Interview

'You're a fish and there's big sharks out there!'

Joe Willock may be established in our first-team squad now, but he still remembers how steep a step up it was at first.

The 20-year-old believes that jump is all in the head, as you learn to swim with some Premier League "sharks".

"Personally for me, I feel the jump is 80 per cent mental and 20 per cent about the physical and different attributes," Willock said. 

"I feel when you make the jump you go from being a senior player in the academy to being a person who is just a little boy, a little fish in a massive sea and you have to float. 

00:25

😱 Willock's screamer - from a fresh angle

"There's big sharks you have to deal with, that have been playing there for years, with massive experience, so in your head you have to come to grips with dealing with that as soon as possible to survive. 

"For me, as a young boy growing up in the academy, a local boy, to go to Hale End and the Arsenal youth training centre, it is a dream come true," he added.

"Finally making it into the first team and playing games, I always wished and dreamt of it but I never thought 100 per cent it would come true. Now it has, I really have to thank God and my family for nurturing me into the first team and on such a journey."

05:07

'Football was our life and all we would focus on'

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