Arsenal’s u23s will face non-league AFC Hornchurch in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, after completing their trip to Germany.
The young side played against Bayern Munich and Sparta Prague’s youth teams overseas, but will now make their return to England for the next stage of their preparations.
Bostik Premier League side AFC Hornchurch are Arsenal’s next opponents, with the match taking place at 7:45pm. Assistant manager Colin McBride explained in the Romford Recorder how the fixture came about.
“Their goalkeeping coach (Andy Woodman) played under me at Thurrock and got in contact saying the under-23s were looking to get out into the community a bit more,” McBride said.
“The game isn’t just going to be great for Hornchurch fans, it will hopefully be great for the local area. They have players in their team that are top drawer and are all youth internationals, but hopefully we might even get a first-team player trying to catch up on fitness playing in the game on Tuesday.”
That’s always a possibility, with the likes of Carl Jenkinson back in training, and Joel Campbell joining him on Monday, and neither currently on tour with the senior squad.
Of course, the u23 side isn’t quite at full strength right now, thanks to that tour of Singapore. Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock were the stars of the team’s Premier League 2 title win last season, but they’re away with the first-team.
Emile Smith Rowe will surely make a permanent step up to the u23s after his impressive campaign last season, but he’s currently scoring goals against the likes of Atletico Madrid.
Nonetheless, the out-of-favour first team players will hopefully slot in and make it a good game. The u23s start their Premier League 2 title defence against Manchester City on August 11th.