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Young Guns to take on Sunderland at Meadow Park
12:10pm Monday 2nd December 2013 in Sport
There has long been a sense of intrigue about any young left back who starts making waves in the Arsenal academy.
From Ashley Cole to Kieran Gibbs, by way of Gael Clichy and Armand Traore, there has always been a clear line of succession for the Club’s flying full backs. And based on an impressive start to this season, next off this prolific production line could be Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill.
The 17-year-old joined the Club as a scholar in the summer of 2012 and has made rapid strides forward, so much so that he captained the under-18s on occasion towards the end of last term.
Now a regular for the under-21s’ during their unbeaten start to the season - and testing himself against the cream of Europe in the Uefa Youth League - Ormonde-Ottewill is on the cusp of big things. And if he is searching for inspiration, he doesn’t need to look far.
“I've trained with Kieran [Gibbs] a few times,” he told Arsenal.com. “He's a top player and has improved a lot this season and he's showing that on the pitch. He's still young and has got a big career ahead of him.
“A modern day full back has to be quick and good going forward but your first job is always to focus on defending. I watched Ashley Cole a lot when I was young - I think he's the best at what he does and I've always tried to learn from him too.”
Ormonde-Ottewill has another chance to underline his credentials when Steve Gatting’s under-21 side take on Sunderland on Monday night, and he is determined to take it.
“Since I've come back from injury at the start of the season I've tried my best in training and during matches,” he said. “I think my performances have been quite decent. I've given 100 per cent, which is all I can do.
“This season has been a good team effort so far. Every player seems to be in form at the moment, we're all working really hard in training and we're taking our hard work into matches. We've put a good run together and our confidence is increasing.
“Even though we're doing well at the moment we should be working on every part of our game. There's nothing that we can stop working on. Our finishing always needs to be improved because there have been times where we've missed important chances in vital stages of games.
“We don't know much about Sunderland but they've made a strong start to the season. But we're in very good form at the moment and I don't see why we can't win the league and go for every competition we're in.
“It's exciting and it's turning out to be a busy season. We're just all trying to stay fit and we're looking forward to every game.”
- Follow live updates from the under-21s’ game against Sunderland on the @Arsenal Twitter account from 6.55pm (UK time)