Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Coolness personified, the latest starlet to emerge from Hotspur Way.
If you were to ask me which one of our first year scholars has impressed me the most this season for the under 18’s, I’d tell you without any hesitation that it was Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. A tall centre half of slim build, the 17 year old first came to my attention as an under 15 during the 2015/16 campaign. Back then I was reporting on an academy showcase game at Portman road involving our under 15’s and Ipswich town. That game involved the majority of this seasons first year scholars in action, number 2 on my team sheet was Lyons-Foster. He played the game at right back and looked both assured and composed, I liked his style. Fast forward to the current campaign and the now 17 year old defender is an integral part of Scott Parker’s under 18 side. Playing in the UEFA youth league, the England u17 international has been so impressive that he has already featured on a couple of occasions for the u23’s this season whilst still a 16 year old. I only ever write these player articles after having watched a player extensively, usually around 25-30 times and Lyons-Foster is one of those players who I have seen a great deal of. Comfortable across the back line as a cb, lb or rb. Lyons-Foster is a defender who possess all the attributes that a quality centre half needs. A ball playing centre half, Brooklyn is an exciting and classy defender. Elegant but skilful, he possesses a unique style that is not dissimilar to players such as John Stones and Toby Alderweireld.
A local lad who went to school only a stones throw away from Hotspur Way, Brooklyn has been a part of the academy set up since he was 10 years old. The versatile defender is the brother of former Spurs schoolboy Kodi who those with long memories will remember from one of England u16’s Victory shield camapigns. He is currently plying his trade at Whitehawk in the Vanarama National league south having previously represented Aston Villa, Bristol City and Aldershot. Possessing all the raw attributes a centre half needs, Brooklyn is a player who loves to play it out from the back. Taking on opposition players in the process he is often seen pinging lovely forward passes. Whilst there is that Stonesesque aspect of his game, there is also a decisiveness which none of our other young defenders posses. That decisiveness comes from his excellent positioning and ability to read situations so well. And knowing when to execute a challenge, of which 9 out of 10 times are executed perfectly. Even if he does get caught out with the ball from playing it out from the back, Lyons-Foster has the pace to get back and keep up with the forwards. But it’s that Alderweireld like reading of the game (a player who he admires greatly) that has caught my eye the most this season. Time after time I’ve seen him snuff out danger by getting in front of his man at the decisive moment. And the calmness that he shows whilst under pressure is outstanding for a player so young.
Whilst he isn’t physically ready for regular u23 football at the moment (something that Burnett alluded to earlier in the season) he is still more than adept at dealing with a big powerful centre forward. His aerial ability for which is also impressive is another side of his game which has impressed me, those delicate cushion headers are just as deft and accurate as his passes. Mature beyond his years the youngster is intelligent and able to deal with tricky situations, I.E a one on one. And it’s in such situations that he really reminds me of Alderweireld, cool and collected he never panics and rarely dives in. Instead he waits for that decisive moment before getting the vital touch on the ball. That’s not to say that he won’t make a risky sliding challenge if necessary. It may sound as if I’m waxing lyrical about the defender but he is one of the most exciting Spurs players that I’ve come across since watching the youth team. For me he has it all. Pace, composure, versatility, intelligence and a maturity beyond his years. He has risen to the occasion many times for both our u18’s/19’s this season and I’m really looking forward to seeing him make the step up to u23 level in the future, something which will be a huge step up from the current level. The final thing that I’d like to touch on is his classiness on the field of play, he seems like a really good sportsman and there have been a few occasions this season where he has done some really classy things. Remember the name Spurs fans! COYS
A side note: The next youth game that I will be reporting on takes place this Friday when our u23’s host Derby County at the training centre in a crucial PL2 encounter.