Arsenal U18s secured the southern division title today with a 3-0 victory away to Fulham.
The young Gunners knew that a victory would be sufficient to see them crowned champions, regardless of how their title rivals Tottenham Hotspur fared against Leicester City.
Arsenal had to be patient to take the lead, and they didn’t go ahead until the 77th minute when right-back Vontae Daley-Campbell managed to steer the ball home from close range in what could be one of his final games for the club.
Shortly afterwards it was 2-0, with prolific striker Folarin Balogun managing to find the net with an impressive strike.
There was still time for Arsenal to add a third goal, and it was Trae Coyle who scored it, with the winger dispatching a curled effort beyond the reach of Fulham goalkeeper Luca Ashby-Hammond.
Arsenal will now hope to be crowned overall champions and they will take on the northern division winners, either Liverpool or Derby County, as they go in search of further silverware.
Ken Gillard’s side have produced some outstanding performances this season, and Balogun has undoubtedly been their star performer with 25 goals.
It isn’t just the attacking players that have caught the eye, though, with the defence, marshalled by the impressive central-defensive pairing of Mark McGuinness and Harry Clarke, having also performed extremely well.
Making the breakthrough into the first-team at Arsenal is another matter entirely for these youngsters and will certainly be a difficult task, but the performances that they have delivered have been very encouraging and suggest that perhaps one or two of them could eventually get into the senior squad.
Sam Greenwood, who has excelled since joining from Sunderland, is one of those most likely to succeed, with the 17-year-old having impressed on the right wing, while he is also capable of playing up front.
Victory in the final would be an added bonus for Arsenal, but they have already enjoyed a spectacular season.