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Tuesday 19 Feb 2019
Northern Ireland U21 centre-back Daniel Ballard sets Senior team target

Last year 19-year old Daniel Ballard signed his first professional contract with Arsenal and he has already captained the squad that reached the FA Youth Cup Final. 

After getting a call-up by manager Ian Baraclough to play in the victory against Spain for the Under-21s, Ballard has went from strength to strength. 

"Ian (Baraclough) gets us together and makes sure there's no individuals in the team. He makes us feel like we can beat the big teams because we know exactly what we need to do.

"I've had a lot of lows in my career with injuries and to come from those lows to getting a pro contract with Arsenal and getting big results with Northern Ireland Under-21s, yeah it's been special." 

He scored a late winner against Iceland for the Under-21s to keep their dreams of U21 EURO qualification alive at the time, however narrowly missing out. 

"The wind, the rain, the cold. It was horrible to be honest. Everyone dug deep in that game and the lads deserved the win.

"It was a brilliant goal and really important at the time which gave us a lot of belief going into the last game but we were really disappointed not to qualify."  

You can watch an interview with Daniel from Arsenal's training ground by clicking on the video at the top of the page.