‘The first team have welcomed us brilliantly’

Eight members of our 25-man touring squad are aged  21 or younger – and judging on their performances in Australia, they’re settling in pretty well with the senior pros.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles already has first-team experience and, speaking to Arsenal Player after starting in the 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, explained how the older players have helped those with less experience to feel at home.

Here’s a full transcript of his interview:

on playing at left wing back…
It felt alright at the beginning. The pitch was a bit hard so it took me a while to get into the game but I found it comfortable at the end, so it was alright.

on playing in these two days…
There’s always pressure when you’re in big stadiums with all the fans there. I think the most pressure was the quick turnaround of the games. We’re not used to that and just had to deal with it really.

on the standards of the opposition…
We’re just getting back into the swing of things and every team is a test in some sort of way so we just look to progress in each game.

on the experience of Australia…
It’s been alright to be fair! I’ve enjoyed myself a lot and maybe I’ll come back here another time.

on young players made to feel welcome…
I think the first-team players have been brilliant with welcoming us. I’m really thankful that they’ve been like that. It’s taken a lot of pressure off the boys and everyone’s performed well I think.

on what the main thing he’s got from the tour…
I think it’s the togetherness, that’s priceless.

on his summer and winning World Cup…
A great experience – it’s not every day you get to win a World Cup. I’m very happy that I’ve come back with a medal and now I’m looking to kick on.

Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/first-team-have-welcomed-us-brilliantly#6AWGCQKkDVyPVp8k.99

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