By Joe Brewin

Jack Jebb believes his extra year in Arsenal’s academy could prove vital in his development at the Club.

The 16-year-old left school one year early to train full time at London Colney last season and played seven times for the Under-18s before his scholarship began.

The midfielder scored for an Arsenal XI side against Chesham United on Saturday and the talented youngster wants to ensure he continues to remain one step ahead.

“It was nice to get some opportunities in the Under-18s last season because it was all good experience,” he told “The next stage for me is the reserves so hopefully I will get some more games there if I can.

“It was a tough decision to leave school one year early but when I got offered the chance to train full-time I just thought, 'why not?' I want to be a footballer and the opportunity was too good to resist.

“Me and Chuba [Akpom] are almost a year ahead of the other boys in our own age group so that is obviously going to help us for the future. I think we have a great squad and we have a good chance of winning both the league and Youth Cup.”

Jebb was one of six first-year scholars involved in Saturday’s victory at The Meadow and was heavily involved throughout as Terry Burton’s youngsters claimed an impressive 6-2 victory.

His goal, a well-struck effort from outside the area, was a result of playing with the freedom provided by Burton, according to the midfielder.

“I try to be a creative central midfielder who likes going forward and having shots,” he said. “While scoring is always nice I like to create opportunities for other players if I can.

“Terry is a good manager and gives us a lot of freedom to do what we want on the pitch. Here I just tried my luck from distance and luckily it went in for me.

“I am really enjoying pre-season so far. I am getting much fitter and am just taking every game as it comes. It was my second game of the summer and I thought I did fine.”

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6 Aug 2012