Looking at how former Spurs Academy player Rafferty Pedder is getting on, over a year since leaving Spurs to join QPR:

For a long while he was incredibly unlucky with injuries, during part of his time in the Spurs Academy set-up, prior to signing scholarship forms with the club in 2018. However, midfielder Rafferty Pedder showed great resilience after spending so long on the sidelines. He featured more times than any of his teammates for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2019/20, having made his competitive debut for Spurs at that level during the previous season. He would also feature on a good number of occasions for the then Spurs Under 23 side, over the next two seasons, before leaving the club to join West London club QPR, last January, on a permanent transfer. Having been at Spurs for so long, similar to Dilan Markanday, it would have been a very difficult decision for the Maidstone born footballer to leave the club. Rafferty is a versatile midfield player, who can play in central midfield, as a CAM or out wide on the flanks. A player who plays the game with a real desire to make the difference in matches, the 20 year old is a tremendous athlete, whose skill, determination and positivity on the ball, makes him a real joy to watch.

Rafferty is very good at linking the play, taking up good goalscoring positions, and at scoring and creating goals. He has in my opinion and from the games that I have seen him play for QPR’s B team, in the past year, really flourished. Doing well in matches that he played for the QPR B team in during the second half of last season. The former Spurs man scored two competitive goals for the B team last season, with both of them coming in a dramatic 3-2 win over Wigan Athletic, late on in that season. However, he has contributed far more than just his goals during his time at QPR so far, and the player who made his first team debut for them last pre-season in a friendly with Uxbridge, has already scored four goals for the QPR B team this season. And as I said, from the games that I have seen Rafferty involved in this season, it is his all-round play and ability to be decisive and always look to make that forward pass or take players on, which has made him really standout this season.

Rafferty also has an excellent low centre of gravity and a real amount of pace, and he never stops running. This season I have seen him have excellent games against the likes of Cardiff City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Colchester United’s Under 21 sides. That 2018/19 Spurs Academy intake were such a tremendously talented group of players, and Rafferty is just as good and has just as much potential as anyone in that group has, in my opinion. And I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him get a loan move at some point in 2023, or even feature for the QPR first team, as he has really impressed for the B team this season. On Friday night I will hopefully be watching Rafferty play for the QPR B team, as they take on AFC Bournemouth in an Under 21 Premier League Cup game.

Looking at how former Spurs Academy player Dilan Markanday is getting on, over a year since leaving the club:

Highly skilful and creative winger Dilan Markanday left Spurs just over one year ago. A very highly rated young Academy prospect, Dilan left Spurs not that long after making his sole first team appearance for them, in a UEFA Europa Conference League group-stage fixture with Vitesse Arnhem. He left to join Championship side Blackburn Rovers, on a three and a half year contract. For someone who has watched Dilan progress through the Academy ranks at Spurs during recent years, I was very sad to see Dilan leave Spurs, a club that obviously means a lot to the Barnet born professional footballer, and it is a club that he has supported for many years. The youngest of all his age group, since joining Spurs as a first year scholar in the summer of 2017, Dilan featured a lot for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2017/18, came on really well under the tutelage of then head-coach Matt Wells, the following season, before spending a number of seasons with the then Spurs Under 23 side. Always improving his game, Dilan bulked up physically, becoming stronger with and without the ball, around the time of the 2020/21 season. And towards the end of that season and going into the following 2021/22 season, he was unplayable for the Spurs Under 23 side, and he was without doubt their most important player, up until leaving the club.

The now 21 year old’s move to Blackburn Rovers would probably have surprised quite a few people, in particular Spurs supporters. With his pace (he has got quicker and quicker over the years), outstanding dribbling ability, agility and creative ability on the ball, as well as a real understanding of the game, Markanday’s talents would long have attracted the interest off of other top clubs. His decision to join Blackburn Rovers however, cannot have been an easy one for the former Spurs man. Soon after joining them, Dilan made his competitive debut for Blackburn, as a substitute in a Championship fixture with Hull City. In that game he picked up a serious hamstring injury which kept him out for most of the second half of the 2021/22 season. He returned for former manager Tony Mowbray’s side in the final game of that season, in a league fixture against Birmingham City. It would have obviously been a long journey to recovery and full match sharpness for Dilan, and after featuring for the Blackburn Rovers first team again, quite a lot last pre-season, Dilan has had to be patient for his chances with the first team.

From four Carabao Cup appearances for the Lancashire club this season, Dilan has scored two goals for the first team, making a really positive impression in those games, as well as a real desire to work hard for the team. In addition to his appearances in that competition, he has made one appearance for Blackburn in the FA Cup, in a 1-0 third round win away to Norwich City. And he played his own important part in the build-up to forward Jack Vale’s goal in that game. One appearance in the Championship this season, as a substitute in a fixture with Rotherham, which Blackburn disappointing lost 4-0, saw Dilan come away from that game receiving praise from fans for his performance. The former Spurs player has also featured for the Blackburn Rovers Under 21 side, and has unsurprisingly excelled for them at that level. Getting injured at such an important and early stage in his time at his new club, must have been very difficult. But from the games that he has played for the Blackburn first team this season, he has shown that wonderful determination, and desire to always be positive and creative on the ball, as well as working so hard off it. 

A player who I very much believe can not only play at the highest level, but also excel at the highest level in the future. Dilan Markanday is a real prospect in the game, and having followed Blackburn’s games very closely this season, I reckon that as they look to earn a play-off spot during the second part of the season, that Dilan will play, hopefully a big and prominent part in helping Blackburn in their quest to achieve that goal. Dilan is more than capable of making a real difference on the pitch, during a long second half of the footballing season, in England’s second tier.

Remembering former Spurs player Micky Dulin and his Spurs career:

Michael Charles Dulin was born in Stepney, in the east end of London in the October of 1935. However, he grew up in Hertfordshire, and would attend Hitchin Grammar school during his youth. Micky had represented England Grammar Schools at football, and the promising footballer and sportsman who had also played for a very successful Hitchin Grammar school side, was scouted by Arthur Rowe’s Spurs during the pre-season of 1952, and he would later join the club on amateur forms. A winger with a good low centre of gravity, very good pace, skill and also strength on the ball. Micky had impressed so much during his early days at Spurs, that he had signed professional forms with them as early on as November of 1952. He would progress up the youth ranks at Spurs during the early 1950s, and travelling to where Spurs trained from Hertfordshire, he would often join former Spurs A and reserve team player Derek Castle on the train journey to Spurs, during those early days. Micky would later play for Spurs at A and B team level, and also in the London Midweek League for Spurs, during his early days at the club.

Having football heroes such as Sir Thomas Finney and Sir Stanley Matthews, Micky was also in awe of the great players who were around at Spurs during the early 1950s, after he had just joined the club. Micky continued to progress well at Spurs, featuring even for the Spurs reserve side, before in the August of 1954, he featured in a friendly against French side Lille Olympique. This was to be the first of 25 Spurs first team appearances that the winger made for the club (11 of those appearances came in competitive competitions). Spurs were starting to build a special team during the late 1950s, not long after many of the players from the great success of the 1950/51 side had either left the club or retired. During his time as a player at the club, Micky Dulin would travel abroad to play for them during a tour of America and Canada, and he played with some of the finest players to ever play for Spurs. Players such as Danny Blanchflower and Eddie Baily, to name just a couple.

Very sadly an injury to Micky’s cruciate ligament in a First Division game against Birmingham City in late 1957, would end Micky’s footballing career and time at Spurs. It was a very sad end to his time at the club, and only four years later, when Micky would likely have been in his footballing prime, Spurs won the double. There would have been an excellent chance that Micky would have been part of that double winning success, at the club. Despite having to retire from playing the game professionally in the late 1950s, the former Spurs player would go onto achieve great things during his life, and in football. Micky became Wingate manager in 1967, starting a legendary association with the non-League club that is now known as Wingate & Finchley. He was named life vice-president of the club in 2000. However, Micky would also manage Barking and also Ilford.

Still playing in charity/veterans games for a number of years, after he had finished playing football for Spurs. Micky would work for the fire brigade, and also as a sports development officer at Waltham Forest. I had the great pleasure and privilege of meeting and interviewing Micky, in 2018, about his time at Spurs during the 1950s. It was without doubt one of the most memorable and interesting Spurs interviews that I have ever done. Micky sadly passed away in 2021. His legacy of all that he achieved in his life will live on. To have appeared for the Spurs first team during the 1950s as a youth team graduate, with all of the great players that were around at Spurs at that time, was a great achievement, and is a credit to just how talented a footballer Micky was.

Where are they now? Looking at where the former Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of 2021/22, are now:

An article that I write around this time every season, where I follow the progress of the former Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of their contracts at the end of the previous season. In the following piece I will be writing a short update on where those former Spurs Academy players are, who left the club at the end of the 2021/22 season. As always, I wish those former Spurs Academy players all the very best of luck for the future.

Josh Oluwayemi: The 21 year old goalkeeper joined League One side Portsmouth, in the summer, after leaving Spurs in June. A Spurs Academy player for many years, Josh was a regular starter for the Spurs Under 18 side and Under 21 side, during his time at the club. Since joining Portsmouth, Josh has so far made five senior competitive appearances for their first team (all in the Papa Johns Trophy). And as the second choice goalkeeper for Portsmouth this season, Josh has featured many times on the bench for Danny Cowley’s side. Josh has kept three clean-sheets from five appearances for Portsmouth this season, and it would be great to see him start for them against Spurs, in their third round FA Cup tie at Spurs, next month.

Thimothée Lo-Tutala: France youth international and goalkeeper Thimothée Lo-Tutala signed for Championship side Hull City in the summer, after leaving Spurs in June, after his contract had come to an end. Thimothée hasn’t featured for the Hull City first team yet, but he has featured on the bench for them on two occasions. He has however, featured for their Under 21 side on occasions, and the Paris born goalkeeper was called-up to the France Under 21 side for the first time, earlier this season.

Kapcer Kurylowicz: A former Poland youth international, 21 year old goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz is a goalkeeper, who like Josh and Thimothée, I think very highly of. Having featured for the Spurs Under 18 and 21 sides in the past during his time at Spurs, Kacper spent some time out on loan with non-League side Potters Bar Town, towards the end of last season. Kacper left Spurs at the end of his contract, after that 2021/22 season had come to an end. He was on trial with West Ham United’s Under 21 side during the start of the 2022/23 season, and he even featured on the bench for their Under 21 side in a Premier League 2 game, at the beginning of the season. During the early stages of the season, Kacper signed for Yaxley FC. The club is based in Cambridgeshire, and they play their football in the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands. From researching Yaxley’s matches, I found out that the former Spurs man has started almost every game for Yaxley, since he signed for them.

Isak Solberg: A regular at youth level for Norway, goalkeeper Isak Solberg only featured for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion in competitive competition during his time at Spurs, but he did feature on the bench for their Under 21 side on occasions. A Spurs Academy player for three seasons, the player from Voss in Norway signed for Norwegian OBOS-ligaen (second tier of Norwegian football) Kongsvinger in September of this year, during their season. Isak made the bench for  Kongsvinger on a good number of occasions, but didn’t feature for their first team during that season. With that season now officially ended, I was unable to find out whether the 19 year old goalkeeper will still be with them for the 2023 season.

Tobi Omole: Joining Spurs’ Academy set-up in 2020, as an experienced Academy player from his time at Arsenal. 23 year old central defender Tobi Omole spent two seasons with Spurs’ Under 21 side, in which time he became an important player for the side. Tobi left Spurs at the end of the 2021/22 season, and soon after he would join League Two side Crawley Town. Tobi featured for Crawley Town on five occasions early on in the 2022/23 season, before unfortunately picking up an injury in August. He has yet to return from that injury to play again for Crawley Town, since August.

Dermi Lusala: A highly skilful full-back with good balance to his game, an injury halted Dermi Lusala’s progress at Spurs, during his second season of scholarship with the club. After playing some games for the Spurs Under 21 side last season, Dermi left Spurs at the end of that 2021/22 season. He joined Championship side Coventry City in July of this year, and the 19 year old has featured for the Coventry Under 21 side this season. And earlier this month Dermi joined non-League side Barwell Town on a one month loan.

Jordan Hackett: A former England Under 18 international, left-back Jordan Hackett joined the Newcastle United Academy set-up in July of this year, after leaving Spurs at the end of his contract in June. Jordan has so far featured on eight occasions for the Newcastle United Under 21 side in the Premier League 2 Division Two, a league that they currently sit in sixth place in, going into 2023.

Jez Davies: Skilful and tenacious midfielder Jez Davies was previously with the Leyton Orient Academy set-up, before joining Spurs’ Academy. The 18 year old signed scholarship forms with Spurs in the summer of 2020, and would feature mainly for their Under 18 side, during his time at the club. After leaving Spurs this summer, he played some matches for Chelsea’s Under 21 in pre-season, before spending some time without a club. However, he very recently joined Burnley’s Academy set-up.

Oliver Turner: Creative and hardworking midfielder Oliver Turner featured for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion, during his two years of scholarship with their Academy. I recently read that Oliver had joined Aldershot Town’s Academy set-up after leaving Spurs in the summer, but unfortunately I’ve been unable to confirm whether he is still playing for them at Academy level.

Renaldo Torraj: Highly creative winger and Albania youth international Renaldo Torraj, like Jez Davies, featured for Chelsea’s Under 21 side in pre-season, but wouldn’t end up signing for them on a permanent basis, after leaving Spurs in the summer. However, Renaldo signed for Burnley’s Academy in October of this year. He has been with their Under 21 side, and he will be a teammate once again of Jez Davies in the new year.

Khalon Haysman: Former England youth international Khalon Haysman, is a central midfielder who during his time at Spurs, at Under 18 level, liked to get forward to support the forward players. One of the Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of last season, the 18 year old featured for one of Bolton Wanderers’ Academy sides in November of this year. However, I have been unable to find out if he has actually signed for the League One club.

J’Neil Bennett: A skilful and unpredictable winger, 21 year old professional footballer J’Neil Bennett was at Spurs for a number of years as an Academy player, after joining them from QPR. The scorer of the first ever goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, J’Neil joined Brentford B in late November, after leaving Spurs at the end of last season. Paris Maghoma was another former Spurs Academy player who has represented both Spurs at Academy level and also Brentford’s B team in recent seasons.

A piece on Spurs’ highly skilful and creative first year scholar Tyrese Hall:

Although I won’t be covering the Spurs Academy matches anymore, I will still be writing the occasional piece on the Spurs Academy players, especially as I’ve received so many nice and very kind messages in the past week from people. Tyrese Hall is a player who I saw live around a dozen times in matches for the various Spurs Academy sides, since the start of the 2021/22 season. A versatile player, who is capable of playing as a box to box midfielder, defensive-midfielder, CAM or as a winger. Tyrese is a very exciting, skilful and creative player, regardless of which position that he starts matches in. With his fine balance, vision for a forward pass and his excellent creativity, Hall is a player who I will very much be looking forward to following at Spurs during the future. Having featured for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, Tyrese signed scholarship forms with the club last summer, and only recently he signed his first professional contract with Spurs.

Impressing in the games that he featured for Spurs’ Under 18 side in last season while playing in a number of different positions, Tyrese was outstanding in a Premier League South fixture away to Reading, towards the end of last season. In that game, which Spurs won, he performed his role as the box to box midfielder with real maturity and skill. Providing an all important assist, it was Tyrese’s desire to receive the ball, take players on for skill and look to create chances for his teammates which really made the difference. In another game last season (this time for a Spurs Under 17 side in the Under 17 Premier League Cup final against Manchester City) Tyrese came on in the second half to make a good impression on the game, against a top Manchester City side. And only very recently against both Crystal Palace and Norwich City’s Under 18 sides, the 17 year old midfielder showed his class in midfield, and in the game against Norwich in particular, he was really, really impressive. And he really helped Spurs to win the midfield contest in that game.

A player with great ability on the ball. I’ve noticed in every game that I’ve seen Tyrese Hall involved in, that he is always very positive in his all-round play. Liking very much to receive the ball and go on long and very skilful surging runs, the Spurs Academy player is unpredictable with his dribbling on the ball, is more than capable of creating chances out of very little, and he with his consistently impressive weight and vision for a pass, he is also capable of making those all important forward passes. In fact Tyrese reminds me quite a lot of former Spurs Academy player Rafferty Pedder, in his style of play. Rafferty is a real talent and is now doing really well with QPR’s Under 21 side. Both having good pace, movement off the ball and a real desire to play the ball forward and create chances. Tyrese also has great ball control and the ability to evade challenges in tight spaces, similar to how Rafferty plays.

Tyrese Hall has goals and assists to his game also, and he likes to take efforts from distance. However, he is also a tenacious player who has a good defensive side to his game, and he demonstrated this really well in the recent league game with Norwich City, and also the game last season away at Reading. A player who from what I’ve seen has a big future at Spurs, the talented midfielder is a player whose style of play I am a really big fan of, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him earn a call-up to England’s Under 18 side/youth team in the near future. Along with other creative players in the Spurs Under 18 side, like Mikey Moore and Oliver Irow, Tyrese Hall will in my opinion be integral to Spurs’ Under 18 side doing well in the FA Youth Cup this season. I would like to wish Tyrese all the very best of luck for the rest of this season, and for his future at Spurs.

Looking back on my wonderful time following and watching the Spurs Academy sides, over the past seven or so seasons as a supporter:

On Wednesday I tweeted a thread on Twitter, pretty much just saying that I would no longer be able to attend the Spurs Academy matches (home and away), because of other commitments. However I’ll still be writing articles on my blog, with some being historical articles on Spurs, and others being about the Academy, but maybe just not as frequently as before. I’ve always been a very big Spurs fan. I’ve been going to Spurs matches for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love the club and it’s sides at all levels. However, following and attending all of the Spurs Academy matches in my spare time (the Spurs Under 18, Under 19 and Under 21’s matches), all really came about by chance. My father asked me one Friday evening whether I’d like to attend a match in the old Under 21 Premier League, between Spurs’ Under 21 side and Liverpool at White Hart Lane. I was interested to see the game, and so I met him at White Hart Lane, and we watched the game. There was maybe about a thousand or so fellow spectators at the ground. Spurs lost the game 3-1 to a very strong Liverpool side that evening. However, I really enjoyed the match, the experience and watching these players who had already come so far in their careers at Academy level.

From watching that game against Liverpool’s Under 21 side I really started to become interested in the Academy, and I remember the next morning I was checking the scoreline of the Spurs Under 18’s match, while on my way with my dad to the Spurs first team game. And so my interest in the Spurs Academy grew from there really. I was learning a lot about Academy football, following every result, but at that stage I was only really able to get to the occasional Academy games that used to be held at the old stadium. In time, possibly during the next season or so I started to attend more matches at Spurs Under 21 level, and then at Spurs Under 18 level. Going to watch an Under 18 league game at Spurs’ incredible Hotspur Way training ground for the first time was just amazing. It’s so very impressive, and it was without doubt the best training ground that I ever visited while reporting on the academy games. Fast forward and before I knew it I was attending and writing previews and reports on every Spurs Under 18’s and 21’s match, in my spare time. This would last around seven or so seasons, until very recently.

I quickly found out that getting permission to attend some of the away Academy matches at certain training grounds was very, very difficult. Also, getting to so many of those places where the games would take place, by public transport, was in many cases quite challenging to say the least. I’ve got to watch so, so many wonderful footballers play against Spurs at Academy level, who have gone on to achieve great things in the game, so far in their careers. And for Spurs, the Academy players who are currently at the club and who were once at the club, were and are so incredibly talented. The level of technical ability that these players have is just incredible, and you really get to appreciate that by watching the matches week in and week out. Players like goalkeeper and Spurs Academy graduate Brandon Austin, who was just brilliant, and who has got better and better by each passing season. Also, then there is the fantastic Oliver Skipp, and players who are technically unbelievable, like the Shashoua brothers – Samuel and Armando. 

Skilful and fast winger Anthony Georgiou was a player who I always really thought very highly of, and who I wrote a lot on. I thought that he was very unlucky with injuries during his time at Spurs. Without doubt my favourite season covering the Spurs Academy sides was in 2018/19. That season and under the tutelage of Under 18’s head-coach Matt Wells, Spurs’ Under 18 side played consistently outstanding football. The team consisted of players like Dilan Markanday, who is another outstanding footballer with such great potential, Harvey White, the captain Armando Shashoua, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Dennis Cirkin, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Maxwell Statham, Josh Oluwayemi, Luis Binks, J’Neil Bennett, Troy Parrott and Jubril Okedina. I could literally write piece after piece on that side, who during the leadership of Matt Wells and his time at the club during that season as head-coach of the side, were in my opinions the best Under 18 side in England. They seemed fitter than pretty much all of the sides that they faced, but the quality of the football that they played, was quite simply breathtaking. I reckon that Matt Wells will make a great manager one day.

I’ve been so lucky to build up so many wonderful memories of watching Spurs’ various academy sides, all over the country, and also in Europe at the pre-season and end of season Academy tournaments. I loved attending those tournaments, and so many of the players were so very friendly and thankful that I’d made the trip over to support them. Because at the end of the day I am a Spurs supporter first of all. Not all fellow Spurs supporters might have liked the fact that I was always positive in my reporting on the Spurs Academy matches. However, I very much appreciate the fact that these young Spurs Academy players are still at the very beginning of their footballing journey. Certainly I’ve always felt that I was never in a position to criticise players for their performances, after all I’m just a Spurs fan, not a coach or an analyst, or whatever. I would like to say a very big thank you to all of the fellow Spurs supporters who have so kindly followed my reports, updates, player articles, tweets and other writing on the Spurs Academy over the years. I would also like to say a special thank you to those Spurs Academy parents who have introduced themselves to me in the past, and who have been so kind to me. And also to the Spurs Academy players (past and present), many of whom were very kind to me and so willing to chat and introduce themselves to me. I only wish every Spurs player all the very best.

And so we come to the end of my rather long piece, in which I have reminisced rather a lot! I will greatly miss going to all of the Spurs Academy matches in person, although I will still be following every result, and also watching every game on SpursPlay. I think that I’m very lucky to have so many memories of watching so many great games of Spurs at Academy level, all over the country. Some of my favourites include 9-0 wins over Arsenal and West Ham United respectively, at Under 18 level, some big wins against top academy sides at Under 21 level, seeing some wonderful football being played, and overall just having a great time. I feel like  I’ve really got to learn so much about the game in this time. I truly think that Spurs fans should be feeling optimistic about the future of the Academy players who are on their own footballing journey. I still think that Troy Parrott will and can be a big player for Spurs’ first team in the future, and Oliver Skipp and Brandon Austin will only get better. Also, some of the younger players such as Dane Scarlett, Harvey White, Maxwell McKnight, Josh Keeley, Alfie Devine, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Tyrese Hall, Will Lankshear and Rio Kyerematen, are just some of the Spurs Academy players who I personally believe can have great careers at the club.

I’ve loved every minute of going to all of the Spurs Academy games during recent years (barring of course the 2020/21 season, when no one could attend matches). I would like to wish the Spurs Academy players and Academy graduates of the club all the very best of luck for the future. I look forward to continuing to follow the progress of all of the players.

Spurs Under 18’s 3-1 Crystal Palace: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Crystal Palace on Saturday morning at their training ground in south London, in a Premier League South fixture. Spurs won the game 3-1, and they had a good game, from start to finish. Captain Luca Gunter started in goal for Spurs, as George Abbott, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Will Andiyapan started in defence. Rio Kyerematen and Tyrese Hall started in central midfield, and Damola Ajayi and Jaden Williams started the game out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Will Lankshear led the line for Spurs. Crystal Palace got the game underway. Will Lankshear headed a cross from Will Andiyapan wide inside the Crystal Palace box early on in the game, before Spurs took the lead in the ninth minute of the match. Tyrese Hall’s low cross from the right side of the Crystal Palace box found Will Lankshear just in front of the goal, but the former Sheffield United player was unable to control the ball, as it came to Jamie Donley, who was able to finish from close range, 1-0.

After Rio Kyerematen went forward with the ball from midfield he passed the ball forward well to Will Lankshear, who had made a run in between the Crystal Palace defence. Lankshear passed the ball across the goal to Jaden Williams, who was able to tap home from close range, 2-0. Archie Chaplin did well to block Zach Marsh’s effort inside the Spurs box, before Crystal Palace managed to get a goal. Caleb Kporha skilfully worked his way into the Spurs box, before finding the bottom left corner of Luca Gunter’s goal, 1-2. Alfie Dorrington blocked Jake Grante’s effort well inside the Spurs penalty area soon after, before a long ball over the top of the Crystal Palace defence from Damola Ajayi, sent Will Lankshear through on goal. However, Crystal Palace goalkeeper Jackson Izquierdo came rushing out of his goal, and he ended up clattering into Lankshear, and after consulting with the linesman on the far side, the referee showed him a red card. Jamie Donley sent the resulting free-kick from distance over the goal.

The impressive Rio Kyerematen had an effort deflected just wide of the Crystal Palace goal, from the edge of their penalty area. George Abbott then had a curling effort which was pushed behind by Laurence Shala, just before half-time. Spurs got  the second half underway, and early on in the half Wales youth international Will Andiyapan had a low effort from distance saved by the Crystal Palace goalkeeper. Luca Gunter saved Freddie Bell’s effort from the edge of the Spurs box, before Spurs regained their two goal lead on 59 minutes. The influential Jamie Donley’s low cross from the left flank managed to find Will Lankshear in the centre of the Crystal Palace penalty area, and he finished well past the goalkeeper in clinical fashion, 3-1. Adler Nascimento hit an effort over the Spurs goal from inside their penalty area, as the home side tried to respond. Rio Kyerematen then hit an effort over from the edge of the Crystal Palace box, before having an effort blocked soon after.

Spurs continued to control the game, and after Jamie Donley’s effort inside the Crystal Palace box was blocked behind for a corner-kick, at the other end of the pitch Luca Gunter saved Adler Nascimento’s effort from a free-kick on the edge of the Spurs box. Alfie Dorrington then hit a low effort wide from distance, a couple of minutes before Oliver Irow and Yusuf Akhamrich came on for Damola Ajayi and Will Lankshear. The substitute Oliver Irow hit an effort just wide of the goal, from the edge of the Crystal Palace box. Kieran Morgan replaced Will Andiyapan soon after, before Dorrington did well to block an effort towards goal from Caleb Kporha. Luca Gunter saved another Crystal Palace effort, this time from a corner-kick, before then saving Eyimofe Jemide’s headed effort on goal. Jamie Donley had a late effort blocked on the edge of the box, with Tyrese Hall then departing the field moments later, after an impressive performance on his return to the side, as he was replaced by Riley Owen. Jaden Williams had an effort blocked, with Yusuf Akhamrich then hitting an effort over the goal, after getting on the ball following a Spurs free-kick. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time shortly after. Spurs’ next game (in the league) is at home to Norwich City on Tuesday.

My man of the match – Alfie Dorrington. Showing his quality on the ball throughout the entirety of the match, central defender Alfie Dorrington made some good defensive decisions and blocks against Crystal Palace. The England Under 18 international also read the game impressively, and his overall performance was once again of a very good quality.

Spurs Under 18’s versus Crystal Palace: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side travel to south London to face Crystal Palace on Saturday (the game starts at 11:00am), in a Premier League South fixture. Spurs were very unlucky not to have picked up at least a point against Chelsea in their last league fixture, as it was a game that they lost 2-1. However, were it not for two great goals from Chelsea in that match, then Stuart Lewis’ side would have got something from the game. Crystal Palace have picked up 14 points from their opening eight Premier League South games of this season, and they are currently in second place in the league table. In the last game it was great to see Rio Kyerematen, Will Andiyapan and Alfie Dorrington return to the Spurs Under 18 side squad. This should be a great game of football, but it will also be a tough game for Spurs, with Crystal Palace winning both league fixtures with Spurs at this level last season. I would like to wish Spurs all the vey best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Gunter (c), Abbott, Chaplin, Dorrington, McKnight, Kyerematen, Willhoft-King, Williams, Donley, Akhamrich, Lankshear.

Subs from: Krasniqi, Andiyapan, Hall, Owen, Ajayi.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-4.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Junior Dixon (18). The Crystal Palace second year scholar has scored a very impressive total of eight Premier League South goals from seven appearances this season for the Crystal Palace Under 18 side.

Spurs Under 18’s 1-2 Chelsea: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side welcomed Chelsea to Hotspur Way for a Premier League South fixture on Saturday morning. Head coach Stuart Lewis saw his side lose the game 2-1, but it was still in my opinion a good performance from his side. Spurs lined-up with captain Luca Gunter in goal, as George Abbott, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Maxwell McKnight started the game in defence. Rio Kyerematen and Callum Olusesi started in central midfield for Spurs, as Jaden Williams and Mikey Moore started the game out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Will Lankshear led the line for Spurs, who got the game underway. The game started at a good pace, and early on in the match Maxwell McKnight made a good headed clearance at the back post of the Spurs goal, to clear away Frankie Runham’s good cross. Travis Akomeah had a headed effort from a free-kick saved by Luca Gunter, before Archie Chaplin made an excellent sliding challenge to take the ball off of Tudor Mendel-Idowu, who was through on goal inside the Spurs penalty area.

After receiving Mikey Moore’s good pass inside the Chelsea box, Jamie Donley had a powerful effort saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Ted Curd. After going on a good run into the Chelsea box, Mikey Moore had an effort saved, before then having a low effort from distance saved a couple of minutes later. Louis Flower headed over Somto Boniface’s cross, and then he had a header saved by Luca Gunter shortly after. Jaden Williams headed wide Maxwell McKnight’s good cross into the Chelsea box, before Chelsea took the lead. After Frankie Runham had got past George Abbott on the left flank, the Chelsea winger found Michael Golding inside the Spurs box, and the midfielder curled an effort past Luca Gunter and into the Spurs goal, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond before half-time. After receiving Callum Olusesi’s pass inside the Chelsea box, Will Lankshear had an effort blocked, before Maxwell McKnight also had an effort blocked, with Jaden Williams then having an effort saved by the Chelsea goalkeeper.

Tudor Mendel-Idowu’s effort from the edge of the Spurs box was saved by Luca Gunter, before Spurs went forward with the ball. Maxwell McKnight brought the ball forward at pace, and he then played a one-two pass with Mikey Moore, before having an effort blocked. Archie Chaplin was shown a yellow card, and shortly after Frankie Runham’s free-kick delivery to Louis Flower resulted in the Chelsea forward having his good looping header well saved by Luca Gunter. Callum Olusesi was then shown a yellow card, just before Spurs managed to get an equalising goal. Rio Kyerematen managed to get on the ball, before passing it out to Mikey Moore on the left flank. The Spurs winger then found Jamie Donley on the right side of the Spurs box, and he was able to finish low past Ted Curd, 1-1. Louis Flower then hit an effort wide, across the Spurs goal from the left side of the Spurs box, just before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time.

Chelsea got the second half underway. A good turn inside the Chelsea box by Mikey Moore resulted in the Spurs winger having his effort deflected just wide of Ted Curd’s goal. Lankshear had an effort blocked on the left side of the Chelsea penalty area, with Alfie Dorrington’s lofted pass to Mikey Moore on the left flank seeing him take the ball into the Chelsea box really well, before having an effort saved by the goalkeeper. Alfie Dorrington blocked an effort inside the Spurs box at the other end of the pitch, before Luca Gunter managed to save Frankie Runham’s effort from inside the Spurs box. Spurs made a double change shortly after, as Han Willhoft-King and Damola Ajayi came on to replace Jaden Williams and Callum Olusesi respectively. Tudor Mendel-Idowu headed Harrison McMahon’s cross wide form inside the Spurs box, and then Frankie Runham hit an effort over the goal from the edge of the penalty area.

After receiving Tudor Mendel-Idowu’s pass just outside of the Spurs box, Josh Acheampong hit a powerful and quite unstoppable effort into the top left corner of Luca Gunter’s goal, 1-2. Luca Gunter then tipped over Tudor Mendel-Idowu’s headed effort from a cross into the Spurs box, before at the other end of the pitch Rio Kyerematen won a free-kick on the edge of the Chelsea box, which Jamie Donley then hit over the goal. A pass from Donley to Lankshear on the left side of the Chelsea box, saw the former Sheffield United player have his effort blocked by Harrison Murray-Campbell. Lankshear then had an effort from the right side of the Chelsea box tipped over by Ted Curd, before Rio Kyerematen had an effort on goal blocked. After receiving Damola Ajayi’s pass on the left side of the Chelsea box, the impressive Mikey Moore went past Frankie Runham, before having an effort saved by Ted Curd. Yusuf Akhamrich came on to replace Rio Kyerematen, and soon afterwards the winger went forward down Chelsea’s left side at pace, before crossing into the Chelsea box, but Jamie Donley’s header was saved. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time not long after. 

Spurs’ Under 18 side face Crystal Palace (away) next Saturday, in what is their next league fixture.

My man of the match – Maxwell McKnight. Playing out of position at left-back for the game against Chelsea on Saturday, second year scholar Maxwell McKnight continued his impressive start to the 2022/23 season by putting in a very good defensive performance against Chelsea, in my opinion. The player from Colchester in Essex, kept very good positioning throughout the match, and he defended really well against the talented and very creative Tudor Mendel-Idowu. Maxwell also got forward well, but it was his very good reading of the game and decision making, which impressed me most today.

Spurs Under 18’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side face Chelsea in a Premier League South fixture at Hotspur Way on Saturday morning (the game starts at 11:00am). Spurs won 5-1 against Charlton Athletic in their last competitive match at this level, with that game being in the Under 18 Premier League Cup. The game on Saturday against Chelsea is the first meeting between the two sides at this level this season. Chelsea won both fixtures against Spurs last season in the league, and they are currently in third place in the Premier League South, with 10 points from their opening six league matches of the season. They are of course a very good side and this will be a difficult game for Spurs, but it will also be a very competitive game. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the game. Spurs’ Under 18 side today found out that they will face QPR, at home, in the third round of the 2022/23 edition of the FA Youth Cup.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Gunter (c), McKnight, Chaplin, Morgan, Linton, Abbott, Moore, Williams, Donley, Irow, Lankshear.

Subs from: Krasniqi, King, Hall, Owen, Ajayi.

Injured/unavailable: Thomas Bloxham (on international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under 18 side).

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Tudor Mendel-Idowu (17). The second year scholar has been starting matches on the right flank as a winger, in recent games, and he is a very skilful and creative player who has impressed me whenever I have seen him play for Chelsea in the past.