By Nick Teale
Theo Walcott's goal for Southampton against Arsenal in the 2004/05 FA Youth Cup propelled the England international towards stardom.
His performance in that game caught the eye and in January 2006 the striker signed for the Gunners.
Last season Arsenal's Under-18s lifted the FA Youth Cup and Steve Bould's side are out to defend their crown, kicking off with a Third Round fixture against Crewe on Wednesday night.
Walcott reached the Final with Southampton five seasons ago and says success in the competition can help thrust youngsters on to the bigger stage.
"To win it last year was great for all the players and hopefully it can be a boost for them to play in the first team," he told Arsenal TV Online.
"It's where you kick off in your career.
"You get to play at great stadiums. So many fans come to watch the youth players and that is great to see.
"I played well in the game against Arsenal and grabbed a goal as well. I think a lot of people noticed me then."
Walcott was talking exclusively to Arsenal TV Online. Subscribers can watch the full interview with the 20-year-old now. In it, the striker discusses:

  • Arsenal's success in the FA Youth Cup last season
  • Craig Eastmond's emergence as a holding midfielder
  • Scoring for Southampton against the Gunners in the competition
  • Being spotted by Arsenal in that game
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15 Dec 2009