New Arsenal No2 Steve Bould says the Carling Cup should be used to blood their young players.
“I am delighted,” the former Under-18s manager told Arsenal Player.
“They [the young players] are a little bit disappointed they didn't go a little bit further but to have that many numbers involved is a credit to the whole Academy and the system that Liam Brady has put in place.
“It is a measure that our manager still uses to look at our young kids and wants them to come through. It's a fabulous experience for them and long may that continue.
“I know there are calls to win the trophy and of course that is major at first-team level because it's what you are judged on. But I think for us that is the perfect competition to blood our kids.
"Lots go out on loan and for whatever reason don't play enough games, so I think it is the perfect grounding for them.”