It has been quite a rapid rise for Chris Willock. Just weeks after becoming an Arsenal scholar, the Hale End graduate made his debut for Arsenal’s first team against Boreham Wood and impressed Arsene Wenger with his “technical and tactical ability”.
Willock trained regularly with the first team throughout the 2014/15 season before being named in Arsenal’s Asia tour squad, where he played the final 25 minutes against a Singapore Select XI.
Now back in England, the 17-year-old is ready to continue his development where he first caught Wenger’s eye, at Meadow Park.
"I’m very fortunate to be playing for Arsenal and I’m grateful for the experience"
“The tour was an amazing feeling,” he told Arsenal.com. “I really enjoyed all of the trip and seeing the sights. The fans were amazing as well and I was quite surprised how big the fan base was and they are all really supportive.
“It’s amazing and it’s crazy that I’m 17 and I’ve played for the first team. Not many kids get to do that and I’m one of the lucky ones to experience that. I’m very fortunate to be playing for Arsenal and I’m grateful for the experience.
“It was a very good experience to play alongside the first-team players against Boreham Wood last season,” added Willock. “I really enjoyed it and I hope that I get more first-team opportunities after playing this time around.
“It’s different to play against men rather than under-21s, but the longer the game went on last season, the more I grew into it and I started to adapt my game. It’s more physical so you have to maximise your touches and dribble in the right places. You have to really think about your game.”
An Arsenal XI face Boreham Wood at Meadow Park on Friday. Kick-off is at 7.30pm (UK time) and you can buy tickets on the gate at £10 adults and £5 concessions.
You can also follow the game via @Arsenal from 7.25pm.
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