My interview with former Spurs academy player Narada Bernard:

My interview with former Spurs academy player Narada Bernard:

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Once again I had the great pleasure of being able to interview one of our former players. Narada Bernard was a part of the Spurs academy set up since he was 7 years of age before departing for Arsenal in 1999. I spoke to the former left back and Jamaican international about his time in the academy set up, and the interesting career he had after.

What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?

Narada: My earliest memories are me training in Redborn with the school of excellence. Ron Henry was my coach at the time. He actually scouted me playing for my Sunday league team Harrow Hawks at the time.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Narada: Best time of my life.
The experience of seeing top class players day in day out and getting to train with them at times was every wannabe footballers dream.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Narada: Pele. When I told my dad I wanted to be a footballer at the age of 7 he brought me all the Pele videos for me to study. I ended up calling my son Pele so I guess I really do look up to him as a footballer.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Narada: My manager Bob Arber was a big influence as he believed in me and always encouraged me to be better. I was never a world beater but on my day I could turn a few heads. Also Chris Houghton was someone I looked up to, he also helped me develop my skills. He was the first team coach and didn’t really have to take the time to help me as I was just in the youth team. So I was very grateful when he would pull me aside to work on my weaknesses.

Were there any other players at the club or outside, who you’d model your game around?

Narada: I loved Roberto Carlos. I basically tried to play like him as a young kid. I had similar attributes to my game, obviously nowhere near his level but I would always watch him when he was on TV. I also loved Ronaldo (the Brazilian). He was the best player I had actually seen play in my generation. So powerful, skilful and intelligent at the same time. Top top player!!

What was the toughest thing about being a young up and coming player during that time?

Narada: Breaking into the first team was a tough ask. Compared to today players have plenty of opportunities to play first team football with all the different cups. From my youth team only Ledley King, Alton Thelwell and Peter Crouch that made it into the first team. I’m convinced that if my team was to be playing today we would have represented more that just 3 players making an appearance.

Were there any youth players at Spurs who you were particularly close to and are you still in touch with any of your former team mates?

Narada: Ledley king and Alton. We are all still very close.

What was your greatest memory from your time at the lilywhites?

Narada: Probably our Dallas’s cup competitions the states. It was in my final season at spurs and it was close to decision time for players that didn’t have a pro contract yet. I played out of my skin that tournament knowing I was touch and go if regarding pro.

Could you talk me through your career after you left Spurs?

Narada: Wow how long have you got??

I joined Arsenal as professional after That it was as follows
Bournemouth
Woking
Torquay
Welling
Farnborough Town
Dover Athletic
Hemel Hempstead Town
Fisher Athletic
Weymouth
Maidenhead
Bishops Stortford
Margate
St Albans…… that’s a lot of clubs.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Narada: Playing for the Jamaican National Team.

Who was the greatest player that you ever played alongside?

Narada: Jermaine Defoe but I also had the pleasure of playing in a testimonial at Bournemouth with Ryan Giggs.

What would your advice be to the current Spurs academy players, as they look to make their way up the footballing pyramid?

Narada: Work hard, train hard and invest your money into property.

 

 

My interview with former Spurs academy player and Ireland youth international. Darren Grogan:

My interview with former Spurs academy player and Ireland youth international. Darren Grogan:

I had the pleasure of interviewing former Spurs academy player and Ireland youth international Darren Grogan. The Dubliner who played in the Spurs youth set up in the 1990’s, spoke to me about his time at the club, a time which was sadly blighted by injuries.

Questions: What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?

Darren: Earliest memories was coming over as a 13 or 14 year old for trials. Had been to a good few clubs but no club felt as good. Remember David Beckham Jamie Redknapp. Evening sessions in the Astro pitches beside the old stadium. Great 5 asides in there.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Darren: Great time overall. it was a pleasure to train and play with players like that. I got a bad injury as soon as I came over. Dislocating knee cap. Had a fairly big op to sort it. Club were super in getting me sorted with the best surgeon. And John Sheridan the physio was great. I was only 15 and away from home and not involved for a long time so that was hard.

You must have played in some really prestigious youth competitions during your time as a Spurs apprentice, could you share some of your experiences?

Darren: To be fair our youth side had some great players but can’t rememember too many trophys. Remember playing against Norwich in a league cup final at white hart lane. I was injured for a long time and missed a lot of the first couple of years.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Darren: I have great respect for Patsy holland our old manager and Chris Hughton . John Sheridan. player wise I looked up to gazza. He had the lot.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Darren: i loved to watch gazza. Great craick around the training ground as well.

Were there any members of the first team squad that you used to watch closely in training?

Darren: I loved to watch nayim he had so much skill and touch.

How demanding was it to be an apprentice at one of the finest clubs in the country?

Darren: it was demanding but great experience. Other clubs took advantage of the apprentices but not at Tottenham. We had our jobs but were always treated with respect.

You played in an Ireland under 18 side which included the likes of Shay Given, what are your memories of what must have been a very proud time for you?

Darren: Ye great time with the Irish squads. Shay was a great lad and he never changed after making it big. Met him years later and had a pint. Cant beat playing for your country.

 

Are you still in contact with any of your former Spurs team mates?

Darren: im actually friends on Facebook with a good few of the old lads. Great to see they’re all well.

Were there any players who you tried to model your game around?

Darren: Glenn Hoddle. What a player.

After leaving Spurs in 1994 you went on to play in Portugal (if my research is correct) what was your footballing career like after you left the lillywhites?

Darren: played for Leixoes in the Portuguese league. Another great experience but ended up playing back in the league of Ireland with Steve cotterill as our manager. Again got a bad Achilles injury. Had two ops but that was the end. couldn’t shake it off. Finished very young. Probably 21.

Do you still follow Spurs’ progress?

Darren: Ye still watch out for their results. Was always a Liverpool fan as a kid but Spurs left a mark. Great club and people

Spurs under 18’s 3-0 AFC Bournemouth:(match report)

Spurs under 18’s 3-0 AFC Bournemouth:(match report)

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A dominant and assured display from Scott Parker’s under 18 side ensured Spurs’ place in the fifth round of the FA youth cup, with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Bournemouth last night. It was an enjoyable game to report on in front of a big and enthusiastic crowd at the cherries Vitality stadium. Parker’s side who dominated possession throughout, had a tough time breaking down a very strong and aggressive Bournemouth defence in the first half, they suffocated our attackers with their pressing and tenacity at the back (notably through former Spur Nnamdi Ofoborh). But after a half of little creativity from Spurs, the inform Reo Griffiths gave them the lead on the stroke of half time after an incisive move. The second half was the half in which the fitter and more talented side took control and we put the game to bed with another from Griffiths shortly after the restart, before a late goal from substitute Rayan Clarke in stoppage time rounded off an impressive 3-0 victory. It was the cherries who got the game underway, Parker’s side soon dominating possession. Some nice early passing from Spurs on the slick surface caused some anxiety amongst the Bournemouth players. A good early chance came to Spurs front man Reo Griffiths after he was picked out in the box by a good cross from Bennett on the left, but his header landed straight in the arms of the cherries keeper Dennis. Spurs were looking very comfortable on the ball, Patterson who was playing as a 10 tried to initiate some good chances with his sharp movement.

The dominant Oliver Skipp got back to snuff out a dangerous cross from the cherries at the opposite end, whilst Griffiths tested Dennis again moments later. After Maghoma slipped in Griffiths inside the box, he turned his man before running to the byline and forcing a corner out of Dennis who saved his shot at the near post. I spotted a slightly amusing event shortly afterwards, when a photographer told Bowden and Clarke (who were warming up on the sidelines) to move to one side of his camera. Meanwhile, another good cross from Bennett evaded any white shirts in the box, before Patterson’s deep cross was volleyed into the hands of Dennis from Hinds at the far post. Bournemouth were defending resiliently and were keeping out the Spurs forwards from the danger area. Paris Maghoma fired an effort over from range, whilst Ryan Glover tested De Bie with a low effort at the other end. Bournemouth’s Charlie Seaman got in front of the potent Phoenix Patterson at the crucial time to thwart a good Spurs move as Spurs continued to be frustrated by an energetic and defensive Bournemouth team. A good move from a Bournemouth free kick almost caught us out after a deflected drive fell in to the path of a cherries player in the area, De Bie doing well to close him down and to make the save (even though the linesman had already flagged for offside). Jamie Reynolds sweetly struck effort on the half volley forced a good low save out of Dennis, before Maghoma saw his deflected effort go over from the resulting corner kick. And it was from this corner kick that Spurs took the lead on the stroke of halftime! The corner was played short to Patterson who all too easily surged into the box before clipping in a low cross which was met quickest by Griffiths, who got in between the Bournemouth defenders, to prod the ball home.

The strikers celebration was almost as good as his goal, Griffiths ran to different sections of the crowd to express his delight at scoring the opener. I sensed that the second half would be a much different affair, and I was right. Soon after the restart Paris Maghoma had Dennis flapping frantically in the Bournemouth goal, as he parried away the Spurs man’s dipping free kick. Whilst a dangerous counter attack was stopped at the last moments when Skipp got crowded out in the box. Spurs were now really taking the game to the home side, who had no choice but to come out and attack, playing straight into the hands of Parker’s team. The so far quiet Rodel Richards saw his effort sail over from range shortly afterwards, before we netted that crucial second goal. It came just nine minutes after the restart when Griffiths took advantage of some lacklustre defending as he raced through on goal. After picking up Lyons-Foster’s unintended clearance, Griffiths burst forward towards the penalty area before cooly slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 2-0. Bournemouth had become tired and Spurs had capitalised on this, upping their tempo as they played their fast attacking game. Tashan Oakley-Boothe came on to make his first appearance in a Spurs shirt for some time, as Parker looked to bolster his midfield. Oakley-Boothe was to later to become the victim of two very strong challenges. The cherries looked to respond through Seaman’s free kick soon afterwards. However it wasn’t to trouble De Bie who saved comfortably.

Spurs then came desperately close to netting a third through another brilliant Maghoma free kick. He was gifted the opportunity to test Dennis from just out side the box, after the skilful Patterson was brought down. And my word what an effort it was, Maghoma’s perfectly executed free kick dipped over the wall and seemed to be heading into the top corner. But somehow Dennis managed to make a finger tip save to tip the ball onto the inside of the post before clearing the loose ball. This had now become a really exciting game, and the chances kept on coming Spurs’ way as the cherries began to crumble. Oakley-Boothe’s long pass managed to pick out Griffiths who managed to lob the ball over the out rushing Dennis, only to see his effort cleared by a defender. Bournemouth were restricted to ambitious long range efforts, one of which came to Seaman who failed to test De Bie on the volley. Some lovely skill from the influential Patterson resulted in him curling an effort inches wide of goal. This was pure dominance from a highly talented Spurs attack, Paris Maghoma fired just over after a good surging run. Spurs were hungry for more goals but were also satisfied at just passing the ball around. Another brilliant move from Spurs saw Griffiths embark on a brilliant searing run down the right, he breezed past Ofoborh and continued on to the byline where clipped in a lovely ball to the far post. Which was met by Oakley-Boothe whose effort was cleared brilliantly off the line by Camp.

Kilkenny blazed an effort over the Spurs goal in the final stages of the game, before a sublime piece of skill from Patterson at the other end resulted in the Spurs forward flashing an effort across the face of the goal. Patterson forced a good save out of Dennis moments later with a thumping effort, before Spurs managed to wrap the game up in style deep in stoppage time. It was yet another well worked move from the young lilywhites who once again caught the cherries on the break. Oakley-Boothe brought the ball forwards past the halfway line before threading a nice pass through to Paris Maghoma who travelled towards the box before powering an effort at goal. Maghoma’s effort was parried by Dennis, but only into the path of the alert Rayan Clarke as the substitute tapped home to make it 3-0. After Clarke’s goal the whole of the Spurs team including De Bie went towards the corner flag to celebrate the goal. As the referee blew the final whistle I could clearly hear the substitute Clarke roar ‘yesss’ as the delighted Spurs players began to embrace one another. Another brilliant performance from Parker’s side in a testing and new experience for them, the sad part is that we’ll face Chelsea at home in the fifth round. I went to see their game against West Brom in Aldershot this evening a game in which they won 7-0! It was quiet frightening watching Jody Morris’ blues side and the depth that they have, there a different class. The way that they attacked the baggies and the pace in which they done so was quite breathtaking. They played like a team of 25 year olds, they have such an array of talent. And the pace and sheer power that they have in their squad could embarrass any youth team. However, I still firmly believe that we could do them in the next round if the team shows the passion and togetherness that they have already shown this season! COYS

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Was largely a spectator but the captain didn’t disappoint when called upon.
– Tariq Hinds: Another very strong performance from Hinds at right back kept the Bournemouth wingers out of the game with his tight and intelligent defending.
– Jamie Reynolds: Good performance from the left back, was assured and particularly impressive going forward.
– Oliver Skipp: The Spurs anchorman was like a brick wall in the centre of the park, he dictated the tempo of the game. Went deep to make important blocks/interceptions as well as driving forward.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Exceptional once again, Lyons-Foster formed a superb centre back pairing with TJ Eyoma. Didn’t make a single mistake in the whole game. His timing, positioning and decisiveness at the back ensured that life was made very tricky for the Bournemouth forwards.
– TJ Eyoma: Defended impeccably, cool, composed and confident in his play. Too good for this level, which is why he is so central to us progressing further in the competition.
– Rodel Richards: Not as involved as he has been in recent games. After a quiet first half Richards became more involved as the game went on, and went on some nice runs down the left.
– Paris Maghoma: Excellent. Powerful going forward from the centre of the park, Maghoma made things happen throughout the entirety of the game with his clever little through balls and skilful runs. He was also desperately unlucky not to score with his free kick.
– Reo Griffiths: My motm, see below.
– Phoenix Patterson: By far the most creative player on the pitch, Patterson excelled throughout. He created some nice passages of play both as a cam and as left winger in the second half. It was a Lamelaesque performance, he was all over the pitch tracking back and getting stuck in. But it was his attacking qualities which once again stood out. His turn of pace, intricate passing and balls into the area. I haven’t seen him waltz past players like he did the other night for a good while he was superb, grabbing one assist in the process.
– J’neil Bennett: Put some nice deliveries into the box however, I felt that the schoolboy struggled a bit against a more physical opposition. His searing pace alone wasn’t enough to beat fullback Charlie Seaman down the right, the Bournemouth player shrugging him off the ball on numerous occasions. Still a bright performance nonetheless.
– Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Great to see him back in action after a lengthy lay off with injury. Promising cameo, was good on the ball and showed a good range of passing.
– Rayan Clarke: Was only on the pitch for a couple of minutes, but he still managed to score. That’s his second of the season.
– Jamie Bowden: N/A

My man of the match: Reo Griffiths. Pacy, powerful and influential both on and off the ball. Spurs striker Reo Griffiths was unstoppable against the cherries scoring two really well taken goals. Griffiths lead the line brilliantly and effectively, he constantly found pockets of space and pressed the Bournemouth players throughout. There was a particular moment in the game where he ran half the pitch, leaving a couple of Bournemouth players in his wake before putting in a lovely delivery to the box. He has been superb and clinical in front of goal this season, finding the net on 14 occasions as well as laying on 5 assists. I will be writing a piece on him later on in the week.

Interesting stat: After setting up Reo Griffiths’ opener against the cherries, Phoenix Patterson has more assists than any other Spurs player at this level (7).

AFC Bournemouth: Dennis, Seaman, Morrison (Hanfrey 77), Ofoborh (c), Camp, Nippard, Glover (Diaz 73), Boote, Pope (Scrimshaw 73), Kilkenny, Anthony. Substitutes (not used): Ward, Dinsmore.

Spurs: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Skipp, Lyons-Foster, Eyoma, Richards (Clarke 84), P Maghoma, Griffiths, Patterson (Bowden 90+1), Bennett (Oakley-Boothe 64). Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Markanday.

Goals: Spurs – Griffiths 44, 56, Clarke 90+3.

Yellow cards: AFC Bournemouth – Seaman 68, Morrison 76

Referee: Marc Whaley.

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-14
Phoenix Patterson -5
Dilan Markanday- 5
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-2
Rodel Richards-9
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-7
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-3
Reo Griffiths-5
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-4
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-1
Oliver Skipp- 1
Tariq Hinds- 1
Paris Maghoma-2

Spurs under 18’s versus AFC Bournemouth: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus AFC Bournemouth: (match preview)

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Scott Parker’s under 18 side will be making the trip down to the south coast on Wednesday for their FA youth cup fourth round tie with AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium. Parker will be hoping that his side can pull off a similar performance to the one that saw them beat Preston 5-0 in round three, with a game against either Chelsea or West Brom the reward in the fifth round. Like the Preston tie, there’s a massive gulf in class between the two side in regards to the training and facilities, and the obvious gulf in quality. And whilst Parker’s side tore apart Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool 4-0 in their last competitive game, there can’t be any underestimating their opposition for this one. This will be the biggest game of the young Bournemouth players careers so far, and there’ll give it their all. Due to the way the leagues work, I’ve never actually seen Bournemouth play so I don’t quite know what to expect from them. I’m really looking forward to this tie and I’m sure the players will also, I’ll be making the trip down to Bournemouth tomorrow (blocking out the fact that we could get Chelsea in round 5) to report on the game. I’m hoping for another great performance from our lads. COYS

My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Hinds, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Reynolds, Skipp, P.Maghoma, Richards, A.Shashoua, Bennett, Griffiths.

Subs from: J.Oluwayemi, Bowden, Tainio, P.Patterson, Markanday.

Doubtful: Moroyin Omolabi (injury), Charlie Freeman (injury), Elliot Thorpe (unknown).

My score prediction: Spurs 5-1.

One to watch: Forward Jaidon Anthony, the one time Arsenal youth player scored in the cherries 3-0 win over Hull in the third round.

Spurs under 23’s 1-2 Everton: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-2 Everton: (match report)

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The visit of David Unsworth’s Everton under 23 side to the training centre earlier today, provided Spurs with an opportunity to move up to 11th in the league table above Manchester United. Sadly it was to be an opportunity missed, in a tightly contested game it was Burnett’s development side who were to be the ones that left the field empty handed. For all their hard work and tenacity at the back in what was an incredibly scrappy and dull game for the most part, Jack Roles opener on 68 minutes appeared to be an indication that a win was on the horizon for Burnett’s team. But a quick reply from the toffees, courtesy of a brace from Anthony Evans caused late disappointment for the lilywhites after a real workman like display in a game of very few chances. It should be noted that the conditions at Hotspur Way were quite atrocious, the pouring rain for the majority of the game hampered our lads creativity in the final third. Spurs got the game underway on a very wet pitch but it was the visitors who were to have the first attempt on goal, after Fraser Hornby squandered an opportunity inside the box. Matthew Foulds drilled an effort wide moments later, as both sides tried to get on the ball. At the other end, a crisp pass from Roles set Bennetts free down the left. The wingers dangerous cross flew across the face of Hewelt’s goal. Both teams were cancelling each other out and neither keeper was being tested. The lively Shayon Harrison had a long range effort deflected just wide of goal before Kazaiah Sterling nodded Jaden Brown’s cross inches wide of the goal.

There were a lot of high balls going on, owing to the fact that both sides quick passing was being hampered by the pouring rain. The game was becoming very scrappy indeed, Hornby’s header forced a comfortable save out of Whiteman whilst Bassala Sambou fired high and wide a couple of minutes later. Everton enjoyed a bit more of the ball but even they couldn’t really trouble the Spurs defence. Nathan Broadhead’s low effort just past the half hour mark was well parried by Whiteman into the path of Sambou whose tap in was ruled out for offside. Chances for Grant and Sambou went affray before Nathan Broadhead’s effort on the half volley flew just over Alfie Whiteman’s crossbar. The nifty footwork and pin point passing from Jack Roles had been Spurs’ only real creative outlet throughout a disappointing half. In an attempt to bolster Spurs’ attack, Burnett brought off Sterling for Georgiou at half time whilst shifting Shilow Tracey up top. Spurs defender Jonathan Dinzeyi made a crucial sliding challenge in the area soon after the restart, as both sides began to be more aggressive in their attacking play. Burnett’s side seemed to look revitalised after the rain stopped, Bennetts picking out Roles on the edge of the Spurs box before curling a low effort centre meters ajar of the right post. Some great skill from Bennetts down the right hand side saw the Spurs man cut inside before powering an effort just wide of goal, as Spurs really started to assert themselves in the game.

A game of pin ball inside the Spurs box resulted in Harrison’s sweetly struck volley being blocked by an Everton defender, as Unsworth’s resilient side continued to keep us out. However, after a frustrating period in the game Spurs took the lead in the 68th minute courtesy of a beauty from the influential Jack Roles. It was a good incisive move, Pritchard swiftly moving the ball to Roles from the right flank following his introduction. The Cypriot youth international tried his luck on the edge of the penalty area, with a glorious curler. That nestled so sweetly inside the bottom right hand corner of the helpless Hewelt’s goal, 1-0. But could Spurs hold on to their lead for the remainder of the game? Sadly the answer was no, they lacked the composure to do so. Three minutes after Roles’ opener the blues levelled through Antony Evans. It was a really good goal, Jose Baxter’s defence splitting pass put Evans through on goal. The forward managing to prod the ball past the out rushing Whiteman to level the scores. By this point, both sides had upped their tempo and were going frantically in search of the winner. A clever bit of play down the left by Evans minutes later resulted in the Englishman netting the winner after he switched the ball on to his favoured left before drilling the ball into the left hand side of Whiteman’s goal, it was a bitter late blow for Burnett’s side. Jack Roles had a late header cleared off the line as hope of an equaliser faded. Unsworth’s side managing to run down the clock, to record all three points.

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: Made a couple of decent saves, was virtually a spectator until the second half. However, some of his distribution put us into danger on occasions.
– Anton Walkes: I was really impressed with Walkes performance today, which was his first in a Spurs shirt since his loan to MLS club Atlanta last year. The right back had a really good game, he was commanding and decisive, made some crucial interceptions.
– Christian Maghoma: Tenacious in the air and commanding in the challenge, playing some nice passes out from the back. The under 23 mainstay had a good game alongside Dinzeyi. They formed a solid partnership and kept Everton at bay until the latter went off injured towards the final 20 minutes.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Really impressive performance from Dinzeyi, worked really well with Maghoma. Looked assured and composed and made some really good sliding tackles. Soon after he went off through injury we conceded two goals! I really hope for Jonathan that this isn’t a serious injury, he has been so unlucky with them over the past year.
– Jaden Brown: Stayed deep and done a good job defensively.
– Luke Amos: Tough tackling and efficient performance from Amos. Done his job well as the midfield anchor man, mopped up well. His passing was also nice and crisp.
– Jack Roles: My motm, see below.
– Shilow Tracey: Had a good first half down the right but following his switch up top at half time, he failed to make much of an impact. Worked very hard and pressed throughout.
– Shayon Harrison: Was very lively, roaming across the pitch and influencing play as a number 10.
– Keanan Bennetts: Played on the right wing for the second consecutive game in a row. Bennetts enjoyed some good moments in the game (cutting inside from the right) but he rarely ran directly at his man.
– Kazaiah Sterling: Only played the first half, simply didn’t get the service.
– Anthony Georgiou: Positive second half performance, went on some blistering and productive runs down the left.
– Joe Pritchard: Filled in at right back following Dinzeyi’s injury. And done a fine job, he was a leader amongst the players. Pritchard went on to set up Roles for his goal.

My man of the match: Without a shadow of a doubt it has to be the influential central midfielder Jack Roles. Unbelievably this was the first time that Roles has started a league game this season and he certainly would have made a positive impression on Burnett with his performance against the blues. Roles was creative from the central areas playing some lovely and intricate passes to the strikers, he was also nimble footed and cool under pressure. And yet again he channeled his inner Frank Lampard with his ghosting runs towards the box, Roles finished his goal brilliantly past Hewelt. As you’ll all know I’m a massive fan of the midfielder and I’m really hoping that he gets a good run of games from now until the end of the season. Had he been starting all of our league games this season I feel as if he could have contributed with at least 10 goals.

Interesting fact: After his assist against Everton today, Joe Pritchard has now been involved in 8 of Spurs’ goals this season.

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Whiteman, Walkes, Maghoma, Dinzeyi (Pritchard 63), Brown, Amos (c), Roles, Tracey, Harrison, Bennetts, Sterling (Georgiou 46). Substitutes (not used): Austin (GK), Lock.

Everton (4-4-2): Hewelt, Markelo, Feeney (c), Gibson, Foulds, Evans, Adeniran, Grant, Broadhead (Dyson 69), Hornby (Bowler 79), Sambou (Baxter 62). Substitutes (not used): Hilton (GK), Denny.

Goals: Spurs – Roles 68; Everton – Evans 71, 80.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Maghoma; Everton – Evans.

Referee: Alan Dale.

U23’s 2017/18 statistics: Top scorers: Sterling-7
Loft-1
Duncan-2
Edwards-4
Tanganga-1
Pritchard-3
S.Shashoua-5
Bennetts: 2
Tracey-1
Harrison-4
C.Maghoma-2
Roles-1

Assists: Skipp-1
Miller-1
Sterling-1
Pritchard-5
Edwards-3
Tracey-3
Eyoma-1
S.Shashoua-1
Brown-1
Sterling-3
Bennetts-3
Marsh-1

My interview with former Spurs man Yannick Kamanan:

My interview with former Spurs man Yannick Kamanan:

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For those Spurs fans that the remember the 2000/01 season well, the name Yannick Kamanan will ring a bell. The young French striker started pre season in sparkling form with a hat-trick against Stevenage and continued to impress
Kamanan went on to appear on the bench a couple of times for Glenn Hoddle’s side during the remainder of the season (though never featuring) before departing the lilywhites for Strasbourg at the end of the season. Kamanan has gone on to have a successful career across Europe at the likes of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Sivasspor and Oostende. I caught up with Yannick to discuss his time at Spurs.

Questions: What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?

Yannick: My teammates and my 1st bench in the Premier League. I joined the club via a trial.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Yannick: Great experience. Happy everyday to go training.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Yannick: George Weah at 1st and then Ronaldo, the original one.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Yannick: George Weah at 1st and then Ronaldo, the original one.

Were there any other players at the club or outside, who you’d model your game around?

Yannick: As a french player who played in the UK, Thierry Henry.

What was the toughest thing about being a young up and coming player during that time?

Yannick: Breaking in to the 1st team.

Were there any youth players at Spurs who you were particularly close to and are you still in touch with any of your former team mates?

Yannick: Destin Makumbu, Jonny Jackson, Alton Thelwell and many more.

What was your greatest memory from your time at the lilywhites?

Yannick: The love from the fans.

Could you talk me through your career after you left Spurs?

Yannick: Basically I kept playing in the highest level in all the countries I played in. Except 2 years out of 3 in France where I played 2nd division .

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Yannick: French international or/and Champions league.

Who was the greatest player that you ever played alongside?

Yannick: Didier Drogba.

What would your advice be to the current Spurs academy players, as they look to make their way up the footballing pyramid?

Yannick: Believe in yourself and work harder than the day before cause nothing is guaranteed. The spot is expensive to get to the top so never give up and never think, u made it.

My interview with former Spurs academy player Michael Eade:

My interview with former Spurs academy player Michael Eade:

I had the great pleasure of interviewing former Spurs Academy player Michael Eade for my blog. Michael who played as a goalkeeper for the lilywhites, was a schoolboy at Spurs for four years during the late 90’s to early 2000’s. Appearing on the bench for the under 17’s on a couple of occasions, Michael Eade shared some of his memories with me about his time in the Spurs youth setup.

Questions: What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?

Michael: My earliest memories were training at Spurs Lodge in the evenings on the AstroTurf, and then at the weekends departing from white hart lane on the team coach for the away games and travelling to play the different academies. I use to love seeing all of the different training grounds of the top clubs we would play. I came to Spurs after being offered a trial and fortunately there was a need for a goalkeeper in my age group, I spent a season on trial Under Brian Stein and was signed at the end of the season.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Michael: It was a great experience, you are always on your toes and go into every training session and game with some fear that if you don’t perform you could be replaced. It was a very competitive environment that was enjoyable but initiating at the same time. I played alongside and against some great players and improved as a player and as a person during this time.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Michael: I was a big fan of David Seaman, as the England number 1 at the time I was inspired to be like him. I would try and emulate him as a young player.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Michael: The best team coach I worked under was David Kerslake he was a fantastic coach, and a great communicator, he would give unbelievable demonstrations in training and would give you feedback.

Were there any other players at the club or outside, who you’d model your game around?

Michael: I wanted to emulate Neil Sullivan, when I was at the club he was a great goalkeeper so I would watch him closely. We were always given two tickets to the home games at white hart lane so I would go and watch him warm up and play.

What was the toughest thing about being a young up and coming player during that time?

Michael: It was a very competitive position and still is, in the age above me Nicky Eyre played in goal, he represented England in the Victory Shield and was a highly rated young goalkeeper, David Button was younger than me and was a good goalkeeper. We would always have goalkeepers come on trial who would be looking to take your place, the toughest thing is that only one goalkeeper could play per team.

Were there any youth players at Spurs who you were particularly close to and are you still in touch with any of your former team mates?

Michael: Don’t stay in constant contact with anyone in particular, I am still Facebook friends with Charlie Lee who was a good lad and is having a good career in the game. I also was friendly with Tommy Welch who was a very good player and still pops up on Facebook. As well as the GK union of Nicky Eyre and Robert Burch.

What was your greatest memory from your time at the lilywhites?

Michael: My best memory was during a half term break when I was given the opportunity to train with the first team keepers under goalkeeping coach Hans Segers. Neil Sulivan and Kasey Keller were at the club at the time and it was a surreal experience. I remember during one activity all I wanted to do was score against Neil Sullivan, unfortunately that didn’t happen, but it was a great experience.

Could you talk me through your career after you left Spurs?

Michael: After I was released I went on a few trials and ended up signing as a YTS with Luton Town. At the time the club were in administration so I was given the opportunity to play a season with their U19s. During my second season the age groups shifted to U16 and U18, so I spent my last two seasons one as a true U18 and my last as a U19 playing down. At the end of the 2006 season I was not being offered a professional contract and was released by Mike Newell. My next step in my career was moving to the United States to pursue a soccer scholarship where I played for three seasons at Park University. During this time I obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and got involved with the coaching side of the game. This was the best decision I made after being released.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Michael: It was an unbelievable experience and although I never went on to become a professional footballer I enjoyed training and playing alongside some great players and coaches at the youth team level. My best moment was playing for Luton Town in the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round away at Yeovil. The game was played at Huish Park and we went down on a great team bus, which was equipped with satellite TV and leather seats. It was a glimpse in to the world of professional football and although we got knocked out that evening, it gave me motivation to kick on. Although professional football didn’t work out for me football has helped me to come over to America where I met my lovely wife Haley.

Who was the greatest player that you ever played alongside?

Michael: In my youth team at Spurs it would have to be Phil Ifil, he was exceptional and went on to play a few games for the first team. At Luton Town Curtis Davies played central defender during my season with the U19s and has gone on to have a great career, he is currently playing for Derby County.

What would your advice be to the current Spurs academy players, as they look to make their way up the footballing pyramid?

Michael: Enjoy every single day, stay humble and work hard to continuously improve. Don’t take for granted being a Spurs player because as quickly as it begins it can be taken away. Stay grounded enough to know that you may not achieve all your dreams as a professional footballer. Give everything to football but also do well at school and have a plan B if football doesn’t work out. Ultimately have no regrets and do everything in your power to succeed as a footballer, however if it doesn’t happen other opportunities will arise.

Spurs under 23’s versus Everton: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Everton: (match preview)

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Wayne Burnett’s development squad return to league action tomorrow, when they host Everton at the training centre (kick off-12pm). Burnett’s team who are in dire need of a win, will be looking to respond from their 6-1 thumping away to Leicester in their last league game. However, victory over David Unsworth’s blues team who currently occupy third place in the league will be easier said than done. Burnett has been missing several key players through injury of late, tied in with the fact that our under 18’s important FA youth cup game with Bournemouth is on Wednesday, it would appear that his options for this game are limited. The hosts who are managed by former Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth, are the reigning champions of the competition and we have been at the receiving end of some of their fast attacking football over recent meetings. Most recently our 4-1 defeat to the toffees at Goodison Park back in September. A side who play with some real attacking flair, some of the blues standout players are energetic midfielder Beni Baningime, former Fulham forward Dennis Adeniran and 18 year old Scottish striker Fraser Hornby. They are a free flowing side much like ourselves and I am expecting a very open game. I will be reporting on tomorrows game from the training centre, before heading off to Bournemouth the next day for our under 18’s FA youth cup fourth round game. And if we manage to beat the cherries I will make the trip to Aldershot for Chelsea’s youth cup game with West Brom on Wednesday (we have been drawn against the winners of that tie) to see what Scott Parker’s lads are up against. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, C.Maghoma, Brown, Bennetts, Pritchard, Amos(c), Tracey, Harrison, Georgiou, Sterling.

Subs from: O’Reilly, Dinzeyi, Roles, S.Shashoua, Loft.

Doubtful: Samuel Shashoua(injury), Japhet Tanganga(injury), Marcus Edwards (injury), Dylan Duncan (injury), Ryan Loft (Potential loan to Exeter) and Nick Tsaroulla (injury).

Suspended: Oliver Skipp and George Marsh.

My score prediction: 2-1 to Spurs!

One to watch: Unsworth’s side have a plethora of talent, but the one player for me who I’ve been really impressed with this season, is tenacious midfielder Beni Baningime. The 19 year old has already made several appearances for Sam Allardyce’s senior team.

 

Spurs under 18’s 4-0 Liverpool: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 4-0 Liverpool: (match report)

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Our under 18’s put in their finest performance of the season on Wednesday morning when they took on Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool at a gloriously sunny Hotspur Way. The game, which was an important quarter final of this seasons inaugural under 18 premier league cup saw Spurs field a strong eleven which included the likes of Oliver Skipp and TJ Eyoma. Parker’s desire to progress to the semis was clear, but him and McDermott surely couldn’t have anticipated that their team would tear apart one of the best youth teams in the country, a team who until yesterday had been unbeaten in all competitions. What I witnessed at the training centre yesterday was a phenomenal all round performance from our under 18’s, they defended immaculately and were impeccable tactically. There decision making, counter attacking play and ability to initiate openings against the reds would have seen them beat any youth team on the planet, that is something I am sure about. Spurs got the game underway but it was Liverpool who were straight away looking to impose themselves on the game with their high pressing possession based football. Liam Miller’s wayward effort at goal was the first attempt of the game for the visitors in what had been a fairly even start to proceedings. A lovely lofted pass by Oliver Skipp saw the Spurs man pick out Reo Griffiths on the edge of the reds box, through on goal the striker lashed an effort just wide of Jaros’ left post. Parker’s side started to show more signs of confidence, Patterson’s deep swinging cross on 13 minutes was headed wide at the far post by Richards failed to make sufficient contact with the ball.

Whilst Edvard Tagseth headed inches wide of De Bie’s goal at the opposite end. Liverpool were starting to see more of the ball, Yasser Larouci’s effort was deflected wide by some good defending from Patterson. Whilst a mad scramble in the Spurs box came about after De Bie spilt the ball from the resulting corner kick, a sea of bodies attempted to prod the ball home but the Spurs keeper managed to recover well and smother the ball. Gerrard’s side were creating a flurry of chances, but our lads were containing them really well and weren’t letting them get any clean shots away. As the half hour mark passed Spurs managed to create a couple of good chances of their own, including Lyons-Foster curling effort on goal. Essentially both teams had managed to cancel each other out with their two very similar styles of play. However, Liverpool skipper Adam Lewis almost gave the reds the lead towards the latter stages of the half, when he bent an excellent free kick on to the top of De Bie’s crossbar, leaving him rooted to the spot. Then in a slightly unexpected turn of the events Spurs managed to take the lead in the 43rd minute. It was a goal created by a lovely weighted pass from the influential Oliver Skipp which found Griffiths down the right side of the Liverpool box. The Spurs striker managing to clip the ball past Jaros and into the bottom left hand corner of the net from a tight angle, it was a really good finish from Griffiths who had bagged his 12th goal of the season in the process, 1-0.

As the Spurs players went over to celebrate at the byline Skipp uttered clearly to his team mates to ‘get to half time’. Hardly had Spurs stopped celebrating when the reds missed a glaring chance to equalise straight from the restart. The Liverpool skipper Lewis who was surging down the left opted to fire an effort across goal managing to find Larouci at the back post. A couple of yards out and with an open goal at his mercy, the Liverpool fullback somehow managed to make an astonishing miss to put the ball over the frame of the goal as Spurs escaped. And the reds weren’t finished there, Curtis Jones had enough time to force a good low stop out of De Bie before the referee blew his whistle for halftime. Spurs started the second half with some good attacking play, Rodel Richards flashed a fine effort inches wide of Jaros’ goal as Spurs went in search of their second. The frantic end to end nature of the game did continue to pursue and Spurs had to defend well. De Bie dealt well with Jones’ effort before Eyoma made a superb block moments later, Parker’s side were trying to catch them on the counter. However, some brilliant pressure from Rodel Richards who pressed Jaros ferociously resulted in Spurs doubling their lead in the 54th minute. Richards eagerness had forced Jaros into making a mistake and as the Liverpool keeper went to clear the ball it came rebounding off of the Spurs man and into the bottom right hand corner of the net to leave Spurs in great stead. Since doubling their lead Spurs were showing great confidence in their play as Liverpool started to fade away and drop their high tempo.

Substitute Paris Maghoma went close with a low effort on goal before some more good play from Richards resulted in Spurs’ third of the game. It was a lovely goal which started with some brilliant work down the right from Hinds who impressively won a 50-50 on the half way line. The Spurs fullback drove forward before eventually helping the ball to Richards who continued in to the Liverpool area. The forwards initial effort was blocked but the inform Richards calmly managed to stroke the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal on his second asking, at which point I had lost my composure on the sidelines as I jumped up to celebrate with delight. Spurs were by now controlling the game, their crisp passing and inventiveness in the final third was just too much for Gerrard’s team. This was not to say that the opposition weren’t still troubling the Spurs goal, Jones sliced an effort well wide for the reds. Before Camacho’s effort dashed across the face of De Bie’s goal. You could tell by the Liverpool players body language that they had resigned to defeat and they were understandably taking more risks to go forward. As the game reached the last 15-20 minutes Spurs continued to have their wits tested. Lewis’ effort stung the palms of De Bie before a sumptuous long pass picked out Curtis Jones at the far post. The Liverpool forwards effort pinging against the bottom of De Bie’s left hand side. The game was still however in the palms of Spurs’ hands, a brilliant piece of play and tactical awareness from Richards saw him pick out Markanday down the left, the Spurs winger brought the ball forward before firing an effort straight down the throat of Jaros.

Jones fired wide for the faltering visitors, whilst Lyons-Foster produced an excellent piece of defending to get in front of his man. The tireless Oliver Skipp went on a typically excellent forward run, carrying the ball all the way into the Spurs box, before squaring the ball wonderfully to Griffiths who then found Patterson, who couldn’t cap the move off with a goal as he fired just over. Lewis’ free kick from long range went astray as the final minutes approached, and it was on the 90th minute that Spurs managed to put the icing on the cake with a fabulous forth. Tariq Hinds cross from the right found Markanday on the edge of the area and the skilful forward showed great composure before tucking the ball in to the back of Jaros’ net to cap off a remarkable Spurs performance. As Parker’s side go marching into the last four of the competition! COYS

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Surprisingly, the young Belgian goalkeeper didn’t have that many saves to make. Though the ones he did make were very good. His distribution was excellent as too was his anticipation of set pieces and corner kicks. De Bie is a very brave keeper and this season he has been really consistent. He has also showed great leadership skills as the skipper of the side.
– Tariq Hinds: Very strong display from the tenacious fullback. Hinds who was very good defensively, went on some brilliant attacking runs. Playing a big part in two of our goals, he is in my opinion ready to play under 23 football.
– Jamie Reynolds: Another terrific performance from the left back who I’ve really come around to appreciating how good a player he is, since he made the switch from central midfield earlier this season. Reynolds was solid at the back but excellent going forward. His lung bursting runs, good play in tight situations and his ability to whip in the perfect cross were all on show.
– Oliver Skipp: Sheer dominance in the central areas from the Spurs starlet. Skipp was one of the most influential players in the game. His crisp passing, tenaciousness and creativity in the final third to unlock the Liverpool defence were all top class. It’s obvious that the first year scholar is too good for under 18 football but in big matches he will provide the difference. What I liked particularly about his performance against the reds was his attacking play i.e: his lofted passes and intricate build up play. Skipp’s running and tremendous stamina was also of note, he would have made Gerrard proud!
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Along with fellow centre half TJ Eyoma, Lyons-Foster formed part of a flawless central defence. As I tweeted after the game, it was just like watching Jan and Toby play. Brooklyn’s athleticism and overall defending frustrated Gerrard’s side throughout. The way he just glides in front of the attacker and plays the ball out in an Alderweireldesque fashion is very special indeed. His footballing brain is like that of an experienced under 23 player!
– TJ Eyoma: My motm see below.
– Dilan Markanday: Markanday was the most fouled player on the pitch for a reason. The Spurs attacker was a key player in Spurs’ win. His nifty footwork and ability to carry the ball in tight situations were extremely impressive. He also gets into great positions and his goal was a testament to that.
– Phoenix Patterson: Due to the nature of the game he was less involved, but he still impressed. Whipped in some nice crosses and was tidy in his play.
– Reo Griffiths: Superb performance from the Spurs front man who worked tirelessly in front of goal. Powerful and energetic, Griffiths was always on the move as he looked to run either side of the defenders. Also finished his goal really well.
– Rodel Richards: Two more goals from the inform forward who once again had a great game. He loves to press and he caused great bother to the reds defence with his blistering pace and creativity down the right flank. There’s no such thing as a lost cause for the Spurs man.
– Rayan Clarke: Productive going forward, Clarke was also important at getting back and getting stuck in. Something that Lewis didn’t take too kindly to for the visitors.
– Paris Maghoma: Bolstered the midfield in the second half following his introduction.
– J’neil Bennett: N/A

My man of the match: TJ Eyoma. Eyoma was central to a terrific Spurs defence, the u17 World Cup winner was an imposing figure. He was excellent at snuffing out danger and winning headers in the air. Was never rash in making challenges and showed great strength and intelligence to deal with the Liverpool front line. ‘Flawless’ was an understatement!

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Skipp, Lyons-Foster, Eyoma, Markanday, Patterson, Griffiths, Richards, Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Bowden.

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-12
Phoenix Patterson -5
Dilan Markanday- 5
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-2
Rodel Richards-9
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-6
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-3
Reo Griffiths-5
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-4
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-1
Oliver Skipp- 1
Tariq Hinds- 1

Spurs under 18’s versus Liverpool: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Liverpool: (match preview)

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I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t looking forward to watching our under 18’s take on Liverpool tomorrow in the quarter finals of this seasons premier league under 18 cup, at the training centre. The competition which is in its inaugural season has so far seen Spurs beat both Aston Villa and Leicester en route to the quarters. Their reward is a tie against Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool side, the reds under 18’s who are unbeaten so far this season, have been playing some outstanding football under the reds legend. Top of the under 18’s northern section table. Gerrard’s youngsters have also put in some top class performances in a host of other competitions, they play with an attacking flare about their game, something that would have been instilled down on them by Klopp’s senior team. Whilst Spurs will still be recovering from that thrilling 4-4 draw with Leicester on Saturday, Parker’s side will need to be at the top of their game if they are to outwit the visitors. And I’ve a feeling that this game could be another goal fest. It’s an early start tomorrow with kick off being at 11:am but I’ll have my write up published by the evening. COYS

ICYMI: (my match report of the Leicester game) https://superhotspur.com/2018/01/08/spurs-under-18s-4-4-leicester-city-match-report/

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie(c), Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Lyons-Foster, Reynolds, P.Maghoma, P.Patterson, Lloyd-Bennett, A.Shashoua, Griffiths, Richards.

Subs from: J.Oluwayemi, Lock, Hinds, Bowden, Markanday.

Doubtful: Charlie Freeman, Moroyin Omolabi and Elliot Thorpe.

Suspended: Oliver Skipp.

My score prediction: 4-3 Spurs.

One to watch: The reds top scorer this campaign with 14 goals, Canadian youth international Liam Millar is my one to watch for tomorrows game.