By Nick Teale
Steve Bould believes young Gunners looking to break into the Arsenal first team should look at the example Craig Eastmond has set this season.
The 19-year-old made his first-team debut in the Carling Cup last Autumn and has since made seven appearances for Arsène Wenger's side.
He has also been a regular on the bench this term, playing in his favoured central midfield role despite spending last season's FA Youth Cup-winning campaign at right-back.
The Wandsworth-born youngster recently admitted that even he was surprised when he got the first-team call in October and Bould believes Eastmond's season just goes to show what hard work and belief can bring when the talent is there.
"He has worked his absolute socks off," the Under-18s manager told "He is a great lad, everybody at the Academy loves him and he deserves everything he has got.
"He had always been at the back of the queue in terms of that group when he was younger, but it just shows that with a bit of hard work, dedication, belief and of course talent you have a chance.
"He has grabbed his chance with both hands and everybody is delighted for him.
"He is an example to everybody, including the group he came through with. There are still lots of them around the Club and they can look at Craig and say 'well if Craig can get there why can't I?'
"It is fabulous for the Academy to see our lads doing well and it is encouragement for everybody."

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17 May 2010