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'I was 16 and shouting at Tony Adams!'

At the tender age of 16, Graham Stack was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he was called up to train with our first-team squad.

The Class of ‘98 included an array of Arsenal legends including Lee Dixon, Martin Keown, Ray Parlour and club captain Tony Adams. But despite the big names on show, our youngster wasn't about to let the occasion get the better of him.

 
"I remember one of my first training sessions with the first team at London Colney," our former goalkeeper told our In Lockdown podcast. "My dad said to me that I had to grab the opportunity with both hands when it came around. I should speak to players the way I would speak to my normal team-mates, and not to be overawed or scared. 
 
"I remember training with Tony Adams and playing a small-sided game. I couldn't have been any older than 16, I think I was an apprentice at the time. I was shouting, 'Left, right, get tighter Tony!' and Tony turned around and said, 'Stacky, I'm Tony Adams, I'm captain of this football club and I do the talking around here'. 
 
"I thought, 'Oh my God, I've just been told off by the captain in my first session'. It took me back a little bit but after the session, Tony pulled me and said, 'Son, I love your talking but that's my job, I do that in this back four'. 
 
"I went, 'No problem, Tony, absolutely no problem'. He told me off but it was nice that he pulled me up about it afterwards and told me that he loved my confidence, that he loved that I wanted to talk and give information. 
 
"For a young lad to come and do that in their first session sort of blew Tony's mind a little bit. He would've done the same at that age because that's the sort of character he is. That's the type of character I am, too."

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