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Arsenal's FA Youth Cup captain Danny Ballard was Gunners reject!

Arsenal's FA Youth Cup captain Danny Ballard is actually a Gunners reject!

Ballard scored this week to help Arsenal defeat Blackpool and reach the FA Youth Cup final.

After being released as a schoolboy back in 2016, the Northern Ireland youth international broke his ankle while on trial with Southampton and rejoined local club Stevenage to regain his fitness.

Ballard was poised to sign scholarship forms with Boro, but then he was offered a chance to rejoin the Gunners and has not looked back since.

"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster at Arsenal," Ballard told Arsenal.com. “Even looking back to when I got my scholarship I never thought I'd be in this position.

“At the start of the season, I don't even think that as a team we thought we'd be here - we lost our first game of the season 4-1 to Fulham. We've all worked so hard, especially myself, and we're all really pleased to be in the final.

“I think it boils down to hard work and having a manager that trusts you and rewards dedication. Having a manager who gives you opportunities off that and I think I've taken my opportunities pretty well. It's all starting to pay off."

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Paul Vegas

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