Arsenal face Sutton United in the FA Cup 5th round on Monday evening, and there are some red and white connections in the home side’s squad.
Jeffrey Monakana, Jack Jebb and Roarie Deacon are products of the youth system, while Craig Eastmond spent some time around the fringes of the first team squad.
He made 10 appearances for the Gunners before leaving for Colchester United in 2013, and he’s looking forward to seeing some familiar faces when the two sides meet on Monday.
I never thought I would play against Arsenal in my career after I left there,” he said.
“There is going to be so much adrenalin going through me on Monday night. I support Arsenal, joined the club when I was 11 and then came through the ranks. Pulling on the shirt at Emirates Stadium was my dream come true.
“Seeing old faces like Steve Bould and Arsene Wenger is going to be good, but we have to show we not just here to look around and be amazed by Arsenal. Hopefully, we can show how good we are and there will be an upset.”
And he recalls the influence Arsenal had on his career.
“I was playing right-back and Wenger told Steve Bould that he saw me as a midfield player,” he continued.
“He saw me reading the game and breaking up the play well. I took that on board and am still playing midfield now. He was a big influence on my career.
“He always believes in young players and gave me my chance.”
So, it will be an emotional day for Eastmond, and perhaps some of the other Arsenal connected players, but let’s hope we don’t show them any kindnesses during the 90 minutes.