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 midfielder Dan Crowley.
"What Leicester have achieved has opened up opportunities. There is no league like the Premier League in the world which is what makes it so exciting"
I have never lived away from home before and so I had to start doing things for myself and I had to grow up. The same on the pitch. Perhaps in the past I was guilty of thinking that if you have talent and ability, that will carry you through but I realised very quickly that ability alone is not enough.
Hard work is the real key to making the most of what natural talent a player may have and I feel that I push myself even harder now because I want to become the best I can possibly be. I feel that going on loan has made me more professional and focused in my outlook and that is why it feels to me that I am a lot more mature.
I hope to go out on loan next season again to further develop my game and experience. Nothing has been discussed or arranged yet and so I do not know where I will play but I believe it is vital for my development to get more first team experience. I played 13 games for Barnsley and the highlight of my career so far was scoring a goal in the Carling Cup at Goodison Park.
It was such a good feeling and one that I want to repeat again and again. I have had a taste of first team football and am keen for more. I think I need more than just under-21 football to progress my game.
The good thing for Arsenal is that the 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Tuesday night secured promotion into the top flight of the under-21 League, which I am sure will mean that the players are tested against better opposition which is always a good thing for development.
At Barnsley I was able to develop the physical side of my game and I am working on improving my left foot and scoring more goals. The key to that is practising my shooting and working hard to get into effective areas more often that will give rise to more scoring opportunities.
Aston Villa are my former club and the feeling from the fans is that some of their players have not given everything they possibly could to the cause. Team spirit and hard work are crucial and we will need to show that to ensure we win.
Leicester City have shown the way. They may not have the most talented individuals, but as a team they have such a great spirit and work so hard and have proven how much that can achieve. I really believe that the Premier League will be different from now on.
It used to be any one from four winners of the League then to six and now I would say that next year it could be any team from eight. What Leicester have achieved has opened up opportunities. There is no league like the Premier League in the world which is what makes it so exciting.
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