By Nick Ames
Benik Afobe returned to the Reserves with a bang on Tuesday night, scoring the third of Arsenal’s five goals in their win over Norwich.
However, the 19-year-old striker has revealed that another recent strike meant just as much in its own way.
Speaking in his monthly diary for the Official Magazine, Afobe pinpointed a pivotal moment that occurred during one of his first full training sessions since returning from six frustrating months on the sidelines.
“One moment in my third day of training gave me a big boost,” he recalled.
“We were training inside and had a mini-tournament. My team had kept for ball for nine or ten passes before Jernade Meade crossed it in - I got on the end of it and finished well with my left foot.
"It was my first goal in a game situation since returning and I was quietly thinking “Yes, he’s back!” - although obviously I didn’t celebrate outwardly in case I got a bit of stick!”
Afobe also had special praise for Academy fitness coach Craig Gant, who cajoled him along what was at times a lonely road to recovery.
“I want to give a big mention to Craig for helping me get back to this point,” he said.
“At the beginning we thought I might be out for the season, but he’s had me working hard and I’m really grateful to him for getting me to reach this level. He’s been really good to me and I’m seeing the benefit now.”
The Official Arsenal Magazine is available from all Club shops and good newsagents, as well as from programme sellers at all home games. You can also subscribe online or call 0845 301 7626.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Feb 2012