Willock helps Arsenal U18s to comfortable win over Brighton

U18 Premier League- GAME 1

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Arsenal 4 (Willock (10), Robinson (58), Hinds (62), Mavididi (89))

Arsenal U18s began life under new coach Frans de Kat with a comprehensive 4-0 victory away to Brighton & Hove Albion in their opening league fixture on Saturday.

A side predominantly composed of first-year scholars was in impressive form, with Chris Willock, who featured for the first-team and the U21s during pre-season, opening his account at this level with ten minutes gone.

Second-half strikes from Tyrell Robinson and Kaylen Hinds put the result beyond doubt before Stephy Mavididi provided another reminder of his prowess in front of goal when he scored with just a minute remaining.

There was some relative experience in the side, with Ryan Huddart, Stefan O’Connor, Elliot Wright and Renny Smith all starting, but De Kat was without the new foreign signings- Hugo Keto, Kristopher Da Graca, Savvas Mourgos and Elias Chatzitheodoridis- who are awaiting international clearance.

Midfielder Ben Sheaf, who joined from West Ham United in the summer, made his debut as a substitute, whilst schoolboy goalkeeper George Phillips made the bench at just 14 years of age.

The U18s will face a considerably more challenging test when they host Chelsea next Saturday.






subs: Da Silva (for Robinson, 62), Donovan (for Dobson, 66), Sheaf (for Smith, 66). Not used: Phillips.



  1. Briliant news that there is a new coach! Results already improving by the look of things.

    I always thought the dismal performances of recent seasons – barely a win all year – must be due to seriously poor coaching and motivation, rather than to lack of talent in the academy. Now with the coaching staff being overhauled, hopefully the kids will be able to shine and we’ll be top of the table, or near there, before too long.

    Jonker’s arrival hasn’t come a moment too soon. Have the under-21s got a new coach as well?

  2. Can’t draw big conclusions about ability or coaching at this stage, but a very positive start to the season for all youth teams.

    Suppose we’ll find out after this weekend if the lack of coverage of u18’s was a one-off (‘events beyond our control’ or something similar was what someone from the club tweeted) or the new way of it.

    To be honest, it would fit with what’s happening in youth football. The battle for signatures is apparently a very ugly business now and although scholarships are one hurdle, I’d guess they are a lot less secure than pro contracts; while those who play later in the season for u18s from younger age groups are obviously even more vulnerable to approaches from other clubs.

    If scouts are being kept apart in grounds with officials keeping an eye on them, as I’ve read, there’s probably a strong argument not to have much footage of your best youngsters available for all to peruse at leisure.

    Hopefully not and they’ll keep drawing the line at 16’s, who definitely need to be protected from hype.

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