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Page last updated at 08:52 GMT, Thursday, 29 July 2010 09:52 UK

Ebbsfleet teenager Tom Phipp aims for first team

Tom Phipp
Phipp has been with Ebbsfleet's youth team for two years

Former Arsenal trainee Tom Phipp is targeting a place in Ebbsfleet's first team after signing a professional contract with the Kent club.

Phipp, aged 17, has been in the Ebbsfleet youth system for two years.

Manager Liam Daish has identified Phipp as a hot prospect as the club prepare for life in the Blue Square South following last season's relegation.

Phipp told BBC Radio Kent: "I'm very pleased and just want to push for a first team starting place."

Daish said: "He's one to watch. We've signed Tom and Aidan Sherlock from the youth team. Physically they are good sizes and can handle that side of it. If they do not start, they will put pressure on those who have got the jerseys."

Phipp said he is eager to repay Ebbsfleet for giving him a chance to rebuild his career.

He said: "The club have looked after me whilst I've been here. I've been happy with my time here and would like to make more of an impact. Hopefully over the next few months I can give something back".

He admitted being told he had no future at Arsenal had been hard to take.

"I was at Arsenal for near on five and a half years, so I struggled a little bit for the first year or so. After that I restructured myself and took things on from there".

The midfielder is now looking forward to advancing with the Fleet and is confident about the club's chances for the upcoming season.

"We are looking to be one of the fittest teams in the league, and we have lots of individually good players that can play well within the team as well"

Fleet begin the season by hosting Maidenhead on Saturday August 14th.

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