My interview with former Spurs player Glen Alzapiedi:

My interview with former Spurs player Glen Alzapiedi:

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In the latest in my series of interviews with former Spurs youth team players from the 1980’s I caught up with tough tackling midfielder Glen Alzapiedi, to talk about his time as a youth player at Spurs during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Alzapiedi who is now the assistant manager at St Albans, played in a richly talented Spurs youth team before going onto depart for Birmingham City and later Stevenage amongst other clubs, after doing the knowledge and becoming a London black taxi driver. Alzapieidi would also turn his hand to coaching where he coached the likes of Ware Town and Concord Rangers. I had the great pleasure of talking to Glen about his time at the ‘ Lilywhites ‘ more than 40 years ago. Glen (pictured in the centre above) might just be the only ever Spurs player to wear an Arsenal shirt to training!

What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs?

Glen: The earliest memories I’ve got are getting an invite to go up to Tottenham to train. I’d been playing for Abbey youth under 12’s and Mike Varney (the Spurs physio) did a presentation evening for us and I suppose I got recommended to him, and that set the wheels in motion. So that’s how I got to train at Tottenham.

How did you come about joining the club?

Glen: Well the previous answer sort of tells that. I got the invite to go and train at Spurs and I must of impressed during the training and in the games that I played, so I got invited to train there every Tuesday and Thursday I think it was. 

What was your time at the Lilywhites like on the whole?

Glen: The first couple of seasons I was there I think I did quite well although I did spend practically a whole season out injured around the age of 14 going onto 15. Then the last season I was there I played a lot of football but ultimately I got released, so most of the time there was good.

Did you have any footballing heroes/inspirations and if so who were they?

Glen: My favourite player was Liam Brady who was at Arsenal so there weren’t any Tottenham players I’m afraid! 

Could you describe to me what type of player you were and what positions you played in for Spurs during your time there?

Glen: I was a central midfield player who was very tenacious and an aggressive tackler and in all honesty that was my main strength. I was reasonably good at everything else but my outstanding strength was obviously my tackling.

What was it like to brush shoulders with some of the legendary players that were around at Spurs at the time?

Glen: I only ever had contact with first team players at Tottenham once and that was in pre-season just before I turned 16 in 1980. I went in for two or three weeks during the summer holidays and trained and I remember the warm up was with the first team players. I can remember Glen Hoddle and I can also remember Terry Naylor as well as Chris Hughton and Graham Roberts. I had contact with Roberts once or twice because I had an injury playing for my school and I was treated by Mike Varney, and Graham was getting treated at the same time as me. I can also remember Terry Yorath saying to me who are you and I replied with my name and then he said again who are you, rather flippantly for a 15 year old boy. But like I said I was an Arsenal fan so I wasn’t star struck by Tottenham players. 

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Glen: Well to be honest with you I thought that I was really treated well at Tottenham by the coaches there such as Robbie Stepney and Peter Shreeves. And in particular by a coach called Dave Lister who was very supportive of me during a difficult time for me, because I had real problems off the field in my personal life. However, I can’t complain about how I was treated by Tottenham.

Were there any players at Spurs who you would watch closely to try and improve your game or look to learn from?

Glen: Only youth team players really and the players who played in the same position as me who I had contact with were Allan Cockram and Ian Crook. And I can remember Ian Crook used to play a lot of one touch football which impressed me and I tried to improve my game in that way, but they were both very technical players whereas I was a rat who got around the pitch and kicked people. I suppose in terms of who I tried to aspire to be it would have been someone who was an out and out defensive midfield player. There was no one I ever tried to model my game on, I just tried to improve my game and with all the things that were going wrong for me at the time it was difficult.

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories of your time at Spurs or ones which particularly standout within your memory?

Glen: Well in terms of playing experiences I can remember playing at White Hart Lane in the league cup semi final against Swindon in the second leg. The stadium was empty but it did seem huge and I enjoyed playing there. I can also remember scoring a few goals for Tottenham such as scoring against West Ham that season in a 1-0 win, I think that George Parish was marking me on that day. Most of the time at Tottenham I enjoyed but I practically had a whole season where I was out when I needed to get treatment. And in the last season I had a strong start to the season and a poor second half to the season and ultimately I didn’t get an apprenticeship because of that. Basically what happened during my second last year of school my mum had died at the beginning of the year so by the time I got to my last year at school my life had unravelled. She had been the discipline in the family and held everything together and I subsequently became a bit of a loose cannon at school. I became ill disciplined and that carried over into my football because I became petulant and over aggressive, and although the coaches at Tottenham did their best to try and reign me in and help me, I didn’t listen to anyone at that time. And during the second half of the season things just went from week to week, worse to worse and my attitude was absolutely awful and it cost me an apprenticeship there. So it wasn’t a good time for me in my last year but I can’t blame Tottenham for any of that because they did their best for me. It was purely down to attitude and there have been better players than me who didn’t make it because of poor attitude. So it’s one of those things and I accept that, and it’s not something that I hold any grudges about. 

What was the greatest moment of your footballing career?

Glen: As a coach the best moment I had was helping Concord Rangers get promoted to the National League South along with Danny Cowley (now of Lincoln), because they were such a small club. Another great moment was getting Ware Town to the first round proper of the FA Cup so that was really good as well. As a player I had a really bittersweet experience at Stevenage Borough where I helped the club get promoted to the national conference. However, I snapped my cruciate ligaments a couple of months before the end of the season and that was that really. I regret not getting the chance to play in the conference for Stevenage because by the time I’d got to my late 20’s my attitude had changed and I had become a much more effective and professional player than I had been throughout my younger years. For three years I didn’t really play because at the age of 19 when I didn’t get a contract anywhere I finished playing for three years and did the knowledge, and it was only friends dragging me back into semi professional football that got me involved and I’ve been involved ever since as a player, coach and as a manager.

Who was the greatest player that you had the pleasure of sharing a pitch with? 

Glen: When I was at Birmingham City as an apprentice I played in training games against the first team. And the first team then had Frankie Worthington and Archie Gemmill playing for them so I would have to say Archie Gemmill who I ended up cleaning his boots. He was an excellent player who really stands out as a star for me.

Did you play abroad at any youth tournaments for Spurs and if so what was that experience like for you?

Glen: No but I can remember playing against foreign teams for Spurs but I can’t remember going abroad with Tottenham. 

Who was the toughest player that you ever came up against?

Glen: In all honesty there’s two and there for totally different reasons. I played for Birmingham City’s youth team against Nottingham Forest’s youth team and their player manager at the time was a man called Liam O’Kane who was an Irish international. I was marking him and I never got a kick because he was playing one touch football all around me all day and I couldn’t get near him even though I was a 17 year old boy full of running and he was well in his 30’s. I also played against Paul Allen for Birmingham City when he was at West Ham and I had a bit of a running battle with him. But the hardest player I played against was in non league football and his name was Paul Hobbs and he played for Hemel Hempstead. He was as hard as nails and we just spent the whole game kicking lumps out of each other, but I respected him because he didn’t give me any verbal. So he was my toughest opponent.

Were there any players at Spurs who you were particularly close to?

Glen: Robert Brace was a friend of mine who stayed at Tottenham and got an apprenticeship for them. We were very close and I was also close with Gary Rudkin who joined us from Crystal Palace and he was my best mate but he sadly past away a long while ago, but they were the players who I was closest to.

As a coach what would your advice be to the young Spurs players of today as they look to break into the first team?

Glen: Work hard, listen to your coaches then go and work even harder!

Could you tell me about the time you wore an Arsenal shirt to training?

Glen: Well when we used to train on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the training ground behind the West stand. I can remember Ron Henry taking training once (the former left back in the double winning season) and I had an Arsenal away shirt on. Ron said to me what are you doing wearing that shirt and I said what do you mean. And he replied by saying you can’t wear this shirt here and I said I can wear it because I’m an Arsenal fan, anyway he said that I don’t think you should wear it here and I had a big smug grin on my face. However, I cannot remember Ron Henry speaking to me at all after that! 

After all these years how do you look back on your time at the Lilywhites and is Spurs a club who you still hold close to your heart?

Glen: Like I said I enjoyed most of my time at Tottenham and the fact that I failed to progress there was down to me not them. However, I cannot say that I hold them close to my heart because I am an Arsenal fan but I do have a healthy respect for the achievements of Tottenham and how the present coach is managing them. Any team that gets to the Champions league final is a good team coached by a good manager and I acknowledge that with gritted teeth.

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My end of season player reviews of our under 18 side:

My end of season player reviews of our under 18 side:

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It is exceptionally difficult to put our under 18’s 2018/19 rollercoaster ride of a season into words. It was an incredible season for the wonder boys of Hotspur Way but for one reason or another it ended without them winning any silverware. Playing superb free flowing attacking football, with a high press and intensity about them, under the tutelage first of Matt Wells and then John McDermott and Ryan Mason were, absolutely outstanding as a team. 95% of the teams in which we played, we played them off the park. Such was our excellent fitness levels and high intensity style of play, along with the sheer fluidity of our fast attacking football. Matt Wells deserves great credit for the way in which he managed the boys before departing them in February to link up with former Spurs man Scott Parker at Fulham, before academy chief John McDermott took the reigns along with Ryan Mason for the latter parts of the season. In my eyes the wonder boys of Hotspur Way were the best team in England this season regardless of the fact that we finished four points behind Arsenal in second place in the Premier League South. Although we were ahead of Arsenal for large parts of the season it was our controversial meeting with the ‘ Gunners ‘ back in April when we lost 3-2, which effectively ended our title charge. Regardless of what went on at Arsenal’s training centre, the season as a whole has been a roaring success. And the experience for which it has provided for our young developing scholars has been invaluable. I have never seen an under 18 team as good as the class of 2018/19. They were an absolute pleasure to watch and report on. Apart from finishing in second place in the Premier League South, McDermott and Mason’s side reached the quarter finals of the Premier League Cup where they were knocked out by Derby County. They also reached the fourth round of the FA youth cup where once again they were outdone in controversial circumstances by their bitter rivals Arsenal. A number of our under 18’s also played in the UEFA youth league. We reached the last 16 of Europe’s most prestigious youth competition.

From the goalscoring exploits of Troy Parrott, to the leadership and craft of captain fantastic Armando Shashoua, to the defensive solidity of the likes of Malachi Walcott, Luis Binks and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The 2018/19 season is one in which I and many Spurs fans will look back on with great fondness, and from the bottom of my heart I can’t say how very proud I am of our under 18’s for all that they have achieved over the course of this long and at times gruelling season. In the following piece I will be going into great detail about each of our under 18’s players seasons. 

Goalkeepers: 

Joshua Oluwayemi: After only playing two games for our under 18’s during the 2017/18 season the following season was a breakthrough season for Oluwayemi who, made 21 appearances for our under 18’s as he enjoyed an excellent campaign for John McDermott and Ryan Mason’s side. Oluwayemi was a key player for our under 18’s and he was one of their most consistent players. The former England under 15 international who is also eligible to represent Nigeria and Grenada was, an extremely reliable presence in between the sticks and it was the sheer consistency of his performances which impressed me the most this season. An excellent shot stopper who made some absolutely outstanding reflex saves throughout the campaign, from the second year scholars 21 competitive appearances for our under 18’s he kept an impressive seven clean sheets. Oluwayemi also became somewhat of a penalty saving specialist during the 2018/19 season by keeping out an impressive five penalties last season, something which really saved us in big games. Joshua has made great strides as a player and he has become a lot well rounded as a goalkeeper. Not only is he an excellent shot stopper, despite his relatively short size for a goalkeeper Joshua was authoritative inside his box last season. Claiming almost every ball which came into his box, the 18 year old also impressed me with his distribution and calmness and composure in which he showed, when he had the ball at his feet. Some of Oluwayemi’s games of the season include our 4-0 league defeat of Leicester City in December, our 2-0 Premier League Cup defeat to Derby County where he made a string of impressive saves, a 2-0 league win over Chelsea, and our under 18’s infamous 3-2 defeat to Arsenal where he made one of the saves of the season to keep out an excellent strike from Arsenal’s Trae Coyle. Oluwayemi has enjoyed a superb season but, now one of our under 18’s most important players will have to adapt to under 23 football next season, that is something which will be a big step up for Oluwayemi as he continues to develop as a goalkeeper. 

Kacper Kurylowicz: The Luton born Polish youth international was our under 18’s second choice goalkeeper this season. Kurylowicz only made three competitive appearances for our under 18’s during the 2018/19 season but he did have an interesting season and he impressed when called upon. After spending some of the early parts of the season on loan at Barnet’s youth team, Kurylowicz who was often on the bench for our under 18’s during the first part of the season, made his competitive debut for them in a Premier League Cup group stage match against Middlesbrough around Christmas time. After making a number of impressive stops in that 2-2 draw up in County Durham, Kurylowicz would go onto make a further two competitive appearances for our under 18’s that season. One of which came as a substitute in a 5-3 league win over West Ham, and our final day 4-3 league defeat to Leicester City in late April. Very much a sweeper keeper who likes to stand on the edge of his penalty area, Kurylowicz is like Oluwayemi in the sense that he is an excellent shot stopper and good all round goalkeeper. The first year scholar also made two appearances (which he impressed in) for our under 19’s at the end of the season Terborg tournament. Next season Kurylowicz will likely be our under 18’s number one goalkeeper.

Defenders: 

Maximus Tainio: The Finland under 19 international made 14 appearances for our under 18’s during the 2018/19 campaign. Primarily featuring at right back, the son of our former player Teemu put in some sterling defensive performances in big games including against the likes of Chelsea and West Ham. The Auxerre born defender also showed improvement from last season and he impressed with his reading of games and his anticipation of danger. Tainio also made two appearances for our under 23’s and in one of those games he ended up going in goal after goalkeeper Brandon Austin had sustained an injury late on in a game, and Spurs had already used all three of their substitutions. Unfortunately after enjoying a good first half of the season Maximus missed much of the second part of the 2018/19 campaign through injury and he recently had an operation, so hopefully he’ll be fit again for the start of next season where he’ll be competing with Tariq Hinds and Jubril Okedina for a right back spot in our under 23’s. However, the versatile former HJK Helsinki schoolboy can also fill in at CDM if required. I like Tainio’s aggression and commitment on the field and I was impressed with how he played during the 2018/19 season.

Jubril Okedina: Tainio’s injury problems opened the door to the under 18 side to a player who had had his own injury problems the previous season. Centre half Jubril Okedina only made two appearances for our under 18’s during the 2017/18 season and after not starting the campaign as a regular for Matt Wells’ side, Tainio’s early injury problems meant that the RCB got given the opportunity to fill in for the Finn at right back. And Okedina did an absolutely outstanding job in Tainio’s absence, really making that right back spot his own the South London born defender made 21 competitive appearances for our under 18’s this season, most of which he played in as a right back. Okedina who is of Nigerian descent impressed greatly with his tight defending and solidity down the right flank. Good at locking in wingers and marking players out of the game. The second year scholar who also featured on one occasion for both our under 19’s and 23’s is a player who loves to be on the ball. And it is his comfortableness on the ball and his ability to turn at pace which has helped him to excel at right back for our under 18’s. The Greenwich born defender has been consistently excellent for the under 18’s this season and it has been the quality of his performances as well as the guile for which he has shown while operating at both fullback and centre half which has made him so effective. A calming presence in the side, Okedina is a very well rounded defender who has good pace and skill. However, he is a highly intelligent defender who isn’t rash in the challenge and he doesn’t panic when he is under pressure. What I like about Jubril is that he is a very skilful player who is comfortable at bringing the ball out from the back, but most of all he is an excellent defender. After enjoying a fine season on the domestic stage in his newfound position of right back. Okedina also performed well at the recent Terborg tournament in the Netherlands where he played all five games at right back. Next season Jubril will be hoping to become the first choice right back for our under 23’s however, his versatility will stand him in good stead over the course of the campaign.

Dennis Cirkin: One of our under 18’s best players this season has been Dublin born left back Dennis Cirkin. A wonderfully talented attacking fullback who loves to embark on jinking forward runs down the left flank. Cirkin was a mainstay in our under 18 side last season while in his first year of scholarship and the England under 17 international was consistently excellent for McDermott and Mason’s side. Young Dennis is a combative left back who gets up and down the flank excellently well. Cirkin is a young player who is constantly improving at left back, the former left winger was a mainstay in our title challenging under 18 side this season, and the quality of his performances have been just as good as anybody else’s. Putting in a string of superb performances against the likes of Leicester City, Fulham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona across the various age levels this campaign. Cirkin made 19 appearances for our under 18’s, four for our under 19’s and a further six for our under 23’s, he also featured at two post season tournaments (the Future Cup and the Terborg tournament) as well as being a member of the under 17 side which won the Euro Youth Cup in Germany at the beginning of the campaign. A skilful player who likes to take players on, Cirkin is also a very aggressive and tough tackling defender who is assertive and committed in his defending. Physically adept at playing under 23 football Cirkin has looked very good whenever he has made that step up this season, and the same can be said about his performances in the UEFA Youth League for our under 19’s. Cirkin has enjoyed an excellent season as a first year scholar and due to a lack of competition for the left back spot I could see him establishing himself as our under 23’s main left back for the 2019/20 season.

Malachi Walcott: A tall and skilful centre half who is excellent at making last ditch challenges and blocks. England under 17 international Malachi Walcott who featured for the Three Lions at the European under 17 championships in Ireland this year, has been an important player for our under 18’s over the course of the campaign. Walcott featured on 16 occasions for our under 18’s last season and him and Luis Binks would often form a strong partnership in central defence. Walcott also featured on two occasions for our under 23’s, and on three occasions for our under 19’s. It has been a very positive campaign for the centre half despite having a couple of injury problems throughout the season. Solid and consistent whenever he was called upon, the 17 year old first year scholar who chipped in with one goal has been an extremely reliable player for McDermott’s and Mason’s side. Making many an important block, last ditch challenge and clearance over the course of the campaign. Walcott is also very good in the air and like Lyons-Foster and Binks he manages to maintain impeccable positioning throughout games. Some of the first year scholars best game this season came against the likes of Chelsea, PSV, Crawley Town and Arsenal. Next season I would imagine that Walcott would play quite a few more games for the under 23’s. Malachi was a member of the 17 sides which competed in the Future Cup and the Euro Youth Cup.

Maxwell Statham: After enjoying an excellent pre-season with our development squad where the commanding centre half impressed greatly away in France at the annual Tournoi Europeen. However, after some injury problems early on in the campaign meant that it was hard for Statham to get himself back into our under 18 side. This meant that he had to show his versatility right from early on in the season, and for much of this campaign Statham has been playing at fullback (both right and left). However, the second year scholar slotted in seamlessly to his new positions and during his 17 appearances for the under 18’s he did a sterling job, putting in some excellent performances at both left back and right back, and the son of our former player had definitely improved from last season. One of his best performances came up against tricky Irish winger Shane Flynn when we played Leicester City in a league game back in December. On that day the aggressive Statham marked Flynn out of the game. All in all it has been a very positive season for the Southend born defender who will now be looking to break into the development side for the 2019/20 season. It is worth noting that the 18 year old did spend a short time on a youth loan at Norwich City this season. Statham completed the full 90 minutes for the ‘ Canaries ‘ under 23 side of a 4-0 PL2 defeat to Wolves back in February. 

Luis Binks: Gillingham born LCB Luis Binks enjoyed a marvellous first year of scholarship at Spurs during the 2018/19 season where he made 21 appearances for our under 18’s. Ball playing centre half Binks was one of our under 18’s most integral and consistent players and the quality of his defending in big games was unrivalled by anybody else. The son of the legendary former Chatham Town player Tom Binks, has oozed class whenever he has played for Spurs this season. Putting in match winning performances against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Fulham and Leicester City to name but a few clubs. Binks’ outstanding anticipation, reading of the game and the commanding nature of his defending has made him one of our under 18’s most important players during the title challenging season. Binks who also featured on four occasions for our under 23’s, and five for our under 19’s was at times unplayable at the back. Mature beyond his years young Binks along with Armando Shashoua and Dilan Markanday was one of our most important players. A member of the Euro youth cup winning side, Binks was a regular for England under 18’s, and he also featured for our under 19’s at the post season Terborg tournament. With a wand of a left foot and a wonderful understanding of the game, Binks’ consistent performances have greatly impressed me this season and from a physical point of view he could well establish himself as a regular for our under 23’s during the 2019/20 campaign. However, he should be very proud of all that he has achieved this season.

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Ball playing centre half Brooklyn Lyons-Foster overcame a number of injury problems during the first part of the season to enjoy another season of great personal development. The Islington born defender who also featured at CDM and fullback on a number of occasions throughout the season, divided his time playing under 18 and 23 football. Making 21 appearances for both our under 18’s and 19’s, Lyons-Foster also made nine appearances for our development side. The second year scholar was a highly influential player for both our under 18’s and 23’s. The rock solid centre half who chipped in with an impressive three goals and two assists is not too dissimilar to a defender such as Matthijs de Ligt, Lyons-Foster plays the game as if he has been schooled at the Sportpark De Toekomst, such is the way in which he operates as a ball playing centre half. A player who loves to make positive forward passes, Brooklyn is more than just an excellent defender who reads the game so well. He is also very creative from deep and his adventurous surging forward runs make him adept at playing at CDM. The 18 year old is a very mature defender who sees the danger which is in front of him. Commanding, decisive and unfazed by bullish target men despite his slim build, as I wrote last season he is another wonderful young talent. Despite a couple of injury problems throughout the campaign Lyons-Foster managed to make 30 competitive appearances for Spurs across all levels this season and it has meant that he has been able to get a lot of valuable playing time under his belt. Lyons-Foster played a big part in us reaching the last 16 round of the UEFA youth league and whenever he was involved for our under 23’s we were statistically a lot better as a team such is the attacking and defensive influence which Brooklyn has on games. Two performances from last season come to mind when I think of Lyons-Foster’s 2018/19 season. Those were against both West Ham and Barcelona and you can refer back to my match reports from last season to find out why. Next season I would be surprised if the highly promising centre back wasn’t a mainstay in our development squad. Look out for an in-depth piece which I am currently writing on Brooklyn. I recently named him as Spurs’ best player at this years recent Terborg tournament in the Netherlands.

Midfielders: 

Armando Shashoua: A skilful and ridiculously determined midfield craftsman whose high work rate and on the field intelligence made him our under 18’s man to go to last season. Our under 18’s captain fantastic operated at both CAM and CM during his 34 competitive appearances for our under 18’s, 19’s and 23’s during the recent season. Shashoua chipped in with an impressive seven goals and 12 assists (a great improvement from last seasons goal involvement tally of three) but they only tell half the story. Captain fantastic literally carried our under 18’s at times during the season. Demonstrating great leadership qualities, Armando was the beating heart of John McDermott’s team. Impressing with his passing ability, jinking forward runs, vision and razor sharp movement and ability to get to loose balls in and around the danger zone. Shashoua captained our side in every game that he played in apart from one (our opening day victory over Brighton) and the West Londoner did so with great aplomb on every occasion. So often the man to initiate chances and thwart dangerous attacks, Shashoua’s all round game was on completely another level this season. He could run at full pelt for 90 minutes of a game regardless of the score or how it was going and it was his sheer desire to get on the ball which impressed me so much, amongst other things. Shashoua starred in big games throughout the season and to be quite honest with you he never had a bad game. He was a constant source of encouragement on the field as he gave out instructions and barked out orders. Along with Dilan Markanday he was one of Spurs’ most fouled players last season but despite his small stature he was one of the strongest players on the ball in the team. He fought for every ball, tracked back relentlessly after him and he always made himself available to receive the ball as he constantly managed to drop into little pockets of space. Our under 18’s captain fantastic showed in his second year of scholarship that he was far, far too good for under 18 football. He had mastered every aspect of it, and his incredible footballing intelligence and guile meant that he always looked so comfortable and adept whenever he made the step up to play for our under 19’s and 23’s. It really does amaze me that neither England, Spain, Venezuela, America or Egypt haven’t called the technically gifted central midfielder up to represent their youth teams.

Harvey White: Another player who enjoyed a remarkable season was first year scholar Harvey White. The Maidstone born CDM was involved in 21 goals from 33 appearances across all levels for Spurs last season, the now England under 18 international put in many a dominant performance in central midfield for our under 18’s, 19’s and 23’s. White enjoyed an excellent first part of the season for both our under 18’s and 19’s where he was one of Matt Wells’ most creative players. During the early parts of the season White was an important part of the Spurs under 17 side which won the Euro youth cup and it was he who netted Spurs’ winning goal in the final against Anderlecht. An industrious and hardworking midfielder (formerly an AM) who would also fill in at left back throughout the campaign, White would later go onto cement his place in the development side. The 17 year old who is a set piece specialist, did an excellent job at breaking up play and recycling possession throughout the season, and the excellent passer created many good chances for the forwards in the games that he played in. The well rounded and valiant midfielder enjoyed an excellent season for his club and it was recognised by his country (England) who he won his first competitive caps for at the under 18 Slovakia Cup last month. Next season I would imagine that White would spend the vast majority of his time playing for our development side. He will also be an important player for our under 19’s in the UEFA Youth League. White’s performance of the season (in my opinion) came in a league game against Norwich City.

Elliot Thorpe: Welsh attacking midfielder Elliot Thorpe made 11 appearances for our under 18’s last season, most of which came during the second half of the season. CAM/CM Thorpe who is a technically gifted and skilful midfielder put in some impressive performances for our under 18’s in both the hole, and in central midfield. The Cambridgeshire born midfielder who also featured once for our development side put in his best performance of the season in our Premier League Cup game against Swansea City in November which was on his first ever competitive start for our under 18’s. Thorpe would go onto score his first goal for our under 18’s in a 4-0 home league win over Fulham. Next season the Wales under 19 international who is a wonderful passer of the ball, will be looking to break into Wayne Burnett’s development side.

Rafferty Pedder: The first year scholar made only six appearances for our under 18’s last season but the Maidstone born midfielder impressed during all six of those games. Pedder, who also featured at the Euro Youth Cup, the Terborg tournament and the Future Cup is a very technical central midfielder/number ten. Pedder is a seriously pacy player who is skilful and intelligent both in and out of possession. Furthermore, one of the youngest of our first year scholars the midfielder has good vision and a good weight of pass. Next season Pedder will be hoping to be a lot more involved with our under 18’s. Pedder chipped in with one assist last season.

Phoenix Patterson: The skilful winger started the season well and in good form, and after he put in an excellent performance against Portsmouth on his first ever start for the development side, things were looking up for Patterson. However, a fractured fibula set the former Wycombe Wanderers youth player back. And he had to wait until April before he could make his return. On his return Patterson made four appearances for our under 18’s before then going onto feature for our under 19’s out in the Netherlands at the annual Terborg tournament. The 18 year old played in a whole variety of positions this season, including CDM, CAM and out in his natural position of LW. The Scotland under 18 international made 22 competitive appearances for Spurs last season, chipping in with three goals and four assists. The second year scholars outstanding performance against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade trophy was his best of the season, and Patterson will be hoping to put in more performances like that when he represents our development side again next season. Phoenix is a sharp and pacy player who has a fantastic understanding of the game for somebody so young.

Chay Cooper: The silky attacking midfielder/left winger made ten appearances for our under 18’s last season while in his first year of scholarship with the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘. The former Southend United schoolboy put in some bright performances last season, and in a variety of positions. Cooper impressed at CM, CAM and in particular out on the left wing where his good spurts of pace, first touch and lovely skill caused problems for teams. Since making his competitive debut for our under 18’s in a Premier League Cup game against Wolves in September, Cooper chipped in with three assists. Next season the attacking midfielder will likely get a lot more playing time for our under 18’s and he will hopefully feature for our under 19’s in Europe. It is worth noting that Cooper scored a stunning goal in the final of this seasons Euro Youth Cup in Germany against Anderlecht, back in the early stages of the season. I am a big fan of the Harlow born player and I have been impressed whenever I have seen him play. 

Forwards: 

Maurizio Pochettino: The technically gifted right winger made 21 appearances for our under 18’s and two for our under 23’s this season. The gaffers son chipped in with three goals and one assist from those matches and he showed great improvement from the 2017/18 campaign. Pochettino was consistent in his performances and he put in a number of impressive ones over the course of the season. The 18 year old impressed me with his passing/crossing and his close ball control. Next season Pochettino will be hoping to get a good number of games for our under 19’s and 23’s. He should be proud of all that he has achieved this season.

Dilan Markanday: With his many weaving runs and sensational close ball control 17 year old starlet Dilan Markanday was one of the stars of the season for our under 18 side. Chipping in with an impressive 12 goals and six assists from 24 appearances for our under 18’s. Markanday also featured on a number of occasions for our under 19’s and 23’s. The North London winger played in a variety of positions last season but it was out on the right wing where he was most effective. A good reader of the game, Markanday has a sharp footballing brain and his off the ball movement is something to be admired. He is good at creating space for himself down the flanks and the timing of his runs down the channels is quite impressive. As much of a creative force as Dilan is with his darting runs and attacking forays, and good weight of pass Markanday is also a real goal threat. He is particularly dangerous on the edge of the penalty area where he will often look to test the goalkeeper with a curling low effort towards the far corner of the goal. The winger is also very quick to loose balls inside the danger zone and he is often the first to efforts which have been parried by the goalkeeper. While Markanday is a good finisher who scores a good amount of goals per season, he was one of John McDermott’s most influential players during the 2018/19 campaign. Markanday impressed greatly with his skills and mazy driving runs, as well as his tireless tracking back and defensive work (he is an excellent tackler!). Next season Markanday will likely be an important player for our under 23 side out on the right wing. 

Jeremie Mukendi: The pacy and direct winger started the season well and after finding the back of the net twice in a league game against Southampton in September, things were looking up for Mukendi, who had struggled for game time during the previous season. He made eight appearances in total for Spurs this season, playing eight games for our under 18’s and making the bench on one occasion for our under 23’s. However, Mukendi’s season sadly came to an end in December after he sustained a season ending injury in a league game against Leicester City.

Rayan Clarke: The direct winger had a Keanan Bennetts-esque season as a second year scholar chipping in with eight goals and nine assists from 23 games for our under 18’s. Clarke also featured on five occasions for our under 23’s and on two for our under 19’s. Clarke would often go on long surging runs down the flank before cutting inside and looking to test the goalkeeper with a thumping effort at goal. Clarke had some great games for the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘ and he would also go onto fill in at right back and at centre forward on a couple of occasions last season. The positive wide mans best performances of the season came against both Norwich and Leicester. The aim next season for Clarke will be to replicate some of those performances for our under 23’s who he has played well for so far whenever he has been selected. Clarke reminds me a lot of Andros Townsend in the way that he operates as a winger and overall I thought that he enjoyed a very positive 2018/19 season.

J’Neil Bennett: Fancy wide man/forward J’Neil Bennett had a very positive season for Spurs during the 2018/19 campaign, featuring heavily for both our under 18’s and 23’s the skilful and pacy Bennett had some great games down both the right and left flank. The Zaha-esque former QPR schoolboy scored ten goals and assisted a further seven last season. Difficult to defend against due to his blistering pace and dazzling skill, the first year scholar put in some fantastic performances for both our under 18’s and 23’s and what I liked about him this season was his unpredictably in games and that he wasn’t afraid to try FIFA Street like skills in big moments in games. Bennett is a hardworking player who tracks back well after him down the flank. As well as featuring for our under 19’s in the UEFA youth league the 17 year old also featured at the post season Terborg tournament in the Netherlands.

Enoch Asante: Unfortunately the centre forwards season was plagued by injuries and he only made two competitive for our under 18’s during the early parts of the season. Next season Asante will be competing with Kion Etete, Troy Parrott and Tarrell Whittaker for a starting berth in our under 18 side.

Troy Parrott: It has been an excellent season for the highly rated young Irishman, who excelled at under 18 level during the 2018/19 campaign. Tall and physical centre forward Troy Parrott scored an impressive 15 goals for our under 18’s from just 12 appearances and he laid off a further six. Parrott has made great strides this season, putting in big performances for both our under 18’s and 23’s in big games. Not only was he a prolific goalscorer who had a Kane-esque influence on games. Parrott also worked tirelessly for his teammates across the park and it was that sheer grit and determination which really shone through especially when he came up against very physical defenders in games our under 23’s. The Dubliner was directly involved in a remarkable 29 goals from 29 games across all levels for Spurs last season and in my opinion he isn’t that far away from playing for the first team! See my in-depth piece on Parrott for a greater understanding of the Irishman’s style of play and traits.

My goal of the season: Paris Maghoma’s wonderful solo goal on the opening day of the season has to win it for me. After receiving a pass from Armando Shashoua, Maghoma shimmied his way around two Brighton defenders on the edge of the ‘ Seagulls ‘ penalty area before then firing an unstoppable effort into the top right hand corner of the goal.

My save of the season: Joshua Oluwayemi’s magnificent stop to prevent Arsenal’s Trae Coyle from finding the top left hand corner of the Spurs mans goal after he cut inside from the left flank, in our 3-2 defeat to the ‘ Gunners ‘ has to win it. Coyle’s effort couldn’t have been anymore in the top corner of the goal but still Oluwayemi was able to get a hand on it to push it away from danger.

My game of the season: There were many superb performances over the course of the campaign however, for me, my game/performance of the season came when we faced Chelsea in game week three of the league season. On that day Matt Wells’ side were simply flawless from the back four right up to the makeshift centre forward J’Neil Bennett who ran the Chelsea defence ragged. We defended imperiously and played some beautiful attacking football in a game that we won 2-0 against a strong Chelsea side. 

My under 18’s player of the season: Our under 18’s captain fantastic Armando Shashoua was in my opinion our best and most influential player last season. The beating heart of the side, Shashoua led by example in every game that he played in. Furthermore, the Londoner was one of our most creative players but his goal involvement tally of 19 tells only half the story. For it was the skilful midfielders sheer desire to influence games and initiate chances which for me put him head and shoulders above anyone else in the team. He is one of my favourite ever youth players and I have no doubts at all that he has all it takes to become a premier league footballer in the future.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 15

Dilan Markanday – 12

J’Neil Bennett –  10

Rayan Clarke – 8

Armando Shashoua – 7

Rodel Richards – 7

Harvey White – 6

Paris Maghoma – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Maurizio Pochettino – 3

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Kion Etete – 2

Jubril Okedina – 1

Tarrell Whittaker – 1

Elliot Thorpe – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 12

Armando Shashoua – 12

Rayan Clarke – 9

Troy Parrott – 6

Dilan Markanday – 6

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

J’Neil Bennett – 4

Rodel Richards – 3

Chay Cooper – 3

Paris Maghoma – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Luis Binks – 2

Elliot Thorpe – 2

Malachi Walcott – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Nile John – 1

Kion Etete – 1

Tarrell Whittaker – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 7

Jonathan De Bie – 2

Some notes on Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou’s performance against Scotland:

Some notes on Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou’s performance against Scotland:

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Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou was in action for the Cyprus national team on Saturday night when they took on Scotland at Hampden Park, in a Euro 2020 qualifier. I traveled up to Scotland’s national stadium to see how our speedy left winger got on for his country, on what was his fifth cap for Ran Ben Shimon’s team. Georgiou came on in the 66th minute of Saturday’s game after he replaced 18 year old Michalis Ioannou out on the left wing with the scores at 1-0 to Scotland. Georgiou was back defending and helping out left back Margaca during the first few minutes of his time on the pitch. Anthony’s first involvement of the game came from a corner kick which he delivered. The 22 year old drove the ball into the Scotland box but it was cleared away by defender Charlie Mulgrew. The Lewisham born winger continued to track back well after him and press the Scotland players well. Then in the 86th minute of the game the Spurs man managed to latch onto goalkeeper Urko Pardo’s long kick up field. Georgiou then darted forwards down the left flank and into the Scotland box where he hit the ball off of Stephen O’Donnell to win a corner kick, a corner kick which he would take. Georgiou sprayed the ball into the box and he managed to pick out the head of Ioannis Kousoulos who directed the ball into the far right hand corner of David Marshall’s goal to make the scores level. Following Cyprus’ equaliser Georgiou was now playing at left wing back and I noticed that he was barking out instructions to his teammates. Unfortunately for Georgiou and his teammates Scotland regained the lead less than two minutes later through Oliver Burke who cruelly scored the winning goal in the 89th minute of the game. Cyprus tried to respond and after Georgiou was given the ball by Efrem the Spurs man sped away from his man before winning a corner kick after hitting the ball off of Stephen O’Donnell. However, Anthony’s resulting corner kick failed to pick out any Cyprus players in the box and it eventually came to nothing. Once again the animated Georgiou could be seen giving out instructions to his teammates during the final moments of the game as Scotland held on to record a lucky 2-1 win over Cyprus. During his 28 minutes on the pitch Georgiou’s pace and directness caused Scotland’s Stephen O’Donnell a number of problems down the left hand side of the pitch and had he have started the game then Cyprus would have offered far more of an offensive threat. Next up for Georgiou and Cyprus is a Euro qualifier against Russia on Tuesday. I would be very surprised if Anthony didn’t start that game. In my opinion the 22 year old is Cyprus’ best player!

Farewell and good luck Charlie Freeman:

Farewell and good luck Charlie Freeman:

Tottenham Hotspur Portrait Shoot

Spurs announced today that a number of Academy players have left the club upon the expiration of their contracts. One of those players who has left the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘ is 19 year old Charlie Freeman. The talented goalkeeper who once went on a training camp with England (he is also eligible to represent Denmark) at under 16 level, leaves the club who he has been with since he was a boy. An excellent shot stopper and sweeper keeper, Freeman signed scholarship terms with the club in 2016 after enjoying an excellent 2015/16 campaign for our under 16’s. That summer Charlie would go on a youth loan to Newcastle United who he would represent at the prestigious Super Cup in Northern Ireland, where he impressed the local media by putting in a string of solid performances. However, having previously been on the bench for our under 18’s during the 2015/16 season, Charlie would have to wait until December of 2016 before he made his competitive debut for our under 18’s. That came in a 3-2 league defeat to Norwich City. Freeman would go onto play one more competitive game that season, a 2-1 league defeat to Aston Villa. It was extremely difficult for the then first year scholar to get game time that season as he was competing with Brandon Austin, Alfie Whiteman and Jonathan De Bie for a starting berth in our under 18 side. Freeman would finish the season out in Germany with our development side where he played two games in the post season Stemwede tournament. The next season (2017/18) started well for Freeman who helped our development side to win the Tournoi Europeen out in France, having previously been involved in a pre season friendly against Ebbsfleet United however, it would prove to be a nightmare campaign for the Goodmayes born goalkeeper who would be tormented by injuries for most of the season. After missing large parts of the season with an arm injury, Freeman would go onto make only one competitive appearance for our under 18’s that season. That appearance came in an unfortunate 5-3 league defeat to Norwich City. Despite not playing a competitive game of football in over a year Freeman still managed to make some important saves in that game, under difficult conditions. Freeman would finish the 2017/18 season by competing out in Germany with Wayne Burnett’s development side. 

The recent campaign (the 2018/19 season) started with Freeman playing a half for our development side against Enfield Town in a pre season friendly. Freeman would then travel out to France with our development side as they looked to retain the Tournoi Europeen. Charlie played one game, a 2-1 win over French side Nice. The first year professional then played a number of games for  a Spurs under 19 side out in Germany at the Oberndorf tournament. However, Freeman would not make a single competitive appearance for Spurs during that season and he only made the bench for our development side on four occasions last season, his only game time came in behind closed doors friendlies. The former West Hatch High School pupil is a very talented and highly rated young goalkeeper who despite his injury problems has a very bright future in front of him in football and in whatever else he wants to do. As a goalkeeper he is commanding, composed and charismatic. And as shot stoppers go he was in my opinion one of the best in the Academy. It also should be noted that Charlie is a really nice lad and he would always make a point of saying hello and speaking to me whenever I saw him at youth matches. That was something I greatly appreciated. It’s always a sad time of the year when some of our young players depart the club but as I say to all of them, I wish them all the very best of luck for the future. And for Charlie I wish him all the very best for the future. I am sure that him and Spurs will cross paths again at some point in the future as he progresses as a goalkeeper.

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Spurs under 19’s 0-3 Flamengo: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 0-3 Flamengo: (match report)

066505C4-157A-4886-AEF4-490DB4CCF0FBOur under 19’s final game of the 2019 Terborg tournament ended in a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Brazilian club Flamengo in the third/fourth place play off. Wayne Burnett’s side struggled to get their passing game going in the boiling summer heat in eastern Holland, and Flamengo were able to pick a lacklustre Spurs side apart by playing some good passing football of their own. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurylowicz started in goal while a back four of Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Armando Shashoua and Harvey White lined up in central midfield while Rayan Clarke and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks either side of CAM and captain Jack Roles. 17 year old striker Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. Flamengo got the game underway and after a quiet start the Brazilian club managed the first goal attempt of the game through their number 18, who after going on a promising run down the left flank forced a save out of Kurylowicz from his powerful low effort. Spurs attacked down the other end of the pitch through the tigerish Shashoua who gave the ball to J’Neil Bennett down the left flank however, the wingers resulting cross just evaded Kion Etete inside the penalty area. A corner kick from Harvey White was met by Etete shortly afterwards but he headed the ball against a Flamengo defender. Luis Binks was on hand to clear number 11’s cross at the other end of the pitch as Spurs continued their fine start to the game. 16 fired wide from long range for the Brazilians before Brooklyn Lyons-Foster managed to clear number sixes cross into the Spurs penalty area. Goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz then managed to get a finger tip on number tens powerful effort from long range to force the ball behind for a Flamengo corner kick. From the resulting corner kick number three tested Kurylowicz after he connected with number tens corner kick. Kurylowicz was called into action again a matter of moments later this time to save number fours header after he had connected with a corner kick from number ten. Flamengo continued to threaten the Spurs goal. Number tens powerful low effort was parried by the Spurs goalkeeper and ten latched back onto the ball inside the Spurs box before laying it off to number 18 whose low sidefooted effort was superbly cleared on the line by Lyons-Foster.

Number ten fired a low effort wide from the edge of the Spurs box before Harvey White whipped a free kick narrowly over the Flamengo goalkeepers crossbar before number four flicked over twos corner kick at the other end of the pitch, before the referee sounded his whistle for halftime. Spurs got the second half underway but it started in the worst possible way for Wayne Burnett’s side who conceded soon after kick off. After Harvey White had been dispossessed by number ten he gave the ball to number 11 on the edge of the Spurs box and his powerful low drive at goal took a hefty deflection off of Lyons-Foster before beating Kurylowicz and going into the back of the net,  0-1. 11 blasted an effort over Kurylowicz’s crossbar after going on a surging run down the right wing before Burnett made a double change as he brought off both Rayan Clarke and Jack Roles for Phoenix Patterson (who took the armband) and Dilan Markanday. Flamengo doubled their lead shortly afterwards, after Dennis Cirkin had cleared number tens cross the ball came to 11 on the edge of the Spurs box, and he curled an unstoppable effort into the top right hand corner of Kurylowicz’s goal, 0-2. Spurs tried to respond and they came close to pulling a goal back after Dennis Cirkin found Markanday down the right hand side of the Flamengo penalty area however, the Spurs winger squeezed the ball a fraction wide of the goal. Flamengo settled the game a couple of minutes later after their goalkeepers long kick up field bounced over the Tottenham defence and into the path of number 11 down the right hand side of the Spurs box. And the Flamengo winger made no mistake as he calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Kurylowicz’s goal, 0-3. A cross from Phoenix Patterson stung the palms of the Flamengo goalkeeper shortly after the restart before he managed to gather a cross from Harvey White. Kion Etete dragged an effort wide of the Flamengo goal before Harvey White powered a low effort a fraction wide of the mark. After being stepped on by a Flamengo player Brooklyn Lyons-Foster had to be replaced by Jamie Bowden for the final moments of the game. Spurs did manage two late goal attempts, first through winger J’Neil Bennett who tested the goalkeeper with a low effort from the left flank, and then through Dennis Cirkin who nodded J’Neil Bennett’s cross wide.

It was a sad end to the tournament for a tired looking Spurs side, thankfully the lads will get the rest of the month off before they report back to training at the start of next month for the beginning of the 2019/20 season.

My man of the match: Goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz made five saves in total on Sunday afternoon as the 17 year old put in a strong performance for Wayne Burnett’s side by making a string of good saves. The goalkeeper from County Bedfordshire  also dealt well with crosses and set pieces, and his distribution was impressive on the day.

The Superhotspur player of the tournament: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. For his five solid performances at RCB I am going to give this award to the 18 year old who I thought was our best player at the tournament. The Islington born defender put in a number of very impressive and solid performances in the four games in which he played. He saw the danger, kept good positioning throughout and he impacted games with his positive forward passing. In addition he made many important defensive interventions and he was not at fault for a single goal that Spurs conceded. It has been a great season for the second year scholar who overcame injury problems during the first part of the season to enjoy a very solid campaign for both our under 18’s and 23’s.

Spurs under 19’s 0-4 FC Midtjylland: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 0-4 FC Midtjylland: (match report)

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Our under 19’s took on technically gifted Danish side FC Midtjylland in the semifinals of this years Terborg tournament this morning. Unfortunately for Wayne Burnett’s side they were unable to match their Danish counterparts who were far superior to Spurs in every aspect of the game, Spurs looked off the pace and tired and they were unable to cope with the energy that the ` Ulvene ‘ brought to the game. After falling behind early on in the game Spurs never seemed to recover and they ended the first half two goals down. The second half was very much the same story and Tottenham just didn’t have the stamina to deal with the Danish club and in the end they lost 4-0. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation for Sunday’s semifinal. Jonathan De Bie started in goal while a back four of Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jonathan Dinzeyi and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Jamie Bowden anchored the midfield and Dilan Markanday and Rayan Clarke operated out on the flanks either side of CAM Phoenix Patterson. Jack Roles led the line for Spurs on what was a sweltering hot summers day. The game got off to the worst possible start for Spurs after Midtjylland took the lead less than five minutes into the game through their number 13, after he’d latched onto number tens pass he sprinted forward past Jonathan Dinzeyi down the right hand side of the Spurs penalty area before firing the ball into the bottom left hand corner of De Bie’s goal, 0-1. Harvey White responded by testing the Midtjylland goalkeeper from long range after the ball had been laid off to him by Jack Roles. Spurs came again this time through Rayan Clarke who after receiving Jamie Bowden’s pass cut inside from the left flank before shooting on goal however, his shot was blocked by Midtjylland’s number five. Midtjylland attacked us straight down the other end of the pitch and the move ended in number ten firing a low effort wide of De Bie’s goal from the edge of the penalty area. Dilan Markanday then saw his shot hit off his own player Phoenix Patterson at the other end of the pitch. Jonathan De Bie then had to deal with a curling effort from number 13 as Midtjylland continued to test our defence. 13 fired over De Bie’s crossbar from range a couple of minutes later before the Danes managed to work another intricate attacking move. After number ten passed the ball to 13 down the right flank 13 whipped a low cross into number nine in the middle of the Spurs box and the Midtjylland forwards resulting low effort was saved excellently by the feet of Jonathan De Bie.

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was on hand to clear number 24’s cross before number two forced a comfortable save out of De Bie with a header from a corner kick. Midtjylland then made it 2-0 after the racing number 13 managed to latch onto number tens long defence splitting pass before poking the ball over the outrushing Jonathan De Bie on the edge of the penalty area and into the back of the goal, 0-2. Midtjylland had a penalty shout waived away shortly afterwards after Rayan Clarke appeared to handle the ball inside the Spurs box before number two nodded over number 11’s corner. After suffering what appeared to be a concussion Jonathan Dinzeyi left the field to be replaced by Luis Binks at LCB. Soon after coming on Binks was forced straight into the action after number ten played a lofted pass through to 13 who got away from the Spurs defender down the right hand side of the pitch and into the box before eventually firing the ball over De Bie’s crossbar in what was the final bit of action from the first half. Spurs made a substitute at halftime as they brought on striker Kion Etete for Harvey White. Soon after the restart Bowden laid a nice pass off to Roles on the edge of the Midtjylland box and he forced a good save out of their goalkeeper with a low drive at goal before number six curled over at the other end of the pitch. Midtjylland made it 3-0 after 13 picked the ball up some 25 yards out from goal before firing an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner of De Bie’s goal, 0-3. Luis Binks then made a brilliant crunching challenge on number 11 before Rayan Clarke came in from the left flank and tested the Midtjylland goalkeeper with a thumping effort on goal, at the other end. Things got even worse for Spurs after number 15 made it 4-0 to Midtjylland after he fired home an unstoppable effort from the edge of the Spurs penalty area which despite getting a hand on, De Bie couldn’t keep out, 0-4. Spurs tried to respond and after Okedina gave the ball to Roles down the right flank he managed to pick out Bowden in the middle of the Spurs box but the midfielder completely missed the ball and the goalkeeper managed to gobble it up.  A long kick up field from the Midtjylland goalkeeper managed to bounce over everyone at the back and into the path of 14 who forced a good save out of De Bie with a side footed effort on goal.

Jonathan De Bie managed to claim number tens late cross before the referee blew his whistle for full time.

My man of the match: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The LCB (18) had another good game for Spurs despite the score line suggesting otherwise. The centre half defended well against Midtjylland who he kept impeccable positioning against and made some really important defensive interventions. He could of done nothing to prevent any of Midtjylland’s goals today. Furthermore, the Londoner demonstrated good leadership skills throughout the game and he could often be seen giving out instructions to right back Jubril Okedina.

Spurs under 19’s 2-2 Vitesse Arnhem: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 2-2 Vitesse Arnhem: (match report)

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Our under 19’s final group game of the Terborg tournament turned out to be somewhat of a thriller. Wayne Burnett’s side knew that they only needed a point to book their place in tomorrow’s semifinals going into Saturdays game. And it looked as if Spurs would comfortably achieve their aim such was their strangle hold on the game. A dramatic end to end encounter with chances aplenty at both ends of the pitch, Spurs were the better team for large periods of Saturdays match against the Dutch club. And after they took the lead through Dilan Markanday in the second half it seemed as if they would coast to victory. However, Vitesse responded not once but twice and Spurs wouldn’t have qualified for the semifinals but for a fabulous late free kick from substitute Harvey White to level up the scores once again. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurlyowicz started in goal while a back four of Jubril Okedina, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Jamie Bowden and Armando Shashoua started in central midfield while Dilan Markanday and Phoenix Patterson started either side of CAM Rafferty Pedder who was behind makeshift centre forward and captain Jack Roles. Vitesse got the game underway and it was the Dutch club who managed the first goal attempt of the game after number 14 forced a save out of Kurylowicz with a powerful low effort from long range. A free kick which was taken by Phoenix Patterson at the other end, was headed away by a Vitesse defender to Jack Roles inside their penalty area however, the Spurs man fired the ball over the crossbar on the turn. Spurs had a penalty shout waived away soon afterwards when Dilan Markanday’s cross appeared to be handled by number 22 inside the Vitesse penalty area. The lively start to the game continued and Kacper Kurylowicz was on hand to save 22’s dipping header after he connected with 14’s corner. Jonathan Dinzeyi then managed to block a shot from Vitesse’s number nine on the edge of the Spurs box. Spurs then attacked down the other end of the pitch through Markanday who managed to win a free kick out on the right flank. Markanday stepped up to take the resulting free kick, he whipped the ball into the oppositions penalty area where it was met by Binks who rose high to meet the ball however, his header took a deflection off a Vitesse defender before it was gathered by their goalkeeper.

Vitesse Arnhem responded through their number 16 who was allowed to dribble his way into the Tottenham penalty area before testing Kurylowicz with a curling effort which the Polish youth international saved. Their number five then fired an effort narrowly over Kurylowicz’s crossbar from long range. Spurs had one last chance before the referee blew his whistle for halftime, that came from a Phoenix Patterson corner kick however, it was volleyed over the goal by defender Jonathan Dinzeyi. Spurs made a change early on in the second half when they brought on Kion Etete for Rafferty Pedder as Spurs looked for a focal point up top. Jack Roles was adamant that number 22 had handled his pass which was intended for Kion Etete inside the Vitesse penalty area but the referee waived away Roles’ protests. Spurs took the lead shortly afterwards. A lovely passing move ended with the lively Shashoua passing the ball out to Patterson on the left wing. Patterson whipped in a cross into the Vitesse penalty area which Markanday was able to volley into the middle of the goal, 1-0. Phoenix Patterson made way for Rayan Clarke a couple of minutes later as Spurs looked to regroup. However, Spurs were unable to hold onto their lead and less than five minutes after scoring the young Lilywhites conceded. A teasing whipped free kick from number 22 was only partly cleared by Jonathan Dinzeyi and the ball came down to number eight inside the Spurs box and his powerfully struck effort deflected off of Dinzeyi before beating De Bie and going into the back of the net, 1-1. Then shortly after the restart things got even worse for Wayne Burnett’s side as Vitesse took the lead from a corner kick. Number 11’s corner kick wasn’t dealt with and it came to number 22 at the back post and he was able to just guide his header past Kurylowicz and into the top left hand corner of the goal, 1-2. A shellshocked Spurs side tried to respond. Jack Roles fired an effort over the Vitesse goal on the half volley as Spurs started to throw bodies forward. Dennis Cirkin was shown a yellow card shortly afterwards for pulling back a Vitesse player and he was duly replaced by Harvey White a matter of moments later. Kion Etete got a header wrong after he connected with a Jamie Bowden free kick and the Vitesse goalkeeper was able to safely gather the ball.

Number 11 fired an effort narrowly over Kurylowicz’s crossbar after he galloped forward down the right wing. Jamie Bowden then had a low shot blocked by number 17 as the clock ticked down. Then during the final moments of the game Dilan Markanday won a free kick after he was fouled out on the right flank. The newly introduced Harvey White stood up to curl a beautiful effort past everybody in the box and into the top left hand corner of the goal sparking jubilant celebrations from the Spurs players, 2-2. Jamie Bowden was shown a yellow card for a foul on number eight before Luis Binks cleared a late cross from number 22 as Spurs held on to book their place in tomorrow’s semi final against FC Midtjylland.

Player reviews:

  • Kacper Kurylowicz: Vocal and impressive in his all round game, the 17 year old goalkeeper made three saves in total on Saturday and I thought that he did himself proud on what was his first ever competitive appearance at this level.  Kurylowicz had a strong game and his decision making and distribution was good on the day.
  • Jubril Okedina: It was another very strong performance at right back as he defended against his man well for the entirety of Saturdays game. He also made a number of really timely interceptions and challenges.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: It was a good performance from the RCB who was excellent in the air and strong in the challenge against Vitesse. He also brought the ball out well from the back.
  • Luis Binks: Like Dinzeyi Luis Binks had a strong game and he marshalled the defence well while also making some important defensive interventions.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Strong and committed, young Dennis Cirkin defended well down the left hand side of the pitch.
  • Jamie Bowden: A tenacious performance with plenty of bite and flair about him. Jamie Bowden dictated the play from central midfield and he created some good goal scoring chances for Wayne Burnett’s side.
  • Armando Shashoua: My motm, see below.
  • Dilan Markanday: The 17 year old went on some good runs and he took his goal nicely.
  • Rafferty Pedder: Injected energy into the game and his passing was crisp while his movement was nice and sharp.
  • Phoenix Patterson: Tracked back excellently after him and did well to set up Dilan Markanday’s opener.
  • Jack Roles: Led the line well and he also did a good job as a CAM. He got himself really involved in the game.
  • Kion Etete: Held the ball up really well during the second half.
  • Rayan Clarke: N/A.
  • Harvey White: The late introduction of Harvey White proved to be key to Spurs getting a draw. The 17 year old who came on at left back scored a glorious late free kick to book Spurs’ place in the semifinals of the tournament.

My man of the match: A thorn in Vitesse’s side throughout today’s encounter, the tigerish midfielder had an excellent game for Wayne Burnett’s side. Shashoua was a real live wire in central midfield, constantly popping up all over the place (particularly down the left flank) and initiating chances for Spurs. Shashoua won a lot of balls and created a lot of chances for his teammates. The 18 year old was also involved in Dilan Markanday’s opening goal and his weight of pass on the day was glorious. t was a very intelligent performance from a very intelligent young player!

Spurs under 19’s 0-0 Flamengo: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 0-0 Flamengo: (match report)

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Our under 19’s second group game of this years Terborg tournament was against Brazilian club Flamengo who, like Spurs had won their opening group game on day one of the tournament. Wayne Burnett’s side battled hard once again on Saturday morning in what was a tightly fought affair. Flamengo were defensively solid however, they were dangerous on the break and the young Lilywhites had goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie to thank on more than one occasion. Spurs on the other hand were solid but they were a bit off the pace at times in the game, unlike when they played Ajax Cape Town yesterday. In the end Spurs and Flamengo had to settle for a goalless draw meaning that it is all to play for in their final group games later today. I must apologise in advance for referring to the Flamengo players by their numbers as I was unable to get hold of a team sheet. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Saturday as Jonathan De Bie started in goal, while a back four of Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and captain Jamie Bowden anchored the midfield whilst Rayan Clarke and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Rodel Richards who played behind striker Kion Etete. Flamengo got the game underway and early on in the game their number seven went on a good run down the right flank, beating Dennis Cirkin before attempting to square the ball for number nine inside the Spurs box however, Jubril Okedina was on hand to clear it. Jonathan De Bie then did well to palm away a cross from Flamengo’s number two before number eight shot wide from long range. A couple of moments later De Bie was on hand to claim number sixes free kick as the pressure intensified from the Brazilians. After coming inside from the left flank Flamengo’s number eight fired an effort wide of De Bie’s goal. Spurs were just knocking the ball about as they looked to respond to Flamengo’s early attacking onslaught. After going on a surging run down the left flank J’Neil Bennett came inside onto his right foot before having a pop on goal but it was blocked by number three. At the other end of the pitch Jamie Bowden was able to block a shot from number 11. During the opening stages of the game imperious Tottenham centre back Luis Binks had made a number of important interceptions and him and Lyons-Foster were doing a good job at snuffing out danger.

A corner which was delivered by number six and flicked on by two resulted in number four coming close to taking the lead from an overhead kick, but his effort flew narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. Luis Binks then did well to cut out number fives through ball which had been intended for number nine. Unfortunately an injury picked up by J’Neil Bennett early on in the game meant that he had to leave the field, he was replaced by Dilan Markanday as Rayan Clarke switched flanks shortly before the referee sounded his whistle for halftime. Spurs got the second half underway but once again it was Flamengo who threatened first. 11’s through ball would have set number ten racing through on goal but for a timely interception from Jubril Okedina who came across his man to get to the ball. At the other end of the pitch Dilan Markanday won a free kick out on the right flank. Harvey White’s delivery was headed over the bar by Kion Etete. Lyons-Foster blocked a shot from number nine inside the Spurs box before a defence splitting pass from number eight caused problems for Spurs. The ball ran past Luis Binks who was back defending for Spurs and onto number 11 who raced into the Spurs box before pulling the trigger. However, his powerful effort was superbly touched over the crossbar by the alert De Bie. Number six then fired an effort wide from over 20 yards out before Luis Binks headed over from a Harvey White free kick. After beating Dennis Cirkin for pace down the right hand side, Flamengo’s dangerous number seven cut inside onto his left foot before firing an effort at goal. De Bie parried his powerful effort before smothering the loose ball before seven could get to it again. Spurs tried to respond, Jamie Bowden had an effort blocked by a Flamengo defender on the edge of their penalty area. Burnett introduced some fresh legs by bringing on yesterday’s goal scorer Phoenix Patterson for Rayan Clarke. There was a bit of a skirmish between both sets of players shortly afterwards, after Flamengo’s number nine left his boot in on De Bie while attempting to get to the ball. Luis Binks got involved in the skirmish for Spurs and he ended up being hit in the face by number nine who was waving his arms about. Somehow the referees verdict was to give both him and Binks yellow cards.

Harvey White was replaced by Armando Shashoua for the remaining minutes of the game. After going on a mazy forward run Dilan Markanday eventually had a shot blocked by number three on the edge of the Flamengo penalty area as both sides started to ramp up the pressure. Spurs had a scare after number nine was allowed to run freely down the right flank before cutting inside and testing De Bie with a stinging effort on goal. De Bie parried the ball and number 11 ended up firing over on the follow up much to the Belgians relief. Spurs attacked straight down the other end and after Shashoua won a free kick, Patterson tested the Flamengo goalkeeper with a powerful low effort on goal. A couple of minutes later Patterson received a pass from Jamie Bowden on the edge of the Flamengo box. However, his resulting effort on goal was blocked by a defender and Rodel Richards’ resulting effort was also blocked by a Flamengo defender. Flamengo had a late penalty shout waived away by the referee after number twos cross struck the arm of Dennis Cirkin inside the Spurs box. Luis Binks cleared behind a cross from the same player a matter of moments later as Burnett prepared one last Tottenham sub. He brought on Jonathan Dinzeyi for Rodel Richards however, there was no time for the 19 year old to affect the game and the final whistle was sounded shortly after his introduction. Spurs’ next and final group game is against Vitesse Arnhem this afternoon.

Player reviews:

  •   Jonathan De Bie: My motm, see below.
  • Jubril Okedina: It was another strong performance from Okedina at right back. He was comfortable on the ball and he read the game well against Flamengo’s potent number 11. The 18 year old made an extremely important interception during the first half to prevent a Flamengo player from going through on goal.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Solid and decisive. The 18 year old defended superbly well alongside Luis Binks as they helped to keep the dangerous Flamengo front line at bay.
  • Luis Binks: The authoritative Luis Binks performed his duties diligently at LCB alongside Lyons-Foster. Binks made some very important interceptions and he was dominant in the air. He also demonstrated good leadership skills throughout the game.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Solid and alert to danger, Cirkin stayed deep and helped us to quell the threat that Flamengo posed.
  • Harvey White: White kept things ticking in the middle of the park and he did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession.
  • Jamie Bowden: Like White, Bowden kept things moving for Spurs in the centre of the park and the industrious 17 year old made some nice ambitious forward passes.
  • Rayan Clarke: The 18 year old went on some good runs down both the left and right wing during his time on the pitch.
  • Rodel Richards: The second year scholar led the line well and he got himself into some good goalscoring positions.
  • J’Neil Bennett: Before his injury Bennett posed a threat down the left flank.
  • Kion Etete: Held the ball up well.
  • Dilan Markanday: He went on some good tricky runs.
  • Armando Shashoua: N/A.
  • Phoenix Patterson: N/A.

My man of the match: Goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie made three hugely important saves on Saturday morning and the quality of his all round performance was of the highest order. Without the Belgian we would have lost the game!

Spurs under 19’s 1-0 Ajax Cape Town: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 1-0 Ajax Cape Town: (match report)

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A Spurs under 19 side kicked off this years Terborg tournament on Friday evening when they faced South African club Ajax Cape Town in group stage game number one of the tournament. Wayne Burnett’s side battled it out with a very technical Ajax Cape Town side on a warm evening in the east of the Netherlands, and for large periods of Fridays game it was the ` Urban Warriors ‘ who were the more threatening team going forwards however, Spurs did defend excellently well against them. And our back four snuffed out almost all of the danger which came their way. Both teams created chances but it was Spurs who took them. A fine strike from Phoenix Patterson right on the stroke of halftime proved to be the difference between the two sides as Spurs were able to defend against a spirited second half performance from the South African team to go joint top of the Van Egmond group with Brazilian side Flamengo, who they will face tomorrow morning in the first of two group games. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for their opening group game. Jonathan De Bie started in goal while a back four of Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jonathan Dinzeyi and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Jamie Bowden and Harvey White anchored the midfield while Dilan Markanday and Phoenix Patterson operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM and Spurs captain Jack Roles, as 18 year old striker Rodel Richards led the line for Burnett’s side. Prior to kick off both sides huddled together, it was the ` Urban Warriors ‘ who got the game underway. Straight from kick off Zaakir Allie tested Jonathan De Bie from long range after he embarked on a surging run through the middle of the pitch. However, De Bie comfortably held Allie’s effort on goal. Dennis Cirkin was on hand to clear Chumani Butsaka’s cross a couple of moments later, but the ball then came out to Allie on the edge of the box and his resulting effort was blocked by the Tottenham left back. Ajax had started the game well and from the resulting corner kick the South African club came close to taking an early lead, after Siyasi Bongolwethu powered Dale Wakefield’s corner narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. The alert Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then did well to cut out Chumani Butsaka’s intended through ball for Ashley Cupido, before the South Africans threatened Spurs once again. After Allie clipped the ball into the path of Cupido down the right hand side of the Spurs box the Ajax centre forward smashed a powerful low effort against the outside of De Bie’s near hand post, it then bounced behind for a goal kick.

After Jack Roles managed to find Dilan Markanday down the right hand side of the Ajax Cape Town box things looked promising for Spurs however, defender Sinawo Topi was able to poke the ball behind before Markanday could get a shot away. Phoenix Patterson’s resulting corner kick was headed behind by Kegan Johannes. A couple of moments later Jamie Bowden managed to chip the ball into Richards in the middle of the oppositions penalty area but the Spurs strikers volleyed effort was held comfortably by Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper Aidan Leak. A couple of minutes later Jonathan De Bie was called into action after a free kick from Chumani Butsaka found its way to Rushwin Dortley at De Bie’s back post however, he managed to hold Dortley’s headed effort on goal. The Spurs goalkeeper then managed to palm away a menacing cross from Patrick Fisher before Sonwabile Mfecane could get to it. At the other end of the pitch, Kegan Johannes was on hand to clear a cross from Jack Roles before Spurs were awarded a free kick in a promising position. Jamie Bowden took it quickly as he passed the ball out to Patterson on the left wing but he ended up whipping the ball right across the face of Aidan Leak’s goal. Dale Wakefield fired an effort wide of Jonathan De Bie’s goal on the turn, after receiving Zaakir Allie’s pass on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, before Jonathan Dinzeyi blocked behind a shot on goal from Mfecane inside the Spurs box. Dale Wakefield’s resulting corner kick caused some panic amongst the Spurs defence. Dennis Cirkin tried to clear the ball but failed and in the end Siyasi Bongolwethu poked the ball narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. Ajax had been the much better team during the opening stages of the game and Spurs were finding it difficult to deal with their attacking front line. Jubril Okedina managed to clear a cross from Dale Wakefield well, before Roles tried to pull off a one two with Richards on the edge of the Ajax box at the opposite end of the pitch however, Siyasi Bongolwethu managed to intercept it. Spurs started to find their feet again and after Bowden had shifted the ball out to Patterson on the left wing the Spurs winger cut inside and tested Leak with a thumping effort on goal which the Ajax goalkeeper could only parry behind. The resulting corner kick from Harvey White was scrambled out to Jamie Bowden on the edge of the box but the Spurs man fired an effort wide of the goal.

Jonathan Dinzeyi was on hand to clear a cross from Zaakir Allie, before Johannes headed over from Wakefield’s corner. After dispossessing Harvey White Siyasi Bongolwethu fed the ball into the feet of Butsaka who darted forward down the left flank before clipping the ball across the face of De Bie’s goal. Then right on the stroke of halftime Spurs took a slightly surprising lead through Phoenix Patterson. After Ajax had been caught cold playing the ball out from the back, Harvey White seized possession before carefully threading a pass into Patterson down the left side of the Ajax penalty area. Patterson didn’t think he just shot, and his powerful first time effort flew into the far right hand corner of Aidan Leak’s goal, 1-0. That was to be the final piece of action from a highly eventful first half. Wayne Burnett’s side got the second half underway and the young Lilywhites started to move the ball about more quickly during the early stages of the second half. Jack Roles demanded that a penalty should be awarded to Spurs after a cross from Jubril Okedina struck the arm of Khaya Mfecane inside the Ajax penalty area however, Roles’ protests were ignored by the referee. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then did well to clear a cross from Chumani Butsaka  before Siyasi Bongolwethu fired an effort wide on the turn. The dominant Spurs defender Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then managed to put behind a dangerous cross from Butsaka before Harvey White managed to clear the same players corner kick. Then at the other end of the pitch Phoenix Patterson saw his cross turned behind for a corner by Kegan Johannes before Jamie Bowden had a long range effort blocked behind by Khaya Mfecane. A clearance from Dennis Cirkin at the other end of the pitch came to Sonwabile Mfecane on the edge of the Spurs box but Mfecane ended up blazing an effort well wide of De Bie’s goal. Spurs then made two substitutions in quick succession after Rayan Clarke and Kion Etete we’re introduced in place of Phoenix Patterson and Jack Roles, Jamie Bowden took the captains armband. Ajax Cape Town started to pile the pressure on the Spurs defence as we came towards the end of the 50 minutes. Chumani Butsaka’s effort from long range took a hefty deflection off of Jonathan Dinzeyi before it was gathered by De Bie. Since coming on Notts County striker Etete had become somewhat of a target man and the Spurs players were looking to lump the ball up to the tall 17 year old at every opportunity during the final minutes of the match.

There was a late scramble inside the Tottenham penalty area after Dale Wakefield’s late cross caused a couple of problems, in the end Ashley Cupido tried a over head kick but it was blocked by Jonathan Dinzeyi. Despite their late pressure Wayne Burnett’s side were able to quell the Ajax Cape Town attacking line and hold onto their slender advantage. It was a very good win for Spurs who showed real maturity especially in their defending on Friday evening against a very potent opposition. Tomorrow Spurs will conclude the group stages when they take on both Flamengo and Vitesse Arnhem. I wish the lads all the very best of luck for both of those matches, both of which they will be hoping to win and book their place in this years final.

Player reviews:

  • Jonathan De Bie: It was a good all round performance from the Belgian goalkeeper who only recently turned 19. De Bie made three saves in total on Friday evening, all of which were fairly comfortable ones but important ones nonetheless. The Spurs goalkeeper dealt excellently with crosses and set pieces, and he commanded his penalty area well. Furthermore, De Bie’s was good on the day and he was nice and vocal as well as encouraging to his defence.
  • Jubril Okedina: It was an excellent performance at right back from Okedina who dealt really well with the potent Chumani Butsaka down the left hand side. Butsaka was one of the ` Urban Warriors ‘ best players on the day and it was thanks to the excellent defending and awareness of Okedina which made sure that Butsaka didn’t get on the scoresheet. The 18 year old read the game incredibly well and he made some important defensive interventions.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: It was a good performance from the 19 year old who operated at LCB on Friday. Dinzeyi brought the ball out well from the back and he was commanding in his defending. Making some important blocks, interceptions and clearances. In addition he complemented RCB Brooklyn Lyons-Foster throughout the match and both players read the game well.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Noticeably a lot more defensive against Ajax Cape Town, Dennis Cirkin performed his duties admirably at left back without going on his usual forward jinking runs down the left flank. Cirkin defended really well and he helped to protect his side of the pitch by making some fine challenges and blocks. The 17 year old saw the danger and he maintained good positioning throughout the game.
  • Jamie Bowden: The 17 year old kept the ball moving from central midfield and he also created some good chances for the young Lilywhites. Often seen getting himself into good pockets of space, Bowden made some good passes and he wasn’t afraid to try his luck on goal. The second year scholar also anchored the midfield well alongside Harvey White.
  • Harvey White: It was a very good performance from the tigerish and alert midfielder who along with Jamie Bowden helped Spurs to win the midfield battle. White was graceful with the ball, making some clever and effective passes. He also broke up play well and it was he who set up Phoenix Patterson’s winning goal towards the end of the first half with a nicely weighted pass.
  • Dilan Markanday: The right winger didn’t get a lot of the ball particularly during the first half however, he did go on a couple of nice attacking forays during the second half and he did work very hard for the team.
  • Jack Roles: The skipper operated as a CAM but he would often drop deep to receive the ball and initiate chances. Roles’ razor sharp movement and good leadership skills caused the opposition problems.
  • Phoenix Patterson: It was a very impressive performance from the 18 year old out on the left wing. Patterson worked Ajax Cape Town fullback Patrick Fisher hard during his time on the pitch and the tricky Spurs winger was heavily involved in Fridays 1-0 win. Patterson worked so hard to create space and he made some good runs down the channels, often getting in and behind Fisher. After testing Aidan Leak with a thumping effort Patterson would go onto fire home the winner for Spurs on the stroke of halftime after he latched onto Harvey White’s pass inside the Ajax penalty area. Creative and decisive in the final third, it was a really positive all round performance from the second year scholar who netted his first goal since November on Friday evening.
  • Rodel Richards: The hardworking centre forward led the line well, made some good runs and pressed the Ajax defence well before later dropping into the CAM role for the final minutes of the game.
  • Rayan Clarke: The left winger tracked back well after him during his short time on the pitch.
  • Kion Etete: The 17 year old came on towards the end of the game and he held up the ball well for Burnett’s side. He also went on a few good powerful forward runs.

My man of the match: RCB Brooklyn Lyons-Foster had a great game for Wayne Burnett’s side where he was pretty much flawless for the full 50 minutes of the game.  Influential with his pin point forward passing and good vision, the 18 year old North Londoner read the game to perfection alongside the slightly more combative Jonathan Dinzeyi. Lyons-Foster cut out some dangerous Ajax Cape Town attacks and he also managed to get himself into important defensive positions to give himself the best chance of getting to the ball. As a result of this the 18 year old made many an important interception and clearance. He was very classy in everything that he did on Friday, and he was one of the main reasons why Spurs won the game!

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Racing Santander:

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Racing Santander:

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Spurs youngster Samuel Shashoua was involved in the biggest game of his career on Sunday evening, when he lined up for Atlético Baleares in the first leg of their semifinal play off against Racing Santander. Shashoua completed 65 minutes of the goalless draw at the El Sardinero, the 20 year old spent the entirety of his time on the field playing out on the left flank. Manix Mandiola’s side set up in a very defensive shape today as they looked to go into the second leg with a clean sheet, as they are so strong at home. This ultimately meant that Samuel was not as involved in the game from an attacking perspective as he would have liked to have been. However, Shashoua tracked back well impeccably after himself and he put in an important defensive shift for Manix Mandiola’s side to help them to record a clean sheet. Shashoua started the game out on the left wing and his first involvement in the match occurred around the 15 minute mark. Impressing early on with some good tracking back, after receiving the ball out on the left flank Samuel looked to drive forward with the ball. He embarked on a good penetrating run but he ended up being stopped by Racing Santander’s Mario Oritz who fouled the Spurs man. A couple of minutes later Samuel received Peris’ pass down the left flank, Shashoua then sprinted down the channel before being taken out and fouled by Noguera. After a Racing Santander corner found its way Nico Hidalgo on the edge of the Atlético penalty area, Samuel took it upon himself to sprint over to Hidalgo to close down his angles, and it worked as he blazed his resulting effort over Carl Klaus’ crossbar. It was a scrappy game of football with very few clear cut chances for either team. Shashoua grew quite isolated out on the left flank but time and time again he tracked back to help Peris quell the threat which Hidalgo posed. Racing Santander pressurised the Atlético defence but it was to no avail. After picking the ball up on the left wing Shashoua cut inside fullback Aitor Buñuel before clipping a nice cross into the Santander penalty area. Shashoua’s cross had manage to pick out Marcos De la Espada at the back post however, he volleyed wide of the goal.

Francesc Fullana attempted to play Samuel through on goal with a clever pass towards the end of the first half after the 20 year old had made a good run. However, Fullana’s pass was cut out by Santander defender Sergio Ruiz. During the second half Shashoua was virtually uninvolved from an attacking point of view however, he worked tirelessly to help Peris defend against Nico Hidalgo before being replaced for Hugo Diaz in the 65th minute of the game. Once again Shashoua gave a very positive account of himself in the biggest game of his career thus far. He also didn’t let the hostile atmosphere which was created by the home fans get to him.

Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: 

Appearances: 34

Goals: 6

Assists: 4