Author Topic: 43 - Zach Fagan  (Read 2017 times)

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43 - Zach Fagan
« on: February 21, 2012, 05:17:17 PM »

Hale End Academy product Zach was awarded a scholarship with the club despite missing the majority of last season through injury.

A tall, commanding centre-back, Zach didn’t feature for the under-18s whilst he was a schoolboy, but should receive several opportunities to impress this time around.

Born November 16th, 1994
Signed scholarship Summer 2011

Spoiler for Hiden:
If it were not enough of a statement of Arsenal’s faith in Zach Fagan that he was one of just three youngsters to graduate into the Academy from the Under-16s last term, the fact that he was sidelined for most of that crucial season speaks volumes.

“I played up until the end of November but developed a back pain that was linked to a growth spurt,” reports the 16 year-old who is already approaching six feet three inches: “The only treatment was to rest as the fear was that it could turn into a stress fracture that would have created more complications.”

The patient approach appears to have brought dividends and the centre-back has already featured in the Under-18s this season. “I was quietly confident that I had done enough up until my injury to show Arsenal what I had to offer, but hearing the news that I was in was fantastic.

"We had a very good Under-16s side and I was surprised that just three of us were selected because we had a lot of good players and I felt for the lads who did not make it. "Thankfully,” continues Zach, “they have all been picked up by some good clubs and are continuing in football.

“I feel so honoured to be with Arsenal,” reports the Lewisham based youngster. “I have always been a Gunners fan, I think ever since I saw Ian Wright on TV and I got the kit. To now have the chance to play for the Club I love is a fantastic opportunity for me.”

Zach still travels to and from south London to training every day: “I use the train and it is OK in the morning because I am focused on getting in and on the way home in the afternoon I use the trip to relax or think about what we have done in training,” he explains, adding: “I was so relaxed after one of the double training sessions that I fell asleep and missed my stop. Thankfully I did not go too far,” he smiles.

Zach is very similar in style to Rio Ferdinand and Eric Abidal and that is no coincidence: “It’s funny people say that because those are the two players that I like to watch all the time. I watch clips on Youtube and try watch games where they are playing. I like to focus on them, to see what they do on and off the ball, their positioning especially. I feel that I have learned from them but I am learning a lot in training too.

Steve Bould was at the top of the game for years. I can relate and appreciate everything he says in training. You know when he is explaining things that he is giving the best advice and I do my best to take everything in and apply it.”

Zach’s targets for this term are simple: “I hope to play as many games for the Under- 18s as I can. I would like to make the FA Youth Cup squad and feature in the Reserves before the end of the season. I know that will not just happen and I am giving all I can to achieve those aims.”

Do not be surprised if whilst striving to achieve those goals, he scores a few too. “I have always scored goals, even though I am a defender. I scored seven in my Under-15s year and four goals last season, even though I did not play from December onwards. My principal job is defending, but I do enjoy scoring goals too!”

Despite the roller-coaster ride all Arsenal fans have been going through recently, Zach remains optimistic: “I think that the new signings will show their quality. I think the squad has improved and it will eventually show. I was very pleased with the purchase of Per Mertesacker. I watched him closely at the last World Cup and he has a physical presence that we have perhaps been lacking. I am sure he will settle in and help us become more solid at the back.

"I genuinely believe that once the team gels, confidence will come back and the results and performances will follow,” says Zach, adding: “hopefully beginning this weekend!”

Teams you played for before Arsenal?
Just junior teams and Arsenal development sides really.
Supported growing up?
Who did you pretend to be on the playground?
I liked to be Edgar Davids.
Favourite kids’ TV programme when you were growing up?
I’d always try to watch Pokemon.
Who was your favourite teacher at school?
Mr Joseph at Forest Hill School.
Which person has been the most influential on your football career so far?
That has to be my dad.
Which other clubs were interested in signing you before Arsenal?
To be honest, I’m not sure.

Fave item of clothing?
My jeans.
Dream car?
An Aston Martin DB5 would be great!
Best thing about being part of the Academy?
The fact that you are close to the first team.
Three words to describe you as a player.
‘Team player’, ‘classy’ and ‘brave’.
Three words to describe you as a person.
‘Friendly’, ‘trustworthy’ and ‘funny’.
Fave comedian?
I’m a big fan of the late Bernie Mac.
Most talented team-mate.
Everyone here is very talented to it’s impossible to single anyone out.
Which current Arsenal player is your role model?
Probably Thomas Vermaelen.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 03:00:43 AM by TCP_13 »
"My beliefs have always been the same. I am happy that the people who love the club are happier, but I've always had faith in what I have been doing."

- Arsene Wenger -



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43 - Zach Fagan
« on: February 21, 2012, 05:17:17 PM »