By Matt Fortune

A fine start to the Reserve League season got even better for five of Neil Banfield's youngsters when they were offered their first professional contracts with the Club.

Midfielders Kieran Gibbs and James Dunne, along with the defensive trio of Gavin Hoyte, Rene Steer and Abu Ogogo, signed on September 10. caught up with two of the new professionals after this week's Reserve League game.

"It's great news. I love this club," said Dunne. "I am keen now to just keep working hard and play for the Reserves as often as I can."

Dunne has been an ever-present so far this campaign and has been playing in his preferred role of central midfield, following a stint out wide for much of last season. "It's definitely my preferred position but if the manager wants me to play elsewhere, then I can," he said.

Gibbs, an Emirates Stadium goalscorer in the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final last season, was similarly upbeat. "It's a promising step for me," he said. "I'm so happy to move on early from my scholarship."

Gibbs also praised the team's endeavour and offered an insight into his hopes for the coming campaign. "It would be nice to make it into the Carling Cup squad but first and foremost I must make sure I keep doing what I'm doing here. "We would all love to get another run in the Youth Cup too, and maybe go all the way this time."

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20 Sep 2007