriker England 94-95

      Chuba Akpom 16 Oct9 1995 Striker England 95-96

      Austin Lipman 16 Sep20 1995 Sriker England 95-96

      Tarum Dawkins 16 1996 Winger England 95-96

      Overaged strikers

      Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 18 Aug15 1993 Winger 180 England 93-94

      Benik Tunani Afobe 19 Feb12 1993 Striker 183
      England 92-93

      Wellington Alves da Silva 19 Jan6 1993 Stiker 170
      Brazil 92-93

      Nigel Neita 18 Dec23 1993 Striker 181
      Jamaica 93-94

      1. And this list is only for who are eligible, not anykind of speculation who will be in it.

  2. If you can’t give first team players some playing time in the reserve league, then what’s the purpose of it.

  3. I would have thought our overage players would be Yennaris, Aneke and Afobe in addition to giving them a chance in the Carling Cup

  4. JB – any more info on the reserve league changes and wether we are actually going to play a part. the latest i have heard is that arsenal are considering one manager for all the youths. to run u21 league nextgen fa youth cup and u18 league teams. that seems a hell of a lot for one man? but i guess he would have assistants and coaches so that it emulates the first team and it may be explain why dermot drummy is interested in the job.

  5. Watched a lot of this tournament last year, it really is top quality, players will learn so much playing against top European sides home and away. All the players selected will gain real experience, and be better players for it.

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