Anthony Jeffrey is enjoying this season’s FA Youth Cup.
The fleet-footed winger has played an integral role in Arsenal’s advancement to the last 16, scoring the opening goal in both the third and the fourth rounds and providing a constant threat with his searing pace.
Now the 18-year-old is hoping to maintain those high standards when Steve Gatting’s side face Everton in tonight’s fifth-round clash at Underhill.
“I’m in good form at the moment,” Jeffrey told Arsenal.com. “I hadn’t scored before this season, so the Youth Cup is proving quite lucky for me. Hopefully I can keep it going in the next round and we can go further.
After seeing Jack Wilshere’s team go so far and win it [in 2009], it’s a dream for us to do the same. We’ve been talking about it amongst ourselves. Everyone is really up for it and ready to goAnthony Jeffrey
“We had a tough game in the last round [against Fulham]. Now we’re just trying to win it in 90 minutes if we can. It’s going to be a hard game and we’ll have to work hard.
“We’ve played Everton before, but we had a young team out. Now we’ve got big players like Chuba Akpom, Isaac Hayden, Hector Bellerin and Serge Gnabry all playing. It should be a good game and a good test, but if we work our hardest and play at our best then we can come out on top.”
There can be no doubting this young Arsenal side’s vast talent - that was showcased in their swashbuckling 3-0 third-round victory against Newcastle United. But just as important was the fact they proved their mental toughness by digging in to beat Fulham after a topsy-turvy fourth-round encounter.
“We were on top in the first half and thought the second half would be tough going up the hill,” he said. “We’ve played against Fulham for a long time now, so we knew they had good players.
“You could see how much desire we had, how much we wanted to win and how much we worked for each other. We’ve got a great team with some great players, but if we didn’t have the right attitude we wouldn’t get anywhere.
We'll have live updates on the @ArsenalLive account
“Winning is the most important thing. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you win ugly or win pretty, the most important thing is getting through.
“After seeing Jack Wilshere’s team go so far and win it [in 2009], it’s a dream for us to do the same. We’ve been talking about it amongst ourselves. Everyone is really up for it and ready to go.”
If you want to cheer on Arsenal's youth team at Underhill tonight, tickets can be purchased on the gate for £3 adults/£1 concessions.