In Young Guns, featured first in the official matchday programme, we find out about the next generation of Arsenal youngsters, in their own words. This week we spoke to goalkeeper Hugo Keto.
I really enjoy what I do, but in the last couple of weeks I would say I have experienced the two highlights of my career so far.
The first came when we went to play Anderlecht at their First Team’s ground, The Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. There was an amazing atmosphere with over 10,000 people in the stadium.
We did not do ourselves justice as a team and a 2-0 loss was not what we wanted but I think the experience will be good for us all. It was certainly an evening to remember, apart from the score-line.
"Hopefully between now and the end of the season we can win the FA Youth Cup, finish in the top four of the u18s and I can play a few games for the u21s. That would be a fantastic season for the team and me personally"
I was a lot happier at the end of the night on Monday when we got through to the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup winning on penalties against Coventry City after it was 2-2 after extra time. It was a very tight match and it went to penalties after Coventry score an equaliser in the last minute.
I managed to save three of their penalties. Saving one penalty is a fantastic feeling, but saving three is unbelievable. In a penalty shoot-out, It is the one real time when it is clear that when a goalkeeper saves a penalty it is like scoring a goal to get your team through.
We ourselves had hit the post and missed wide and so it was just like the game, very tight. But after I saved the first, I grew in confidence. I had spoken with our goalkeeping coach Jason Brown about how to win the mind games and reading the kicker’s body language.
So much of taking penalties is in the mind. Who can deal with the pressure best. I was told off by the referee for talking to the penalty takers and so I had to simply focus and make myself as big as possible.
We had gone to sudden death and we hit the post. I then had to save the next one or we were out but I felt confident, dived to my right and parried the ball away to keep us in it. As the last player walked back and then made his run-up, he was not convincing and I was very confident that it would not be a good kick.
His shot was slow and easy to save and we were through. We were all ecstatic and jumping around in celebration. We are now into the quarter final and play Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, February 27.
Hopefully that will be just as good a result and atmosphere. We are all determined to win the cup. We have a very good team with good players and a good spirit. The manner of the win against Coventry has given us a real sense of determination that we have to keep things going.
I feel that I have improved a lot this season and have been working hard on crosses and my kicking and trying to eliminate mistakes in games and I can say that things are going well. We all work well as goalkeepers with our coaches and training with Petr Cech has also helped.
He is ready to give advice which I really appreciate and I like to learn from his temperament. He is a strong calm character. I cannot remember a single mistake he has made this season after the first game of the season.
That shows how strong minded he is. I am naturally a calm character and Petr’s approach suits me. He is perfect for me to watch and learn from.
I have settled in really well in London and live with my family in Barnet. I feel really lucky to have them around and we are able to enjoy the City together as there is always so much to do. Having them here has helped me concentrate on being the best player that I can be without thinking about home or missing them.
Hopefully between now and the end of the season we can win the FA Youth Cup, finish in the top four of the under-18s and I can play a few games for the under-21s. That would be a fantastic season for the team and me personally.
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