It is definitely going to be a very special night for all the Sutton United players and fans when Arsenal come to Gander Green Lane this evening, but for one Sutton player it is going to be a dream come true. Craig Eastmond joined the Gunners at just 11 years old and was part of the Arsenal team that did the Youth Cup and Premier League Academy double in 2008-09, but as with many of our starlets never quite made the grade in the Premier League.
But he is now very happy at Sutton, and loving their amazing run in the FA Cup, and can’t wait to see some of his old team-mates again tonight. As Eastmond said on the official FA website: “I have spoken to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain because I want to make sure I get his shirt ahead of the others,”
“It is a big occasion, especially as I played for them for a long period of time. I played in the first-team after coming through the ranks as a young boy.
“I support Arsenal, my brothers support Arsenal so after the draw, I was like ‘Oh my God, it is Arsenal’. I was overwhelmed.
“We were due a Premier League team as well. We had a League One team, then a Championship side and luckily enough now we have one of the big-hitters.
“It is massive. We have achieved so much already, especially against Leeds, and now it is the fifth round against Arsenal, on TV – you can’t ask for any more than that.
“My time at Arsenal was amazing – you learn a lot of things. It will be good to see Arsene Wenger, I started with him and he believed in me and gave me the chance to play in front of so many people. It is going to be special.”
It will be a great night for Craig, whoever wins, but I certainly hope that he hasn’t come back to bite Arsenal in the bum!