Southend United's youth team chief Ricky Duncan proud to see Isaac Hayden make Arsenal debut (From Echo)
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Southend United's youth team chief Ricky Duncan proud to see Isaac Hayden make Arsenal debut
SOUTHEND United’s youth team manager Ricky Duncan was a proud man after seeing Isaac Hayden make his Arsenal debut against West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup.
The Chelmsford-born defender joined the Gunners from Southend United at the age of 13.
And, five years on, Duncan was delighted to see the youngster earn a first team call with the Premier League giants as he played 84 minutes of the third round clash, which Arsene Wenger’s side eventually won 4-3 on penalties.
“We had Isaac with us between the ages of nine and 13 so it was a proud moment seeing him play for Arsenal’s first team,” said Duncan.
“He’s a great lad who we’ve stayed in contact with and he opened the door for many others to make the same move.
“Eight or nine lads must have followed in his foot-steps by going to Arsenal and it would be great if a few of them could also go on to play in the first team there as well.”
Hayden was an established member of England’s under-17 side last season and signed his first professional contract with the Gunners last March.
Further first team appearances with the club will also result in the Shrimpers receiving a cash boost, due to the terms of the transfer he made when leaving Roots Hall.