By Chris Harris

Emmanuel Frimpong is ready to shoulder extra responsibility when Arsenal get their FA Youth Cup defence underway on Wednesday evening.

The powerful midfielder was one of the junior members of the side which lifted the trophy after an emphatic 6-2 aggregate victory over Liverpool in May. But now Frimpong is one of the older heads as a new generation of talent challenges for the biggest prize in youth football.

Frimpong knows that the younger members of Steve Bould's team will look to him - and captain Cedric Evina - for on-field guidance. The 17-year-old is ready to help.

"I do feel the extra responsibility this season and I have been thinking about that," Frimpong told Arsenal TV Online.

"Last year players like Sanchez Watt, Henri Lansbury, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, they were the older players and they dealt with it really well. They spurred the team on and helped the younger players come through.

"Hopefully this year players like me and Cedric Evina, we are the older players so hopefully we can show the younger players how it is done, take them on to the field and win games."

Subscribers can now watch the full exclusive interview with Emmanuel on Arsenal TV Online. He discusses:

  • winning the Youth Cup in May
  • the strength of character and fitness in that team
  • beating Spurs at White Hart Lane
  • how those games prepare you for first-team football
  • beating Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate in the Final
  • being one of the older players this year
  • Arsenal's prospects of defending their trophy
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15 Dec 2009