Jack Wilshere says winning the 2009 FA Youth Cup created a special bond between the team that still lasts today.
The England international was a key member of the squad that lifted the trophy at Anfield after beating Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate in the final.
The current under-18 side face Manchester City in the first leg of their Youth Cup semi-final on Friday night, and Wilshere hopes they can go on to taste glory themselves.
"We grew up together, we were friends and we do have a special relationship. Even now if I bump into them we still talk about that"
“I think because it was my first feeling of winning something, it felt like I was getting closer and closer to the first team - it was more real,” he told Arsenal Player.
“It was the FA Youth Cup, it wasn't about developing anymore as it was knockout football where you had to win to get to the next round.
“It was important as well because we had been together as a group for eight to 10 years and to finally win something that actually mattered, and that the club hadn't won for a long time, was special.
“We grew up together, we were friends and we do have a special relationship. Even now if I bump into them we still talk about that and Francis [Coquelin] is obviously still here and we often have a little chat about it.
“I know where most of the team are, they've all made careers out of the game and they are all playing to a decent level. It’s a shame because I thought a few of them could have gone on and really made a difference at Arsenal or somewhere else in the Premier League.”
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