Borehamwood v Arsenal – Thursday 27 July pre-season friendly preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

The annual pre-season friendly match between (non-league) Borehamwood FC and Arsenal takes place on Thursday evening with a 19:30 kick-off.

It is expected that the Arsenal team will comprise a mixture of U18 and U23 players, but with the Emirates Cup matches at the weekend, I suspect the team sheet will probably tell us more about who is unlikely to feature on Saturday and Sunday than anything else.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a number of our ‘Fringe’ first team players being given pitch time as they try to impress suitors for moves away from the club either on loan or permanent.

There is a close link between the two clubs as Arsenal play their PL2 matches (U23s), and Arsenal Ladies games at the ground.  As such the state of the playing surface and facilities are of prime importance to the club.

Whilst for the most part the Borehamwood pitch has had a good surface, one corner has been prone to waterlogging in prolonged wet weather and the shelters for coaches, subs etc have been fairly rudimentary (at least by Arsenal’s standards) for as long as I have been going to the ground.  This spring has seen a massive investment in new facilities at the ground, funded by both clubs and a grant from the Premier League.

So this year the match will also be about the official unveiling of the new ‘million dollar’ Desso pitch, dugouts, the full size 4G training pitch and floodlights with Arsène Wenger and Ivan Gazidis set to do the ribbon cutting pre kick-off.

The Borehamwood Chairman also confirmed that the brand-new 4G pitch and training facility that the club have built over the summer, will be officially opened with a fixture against Barnet Football Club on Monday, July 31.  There will be a pre-game training session on the pitch for local youngsters before the Arsenal game.

He revealed:

We will officially open the 4G pitch by playing a competitive first team game against our friends from Barnet Football Club, who will provide an under 23 side with more than a few of their first team squad playing.

“The game will be part of a community evening, it will be completely free of charge and, as it will be in the summer holidays, will be a night for the kids.”

The Wood Chairman concluded by telling supporters: 

“In the meantime, I can tell you that our new Desso match-day pitch not only looks a million dollars, but has probably cost that much as well. The new dugouts installed are pretty damn amazing as they are of premier league standard. While, the new LED 500 lux floodlights will be installed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and will illuminate our new facility beautifully.

“We have worked alongside our on-site contractors and have all endeavoured to complete each part of the overall project within a 10-week time frame.”

Match tickets are available on the turnstile before kickoff priced Adults £14, Concessions £12, U16s £8 and U1s £4.  Production of a 2017/18 season ticket (Arsenal or Borehamwood) will get you in for half price.

Gates open at 18:15 and I would strongly suggest that if you wish to get a seat you arrive well before kickoff as the ground is likely to  get very full

Arsenal Team from

First Team ‘Fringe’ – Debuchy, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Akpom, Jeff Reine-Adelaide

U23 players – Matt Macey (GK), Deyan Iliev (GK), Ryan Huddart (GK), Julio Pleguzuelo, Tafari Moore, Chiori Johnson, Ismael Bennacer, Krystian Bielik, Ben Sheaf, Stephy Mavididi, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Joshua Da Silva, Krystian Bielik, Eddie Nketiah

U18 players – Tolaji Bola, Yassin Fortune, Marcus McGuane, Charlie Gilmour, Vlad Dragomir, , Nathan Tormey

Second Year Academy Players – Daniel Ballard, Joseph Olowu, Josh Benson, Jay Beckford, Tobi Omole, Robbie Burton, Emile Smith-Rowe, Zech Medley, Dominic Thomson

Manager – Steve Gatting

I know that’s far too many players for one match but I really haven’t a clue as to whom Steve Gatting will select.  I have omitted the youngsters  who were on the Far-Eastern trip (other than Krystian Bielik and Eddie Nketiah – who are said by Arsenal as likely to be involved) as they are probably likely to be at the Emirates Cup this weekend.  There is also an U18 pre-season game tonight  (Wednesday) so some of those I’ve listed may well be required for that game.

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6 Replies to “Borehamwood v Arsenal – Thursday 27 July pre-season friendly preview”

  1. You mean the Borehamwood new $1m football pitch is a 4G playing surface pitch, I mean artificial synthetic football playing field, right? Well, In as much as I don’t like this 4G pitch for playing football because in my observations, it’s letting the ball to run faster. Thus making the ball difficult to control for the football players than when they are playing on the standard grass football playing pitch.

    But since it’s what modernity has introduced for easy maintenance and for cost saving to build a football playing pitch of acceptable standard as approved by the football authorities, I have to then accept the 4G pitches for playing football matches. More so, if is the pitch that is available for any Arsenal team to play a match. Just as I watch Arsenal went to Sutton Utd to honour an FA Cup tie on a 4G playing pitch last season. A Cup tie which Arsenal won 0-2. But the game was difficult for them to play it as it looked they weren’t used to playing on artificial pitch of 4G. I hope Arsenal have now installed a 4G pitch amongst their grass training pitches at their London Colney training ground. So that both the senior and junior Arsenal teams can occasionally be practicing on it to get used to playing on the 4G pitch.

  2. Twins?

    I hope young Joe Willock gets to play. His brother Chris is now at our competition on Saturday, according to Mesut at

  3. Samuel,

    Borehamwood have two new pitches, the training pitch is a 4G artificial all weather pitch and the main pitch is a Desso pitch to the same specification as that at the Emirates.

    It is the Desso pitch that will be officially opened tomorrow. The training pitch will be formally opened prior to the Barnet game..

    @Laos gooner, sorry listed him twice – fingers faster than brain.

    @Gord, the three Willock brothers are now at different clubs, Matthew is at United, Chris went to Benfica and Joe remains with Arsenal. I would expect Joe to feature at some point over the weekend, maybe Chris will also play some part. The U23 Game at the end of last season against United had all three of them playing, which must have some kind of record.

  4. Being picky I know but the team is Boreham Wood (2 words) situated in the town of Borehamwood (1 word). Team nickname is The Wood.

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