By Declan Taylor
Tom Cruise admits he’s been surprised by the buzz generated by this season’s FA Youth Cup.
The youngster has been ever-present on the left of Steve Bould’s Youth Cup defence this season as Arsenal have blazed a trail to the brink of the Final.
Bould’s boys currently hold a 2-1 Semi-Final advantage over holders and fellow academy heavyweights Manchester City. And, if they avoid defeat at Emirates Stadium in Wednesday night’s second leg, Arsenal will secure their first Final appearance for eight years.
Like many of the young Gunners, Cruise cannot wait to turn out at the Emirates and he thinks that the Under-18s’ recent inclusion in the Reserve team stands them in good stead for progression.
“Yes the buzz has definitely surprised me,” Cruise told Arsenal.com. “We haven’t won it since 2001 so everyone’s buzzing because we’ve got a chance of bringing it back.
“We’re definitely confident especially at the Emirates. If we play like we did at Eastlands in front of our crowd who could be our 12th man then hopefully we can get the result.
“To do well in the Youth Cup you have to learn how to play as a unit and we’re doing that for the Reserves. We face good, strong players and it can only benefit us in the Youth Cup against our own age group.”