Spurs under 18’s versus Southampton: (match preview)
Our under 18’s return to league action on Saturday morning when they host Southampton at the training centre. Parker’s side return to action after a two week break due to the u17 ALKAAS tournament which saw a host of first year scholars in action. On that note I’ve noticed that one of the schoolboys that I expected to be part of that squad, has in fact been released by the club. Right back and Scottish youth international Kane Patterson who is the brother of u18 forward Phoenix, is one player who hasn’t signed scholarship terms for the coming season. I was also surprised that talented centre forward Troy Parrott didn’t travel with the squad, I haven’t heard of or seen him in action for some time now, though he’s probably just injured. Focusing on our u18’s game with Southampton tomorrow, Parker’s side have enjoyed some good form over the past month and they really seem to be adapting to u18 football. And Parker’s side will have to replicate that good form when they face the saints if they want to get all three points. Southampton who sit in third place in the table, have been one of the most technically impressive sides I have seen this season. An attacking outfit with a good structure to their side. The saints play some really intricate attacking football and are also strong at the back. Having won their last six consecutive league games they’ll fancy their chances when they come to Hotspur Way on Saturday. It was quite a miracle how our lads managed to win the reverse fixture down on the south coast. After dominating the first half, Spurs were absolutely outplayed by Southampton in the second half. I remember wide man Jonathan Afolabi played an absolute blinder down the left flank, and on a another day he could have had a hat-trick.
A side with plenty of flair and attacking prowess, the likes of Jonathan Afolabi, Michael Obafemi and Sean Brennan (all Irish youth internationals!) will be a handful for our defence. COYS
My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Hinds, Statham, Lyons-Foster, Reynolds, P.Maghoma, Patterson, Mukendi, A.Shashoua, Richards, Griffiths.
Subs from: Oluwayemi, Lock, Markanday, Bowden, Bennett.
Doubtful: Jonathan Dinzeyi and Moroyin Omolabi.
My score prediction: 4-3 to Spurs.
One to watch: Ireland under 19 international Jonathan Afolabi is unplayable on his day. The tall and physical centre forward who is also comfortable playing out on the left hand side, is a player of immense potential. Pacy, powerful and clinical in the six yard box, the Irishman also poses a real aerial threat. Afolabi has already featured on numerous occasions for the clubs development side this season, is a player who I know very well. Loves a long shot!