By Chris Harris

Kyle Bartley will captain Arsenal Reserves this season.

The powerful defender has skippered the second string in their opening two fixtures and Arsenal are sitting pretty at the top of their division after emphatic victories over Fulham and Birmingham.

Bartley was a mainstay of the Under-18 team which lifted the FA Youth Cup last term and became a regular for Neil Banfield's side too, making 13 appearances for the Reserves - a tally bettered only by Mark Randall. Now Bartley will lead the second string out as they chase the Reserve League title.

"Kyle is captain for the season and he deserves it," comfirmed Banfield.

"We're trying to develop leaders and I think Kyle has got the qualities that he can become a leader in a few years. I think as well that some others might go on loan so we like to have a lad here as captain who we know will be here for a while.

"I think Kyle has worked extremely hard. He has grown as a man and he has grown as a defender too. He is working extremely hard at his game and his performances now are reaping the rewards of hard work."

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4 Sep 2009