Arsenal reserve team coach Neil Banfield has been delighted by recent performances from his young Gunners, who completed an unblemished pre-season programme with a convincing 3-0 victory over Conference South side Dover Athletic on Wednesday night.
Goals from Benik Afobe, Henri Lansbury and Luke Freeman completed the win, adding to a club record 23 goals scored and just one conceded in five friendly fixtures that included Woking, Hastings, Stevenage and Boreham Wood prior to last night's game at The Crabble, Kent.
"It was a good performance on a lovely pitch and we played some good football," said Banfield. "We got a little bit sloppy in the second half but, overall, it was a good work-out.
"Pre-season has gone well, it's gone very well. The lads are looking very sharp and the football is coming along nicely."
Banfield welcomed back a number of players like Afobe and Lansbury, who were given the opportunity to train and play with Arsene Wenger's senior squad in pre-season, and with both players on the scoresheet, the Gunners coach has been pleased by their progression.
"Henri is on the fringes of the first-team squad and has applied himself very well. Vito [Mannone], as well, was first class. These games are good run-outs for them and they can all use it for their own purposes."
The victory over Dover caps a very pleasing summer for Arsenal's next generation, and makes promising reading with the 2011-12 campaign seemingly just around the corner.
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