There is a lot of hype surrounding Arsenal’s pre-season friendly away to Boreham Wood on Saturday, especially as it is Unai Emery’s first game in charge of the club.
It will be intriguing to see what players Emery selects, the formation he deploys and the instructions he gives his players but on the opposing team there will be an individual for whom the game means even more.
Morgan Ferrier progresed through the ranks at Arsenal’s Hale End academy, from the under-9s to the under-16s, playing alongside the likes of Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden, but was informed that he wouldn’t be offered a scholarship deal.
Now aged 23, Ferrier, a powerful striker, is in his second spell at Boreham Wood, having signed from Dagenham & Redbridge in February.
It has been a rather nomadic career for Ferrier so far. After being released by Arsenal seven years ago he signed for Watford U18s before moving on to represent Nottingham Forest at U21 level.
Ferrier then went to Crystal Palace prior to dropping into non-league football with Bishop’s Stortford and Hemel Hampstead Town, while he has also represented Dagenham & Redbridge.
Now back at Boreham Wood, Ferrier scored the winner in the 1-0 friendly success over Hitchin Town this week with a penalty.
Against Arsenal, where he could come up against his old team-mate Akpom, Ferrier will be especially determined to impress.
There have been questions about Ferrier’s attitude in the past as he has answered back to coaches but he has shown greater maturity of late and this game represents an opportunity for him to enhance his profile and prove his quality.