Not to be confused with the movie star, former Gunner Tom Cruise joined the club in 2007 and has since gone on to fashion a decent career for himself.
Starting out in the Arsenal reserves Cruise established himself as the first choice left-back and was part of the side that won the FA Youth Cup, playing alongside the likes of Wojciech Szczesny and Jack Wilshere. He maintained his position in the side for another year and was finally given his chance in the first-team when Arsenal visited Olympiakos in late 2009. Arsenal had already qualified and many youngsters were given an opportunity to make a stake for a first-team spot.
Although Arsenal lost 1-0, Cruise and many of the other youngsters put in good performances and proved that Arsenal were still producing quality home-grown talent. After making his one and only appearance Cruise dropped back to the reserve side and steadily continued to develop as a player as the season went on.
During the 10/11 season it was decided that Cruise should go and gain some football league experience, and consequently he was loaned out on a short-term deal to Carlisle. He appeared three times for the Cumbria outfit, but it was decided that the loan would not be renewed.
After seeing out the remainder of the season in the reserves, it was decided in late June that Cruise’s contract wasn’t going to be renewed. During the 11/12 season Cruise had trial periods at Sampdoria, Scunthorpe and MLS side New England Revolution. For whatever reason Cruise didn’t sign on for any of these sides and throughout the 11/12 season he didn’t officially play for anyone.
In the 12/13 season he finally found a club and joined Torquay United on a one year deal. He played 18 times in his first season and his performances led him to being awarded another deal for the 13/14 campaign. The season proved to be a difficult one for the seaside club and they were relegated to the conference. In total Cruise made 37 appearances in league 2, performing admirably considering the situation his side were in.
Cruise has decided to stay on with Torquay in the conference and at 23 still has plenty of time to make it back into the football league.