Glebe's volunteer youth coaches nurture Emile Smith Rowe and Henry Davies to be given the chance at Premier League giants Arsenal - now it's time for the Gunners' to appreciate hard work by organising a pre-season friendly as token gesture

Thursday 09th December 2021

PREMIER LEAGUE giants Arsenal have signed up a second player on professional forms who was nurtured at Glebe.

The Chislehurst-based outfit gave Emile Smith Rowe, 21, his first start in football and now Henry Davies has signed his first professional contract with the north London club.

“Massive congratulations to former Glebe youth player Henry “Timi” Davies, who has signed his first professional contract with Arsenal,” said Glebe chairman Rocky McMillan.

“Timi was with us for one season at under 13s before signing for Manchester City.  He joined Arsenal towards the end of last season.

“In that one season at Glebe, Timi scored 45 goals and provided 23 assists with the Glebe team managed by Scott Boyce, Adam Groom and Stuart Goyns, going on to win the quadruple without losing a single game.”

Attacker Smith Rowe, who grew up in Croydon, represented England at under 16, 17, 18 and 19 level and made his full debut under Gareth Southgate in a World Cup qualifier last month, coming on as a 77th minute substitute for Raheem Sterling in The Three Lions' 5-0 win over Albania.

He scored his first England goal in his second appearance, a 10-0 win over whipping boys San Marino on 15 November 2021.

McMillan who founded the club alongside his wife Grace in 1985 has seen the club flourish with numerous youth teams playing at their current base at Foxbury Avenue in Chislehurst.

Now is the time for Gunners’ manager Mikel Arteta to bring an Arsenal side to play Glebe in a pre-season friendly next summer as an appreciation for the hard work that Glebe’s volunteer youth team coaches put in to nurture talent such as Smith Rowe and Davies at grassroots level within the local youth leagues.

Glebe currently compete in the ninth-tier of English football and host Combined Counties League Premier Division South neighbours Beckenham Town in The FA Vase Last 64 on Saturday (15:00).  The Final is played at Wembley Stadium.

Harry Hudson’s side are in third-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, with 42 points from 18 games.  The Foxes are a couple of points behind unbeaten leaders Sheppey United.

Jason Huntley’s Beckenham, meanwhile, switched over to the Combined Counties League Premier Division South this season and are also in third-place, having collected 35 points from their 14 league games.  They are four points behind leaders Walton & Hersham but with two games in hand on the Surrey outfit.