Arsenal scholar Jordan McEneff has spoken about joining the Gunners and his hopes for the future.

  • The Irishman is excited to be joining Arsenal
  • He hopes to work his way up the ranks and play for the first team
  • He’s happy to be one of the few Irishman to have made it at Arsenal

McEneff was on trial at Arsenal before he became one of 12 new scholars to be a part of Arsenal’s academy for the next two years.

He’s become the first Irishman to join Arsenal since Anthony Stokes, who went on to graduate from Arsenal’s academy and play for Celtic and the Republic of Ireland national team.

For McEneff, this means that Arsenal rate him highly. “I’m probably the first Irish person over here in a good few years as well which is even better. The last two years have gone quick so now it’s only the start,” he told the Coleraine Times.

“I’m the only one not from England that they’ve signed, so obviously that’s a good sign. And they can pick from anywhere really. The manager was saying, everyone might come over and think it’s going to be easy but they told us it was going to be hard work. Hopefully I do my best, impress and get into the first team some day.”

The young attacking midfielder is excited about playing for Arsenal, and hopes he can one day progress to the first team. “I’ve settled in really well in London. I know all the boys at the digs from coming over this past couple of years. When you’re at Arsenal it’s obviously the aim to one day play for the first team,” he said.

“So I’m playing for the next contract and hopefully I can get a bigger and better one and then move on through the ranks – up to the U23s and then on to the first team some day. It’s exciting. Especially when people back home are so supportive.”

McEneff also been impressed by Arsenal’s new facilities and the coaching set-up. He’s been assigned the number 83.

“I’ve moved over to Arsenal this year and they’ve built a big new building at the training centre which is probably one of the best in Europe. The facilities are top class. They have about 12 football pitches which are all the exact same as the Emirates. The surfaces are class.

“There’s four fitness coaches. So for every 10 people there’s a fitness coach. Everyone gets their individual programmes so they can work on weaknesses so they can get better. Arsenal obviously like to play a good brand of football and encourage everyone to play the way they want which is good.

“It’s class just knowing you have a number, and it’s really a first-team number. It makes it all official. Even at Arsenal the first-team use the same canteen and the same gym so you see them more or less every day and train beside them. It’s crazy but makes you want it even more.”