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

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

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With safety all but confirmed, Wayne Burnett’s Spurs under 23 side can afford to play with the shackles off when they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this evening, in their penultimate game of the PL2 season. After defeating Derby 4-2 in their last game, Burnett’s side are four points clear of the relegation zone and a win tonight would rubber stamp their division one status for another season. Unbeaten in their last seven games, Burnett’s side have enjoyed quite a turn around over recent months and the visit to Chelsea will not faze them in the slightest. Adrian Viveash’s blues side occupy sixth spot in the table after having a decent season thus far. Though they may lack in consistency, they certainly don’t lack in quality with players such as Hudson-Odoi, Juan Castillo, Daishawn Redan and Trevor Chalobah all at their disposal. It promises to be a cracking game of football, my in depth match report of the game will be published by tomorrow morning. Ironically we may even get to see Ross Barkley turn out for Chelsea this evening as he continues to make his return from injury! COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Eyoma, C.Maghoma (c), Tanganga, Georgiou, Skipp, Marsh, Tracey, Oakley-Boothe, Bennetts, Sterling.

Subs from: O’Reilly, Brown, Pritchard, Roles, Griffiths.

Injured/unavailable: Nick Tsaroulla and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster.

Doubtful: Samuel Shashoua and Jonathan Dinzeyi and Marcus Edwards.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

Previous meeting: Chelsea 3-2.

One to watch: The blues speedy Dutch forward Daishawn Redan, still only 17 years of age. Redan has adapted well to life at Chelsea following his move from Ajax in the summer, he has also been in particularly good form for their under 23’s, scoring five goals from five league games. Including a hat trick in his last outing at Derby.

Important info: For those unable to attend the game, it is being shown live on Chelsea TV.

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Spurs under 18’s 3-5 Norwich City: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 3-5 Norwich City: (match report)

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A much changed Spurs under 18 side fell to a 5-3 defeat to bottom of the table Norwich on Wednesday afternoon, in a thrilling affair at the clubs Colney training centre. Despite Parker fielding a second string side with bit of experimentation across the park, it was a game in which Spurs should have won. For large periods of the game we were the better and more resourceful side who managed to use the ball well. Despite the fact that we were the far more threatening side going forwards, we still managed to let in five Norwich goals against a canaries team whose only real attacking threat came from striker Adam Idah (who ended up scoring a hat-trick). A major factor behind this, was the poor and sloppy defending from the defence along with a few goalkeeping errors from Charlie Freeman on his first appearance of the season. Interestingly Parker opted to play winger Mukendi in the centre of midfield alongside u16 Harvey White. Whilst deciding to put Bowden and Statham in the centre of defence. All three of Tottenham’s goals came from top scorer and captain Reo Griffiths, who was once again simply unplayable both on and off the ball. Griffiths also managed to score two absolute howitzers past the Norwich keeper Sam Blair. The 17 year olds stock continues to rise by each game. Norwich got the game underway, in what were foggy conditions in the Norfolk countryside. It took the canaries less than a minute before getting their first attempt on goal of the game, through forward Adam Idah. The strikers quick fire attempt from the edge of the area ended up smashing into the side netting of Freeman’s net. Soon afterwards, Spurs came within an inch of opening the scoring after catching Norwich on the counter. After going forward down the left flank, Rayan Clarke managed to set Griffiths charging down the same side with a clever little pass. Griffiths continued into the penalty area before squeezing an effort narrowly wide of the post.

Harvey White had an effort blocked soon afterwards as Spurs began to assert their authority on the game. However, some bad defending at the other end allowed Norwich to take an underserved lead following a costly error from Maxwell Statham at the back. Despite not being under pressure the centre half sloppily passed the ball straight to Idah. After picking up the ball, the Irishman sprinted towards goal before rifling the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Freeman’s net. Such was the venom on Idah’s shot, that Freeman’s hand on the ball couldn’t stop it from heading in, 0-1. A couple of moments later, Statham did exactly the same thing after gifting the ball straight to Idah. But this time the Cork man fired wide of the mark. The canaries were enjoying a good spell of possession, Alfie Payne managed to pick out Saul Milovanovic inside the danger zone with a whipped free kick. Thankfully Freeman was aware to the danger, and managed to collapse his body to stop Milovanovic’s header from close range. Parker’s side needed to find a break through. After Bilal Kamal lashed over for the home team, Spurs went on a promising attack down the left channel. Reynolds nicely threaded pass to Griffiths, resulted in the Spurs striker bursting forward. Managing to hold his man off with ease as he strode into the opposition box, Griffiths squared for Mukendi in front of the centre of the goal. But the makeshift midfielder couldn’t quite make contact with the ball as Max Aarons got in front of him to make a timely intervention. Spurs were struggling to carve open the deep lying canaries defence despite their best efforts, Rob Burch knew of the importance of not conceding the next goal, as he rallied to the players the need to ”Stay in the game!” from the touchline.

Our 30 minute leveller through Reo Griffiths came as no surprise however, it had been coming for a while. Shortly after volleying the ball over the crossbar, Griffiths had managed to totally catch out the Norwich goalkeeper. It was a goal out of nothing, Richards had won the ball out left before passing to Griffiths. Who continued forwards with the ball before unleashing a howitzer of an effort, which flew into the bottom right hand corner of Blair’s goal. No sooner had the Norwich keeper been able to register Griffiths’ shot than he was picking it out of the net. It was a stunning strike, 1-1. Such was the end to end nature of the game, that Norwich responded with a clever piece of play from Alfie Payne. Payne threaded a deceptive pass through the Spurs defence, but Jamie Bowden managed to get a vital foot on the ball to prevent a golden chance for Adam Idah inside the area. We continued to improve and we were looking the far better side on the ball. Rodel Richards had a promising effort blocked by a Norwich defender, before Reo Griffiths won a penalty on the stroke of half time. After seeing his scooped ball into the danger zone handled by Jordan Thomas, the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Tottenham’s top scorer stood up confidently before calmly tucking the ball the wrong way of Blair, giving Spurs a deserved lead. This was fast becoming a thrilling and unpredictable encounter, one in which you couldn’t take your eye off. It was also fast becoming a game to forget for young centre back Maxwell Statham. Whose second costly error of the game would allow Norwich with an opportunity to equalise, straight from the restart. It was a silly cross field pass from Statham towards Bowden which allowed Norwich with a clean route through to goal. His undercooked pass was intercepted by Payne who quickly played the ball in to Rosaire Longelo, who drove the ball into the bottom right corner of the Spurs goal, straight through the hands of the diving Freeman. The game could have and should been out of sight by the time the Spurs players had made their way of the pitch for half time.

I noticed that Scott Parker was giving left winger Rayan Clarke a talking to as the two sets of players came out for the second half. Clarke had rarely taken on any Norwich players during the first half, something which would change dramatically in this half. The second half started in just the same fashion as the first. After powering forwards through the middle, Griffiths slipped the ball out to Clarke on the left hand side. Clarke cut inside on to his right before seeing his curling effort blocked wide for a corner kick. The canaries responded at the other end through substitute Connor Parsons, who managed to weave around Tainio inside the Tottenham box, before squaring for Kamal. Thankfully for Freeman, the midfielders effort from close range was completely scuffed and resulted in an easy save for the 18 year old. After a decent start to proceedings, Parker’s side got caught completely by surprise by the home side when Adam Idah made it 3-2 to City. It was a really fast and well worked move from the canaries, Payne managed to pick out Idah down the right hand side. The Irishman advanced forward before firing an effort towards the Tottenham goal which wasn’t dealt with accordingly by Freeman, as it went through his
legs and into the back of the net. The impressive Jamie Reynolds had managed to pick up a bad looking injury in the aftermath to the that goal, Reynolds was swiftly replaced by Tariq Hinds. But before that substitution could be made Spurs had spectacularly drawn level through a Reo Griffiths thunderbolt. Straight from the restart Spurs had managed to knock the ball forward, Tainio did well to cushion the ball down to Griffiths who managed to get the ball out of his feet before smashing an excellent arching effort into the top left hand corner of Blair’s goal from 25 yards out, leaving him absolutely motionless in the process. It was a goal of the highest quality from Griffiths whose latest goal proved to be his 29th of this season, 3-3!

Substitute Tariq Hinds fired an effort narrowly wide soon afterwards, as the frantic pace of the game continued to cause problems for both teams. This crazy game of football took another significant turn after Parsons regained the lead for Norwich soon afterwards with a slightly fortuitous effort on goal. The substitute had tried his luck from the edge of the area with a decent low attempt on goal, but it lacked power and was seemingly not going to trouble the diving Freeman. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case as the young goalkeeper misjudged the pace on the ball, as he palmed into his own net. Leaving Spurs coach John McDermott with his head in his hands. There wasn’t to be a quick fire response for Tottenham this time, Rodel Richards wayward effort was the only goal attempt they could muster before Norwich made it 5-3! Shortly after Parsons fired inches wide of Freeman’s goal from the left hand side. Freeman did well to deal with Adam Idah’s menacing cross, but he could do nothing to prevent their fifth of the game. Idah had secured the points for Norwich with an unstoppable strike from an acute angle. After receiving the ball out on the right flank, Idah decided to run at Statham. Off balancing him as he surged forward towards the danger zone, before rifling the ball into the left corner of Freeman’s goal with a superb strike from so little to aim at. If anyone remembers Robbie Keane’s memorable goal against Bolton, well it was like that but without the sublime piece of skill, 3-5. Spurs were trying desperately hard to respond, Griffiths hit an excellent thumping effort towards goal which was well parried from the surprised looking Blair.

Parker brought on late substitutions by the names of Maghoma and Thorpe, the former managed to go close soon after entering the fray. After firing over the bar following some good build up play from the Spurs players. You could tell that Spurs were really pushing for the game as it entered its final stages. After receiving Clarke’s cross field pass from about 25 yards out from goal, Griffiths almost got his fourth with a promising low effort on the turn, which flew inches wide of the goal. The two tried to combine again moments later but Clarke’s pacy cross managed to just deceive the attention of Griffiths at the back post. For the neutrals it was a really entertaining game of football with plenty of attempts on goal, even as we reached the final moments of the game. Chances came and went for the hosts to extend their lead, first through former Spur Anis Mehmeti who ran at the Spurs back line before dragging an effort wide of goal. Mehmeti came close to scoring again, after getting on the end of Thomas’ through ball on the right flank. Mehmeti cut inside before attempting to tuck the ball inside Freeman’s near post, somehow Statham got there to make a magnificent goal line block. Mehmeti was making some impact on the game and he fired another effort wide just a couple of minutes later. Following the introduction of Maghoma, Spurs had pushed Bowden up to CM whilst dropping White back at centre half alongside Statham. Despite their best late efforts, Spurs were unable to salvage anything from the game, Kamal curled an effort narrowly wide for the home side. Before Tariq Hinds tried his luck at the other end with a good effort on goal which was duly saved by Blair after he cut inside from the left. It was a day to forget for Spurs in the Norfolk countryside, despite being the better side they let defensive errors allow Norwich a way into the game and they were punished for it. On a different note it was great to see some different players on the team sheet, I think it’s fair to say that it was a game of experimentation from Parker, whose sides next game is away to Chelsea on Wednesday. COYS

Player reviews: – Charlie Freeman: First of all, for those unaware of Freeman’s situation, he has been absent for most the campaign with a broken arm. A long rehabilitation process coupled in with the fact that he has only featured two times previously for the u18’s. This was still relatively uncharted territory for the 18 year old. As you may have gathered from my report, he did make some costly errors, ones that he’ll be bitterly disappointed with. But he was also on hand to make some good saves and managed to be alert to danger. Freeman is an excellent young keeper who has had a very tough two years as a scholar. I will accept no criticisms of his performance against the canaries. I look forward of seeing more of him during the remainder of the campaign, I rate him highly!
– Maximus Tainio: A competent performance at right back from the young Finn who looked good overall. He did however get done for pace on a couple of occasions down that side.
– Jamie Reynolds: A typically high energy performance from the flying left back. Reynolds was flawless defensively but once again it was his attacking play and surging runs down the left which were so potent. That’s why it was such a shame to see him go off on the hour mark with what looked like a potentially bad injury to his leg, he had to be helped off the pitch by two paramedics.
– Harvey White: An impressive full u18 debut from the schoolboy. White looked very assured in the centre of the park, he kept himself busy and made some crunching and well timed challenges on the Norwich players. His range of passing was also impressive, filled in well at CB for the latter part of the game.
– Maxwell Statham: This wasn’t a game that Statham will have fond memories of, he wasn’t at his best by any means. Despite the fact that he was excellent in the air, Statham had a tough game against the canaries attacking players. Two completely misplaced passes after playing it out from the back proved costly and resulted in two goals. Had a couple of other shaky moments but did make a magnificent goal line block late on. From my observations this season, he strikes me as more of a Shane Duffy type of player than a Lyons-Foster.
– Jamie Bowden: In what was clearly another piece of experimentation from the Tottenham coaches, Bowden played the majority of the game at CB. And he did a good job and looked more than competent in a position that he is more than capable in. It was his exceptional long balls from the back which were his greatest asset, I must have counted about 20 or so perfect launched balls up to the wide men. That was exactly the reason why it was so frustrating not to see him in the centre of the park.
– Maurizio Pochettino: Pochettino Junior was pretty anonymous for this game, rarely took players on and was rarely seen with the ball at his feet, tended to drift away from the action.
– Jeremie Mukendi: A direct winger by trade, it came as a real surprise to see Mukendi start the game from the centre of midfield. Never really managed to impact the game from that position, and was brought off injured on 68 minutes.
– Reo Griffiths: My motm, see below.
– Rodel Richards: Decent performance from the cam, showed good feet and managed to do well on the ball. Assisted Griffiths’ first of the game.
– Rayan Clarke: After a very quiet first half, Parker had a word in his ear at the break and it seemed to really change Clarke’s game. He was taking players on for fun in the second half down the left side. Was direct and tricky, and in doing so he managed to unsettle Max Aarons.
– Paris Maghoma: A nice cameo, gave us an attacking outlet from midfield. Looked good on the ball and showed flashes of creativity, also hit some decent efforts at goal.
– Elliot Thorpe: A fleeting cameo from the Welshman who despite his limited time on the pitch, still managed to get involved in some nice Spurs moves.

My man of the match: Reo Griffiths. Simply unplayable, but that’s nothing unusual from the young lilywhites top scorer this campaign. Griffiths had an immense impact on the game, of course he grabbed out three goals, all of which were taken excellently. But it was his all round game which was so impressive, that ability to combine his ‘fox in the box’ style of play alongside excellent hard work and pressing for the team. He skippered them well, covered a huge amount of distance and was a real creative force whenever he decided to drive forward, he peeled off the defenders well and did a great job at holding up the ball.

Spurs U18s: Freeman, Tainio, Reynolds (Hinds 58), White, Statham, Bowden, Pochettino (P Maghoma 68), Mukendi (Thorpe 80), Griffiths (c), Richards, Clarke. Substitute (not used): Oluwayemi (GK).

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-28
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 6
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-3
Rodel Richards-12
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
TJ Eyoma-1
Armando Shashoua-1
Troy Parrott-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-6
Reo Griffiths-9
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-6
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-2
Dilan Markanday-3
Oliver Skipp-1
Tariq Hinds-2
Paris Maghoma-5
Armando Shashoua-1
Maurizio Pochettino -1
Maximus Tainio*-1

*unconfirmed.

My interview with former Spurs man Richard Cooke:

My interview with former Spurs man Richard Cooke:

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Richard Cooke was a product of the Tottenham Hotspur youth system of the late 1970’s. A winger by trade, Cooke broke into the senior team during the 1980’s. Playing on 11 occasions for the lilywhites, scoring two goals and even making the bench for the first leg of the 1984 UEFA cup final. After being sold by David Pleat in 1987, Cooke went on to play for Bournemouth and Luton Town. Before resigning for the cherries in 1991 where he would spend a further two years at the club, before injury forced him to call it a day.

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

Richard: I was spotted playing football by a scout playing for a Sunday schoolboy side Ajax who played in the Enfield district league and my School Albany comprehensible in Enfield. my earliest memories are wow I’ve signed for the club I support. Because I went to the school which was on the back of the east stand, St Paul’s and All Hallows.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Richard: As a supporter my time was fantastic until a certain manager came in and sold me.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Richard: Glenn Hoddle.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Richard: Keith Burkinshaw, Peter Shreeves, Robbie Stepney and John Pratt.

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

Richard: I used to love Tony Morley at Aston Villa as a winger and as a kid so he inspired me quite a lot.

What was the toughest thing about being an academy footballer?

Richard: Not knowing if you were going to be taken on as a pro or not.

How did your time as a youth player at Spurs prepare you for your later career?

Richard: was quite spoiled I guess as playing for a big club you take things for granted, as when you play for a team in the lower leagues you realise how massive this club is.

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories from your time as a youth player at Tottenham Hotspur?

Richard: As a Youth player I used to love it when I got called up to the reserves in the football combination, as a youth team player we once played Sunderland in the FA Youth cup at Roker Park when I was 15 years of age, it was incredible.

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

Richard: I was sold to AFC Bournemouth in 1987 and that year we won the old 3rd division championship under Harry Redknapp, I was then sold onto Luton Town of the then 1st division under Ray Harford in 1990, then Harry Redknapp bought me back to AFC Bournemouth in 1992, I then sustained a knee injury that year that would end my career.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Richard: The pinnacle of my career was winning a UEFA Cup winners medal in 1984 and scoring on my league debut at 17 years of age.

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

Richard: Glenn Hoddle, he was absolutely amazing, some of the things I used to see in training would blow your mind away. And he took it to the pitch then on a Saturday.

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

Richard: Have confidence in yourself and listen to any pro player that gives you advice as they are saying it for a reason because they have gone through it, if you get released by the club, be positive and be strong as there are lots of opportunities in the game for you to succeed.

You played 11 times for the senior team, could you share some of your memories of your stint in the Spurs first team?

Richard: As I said before as a 17 year old, my parents took a call from Peter Shreeves at 8.00am on the Saturday of my debut to say I was going to be making my debut at Kenilworth Road in a Division 1 game at Luton, wow! And then to score the first goal of the game on Match of the day was just incredible

 

Spurs under 18’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

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Back in August at the beginning of the campaign Scott Parker got his tenure as Spurs under 18’s manager underway in style, with a classy 4-0 victory over this Wednesday’s opponents Norwich City, at Hotspur Way. Just under eight months later, the two sides face each other once more with Parker’s side eyeing the double over an out of form and struggling Norwich outfit. After a poor domestic season, Norwich find themselves bottom of the table with just ten points to their name. Meanwhile, Parker’s side now occupy sixth spot after their 2-1 win over Fulham at the weekend. Looking to finish the season on good terms, Parker’s side will be eager to keep up their fine form over the last five games, with a win over Norwich enough to lift themselves up to fourth in the table. Despite Norwich’s poor league form, they still have some really talented young players on their books. Including the likes of Irish youth prodigy Adam Idah, top scorer Anthony Spyrou and midfielder Bilal Kamal. Also on their books is former Spurs schoolboy Anis Mehmeti. Ahead of the north London Derby with Arsenal next Saturday, I would expect Parker to rest several key players for the Norwich game. One thing I’m not sure about is the involvement of schoolboys for this fixture, I seem to remember this time last season that they would leave out schoolboys for the midweek games, presumably to focus on their end of year exams. I will be travelling up to Norfolk tomorrow evening ahead of the Wednesday lunchtime kick off at Norwich’s Conley training centre. As always I’m anticipating a goal fest! COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Freeman, Tainio, Hinds, Dinzeyi, Reynolds, Bowden, A.Shashoua, P.Patterson, P.Maghoma, Clarke, Richards.

Subs from: J.Oluwayemi, Statham, Bennett, Thorpe, Parrott.

Unavailable: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster (ligaments).

Doubtful: Matthew Lock.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-0.

One to watch: Irish canary Adam Idah is a player who I’ve watched on the international stage he was an u15. A speedy forward who is known for his jinking runs and ability to finish in and around the six yard box. Idah has adapted well to life at Norwich and appears to be enjoying his first season in England, managing to find the net ten times for the 18’s. Idah has also made the step up to the under 23’s on occasion.

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-25
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 6
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-3
Rodel Richards-12
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
TJ Eyoma-1
Armando Shashoua-1
Troy Parrott-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-6
Reo Griffiths-8
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-6
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-3
Oliver Skipp-1
Tariq Hinds-2
Paris Maghoma-5
Armando Shashoua-1
Maurizio Pochettino -1

My interview with Spurs academy graduate and FA youth cup winner Anthony Potts:

My interview with Spurs academy graduate and FA youth cup winner Anthony Potts:

In the latest of my series of interviews with former THFC academy graduates, I caught up with striker Anthony Potts. To discuss his time at Spurs, later career in the game and that famous FA youth cup campaign of 1989/90.

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

Anthony: My first memory is playing my first game at Mill Hill (the training ground at the time) I remember it as I felt in awe but at home at the same time. The way Spurs played suited me down to the ground. I also remember it as I was supposed to meet Alan Curbishley the Thursday before to sign for Charlton but hadn’t turned up once I realised Spurs were interested. So it was very awkward lining up against them in my trial game! The club offered me a contract pretty much straight after the game. My memory of the club at the time was how professional everything was and the quality of the players being higher than I had experienced before.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Anthony: It was the best time of my life- and in a way the worst. From the minute I joined the club I could do no wrong and everything seemed to progress like a dream. We won everything and the footballing education I got from people like Ray Clemence, Pat Holland, Keith Ealdrem and Terry Venables was second to none. Also the players in the first team at the time were amazing and some of the most talented in the country. People like Gascoigne, Waddle, Lineker, Nayim and the like. It was the worst due to the injury I received in my first year as a pro that effectively ended my career.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Anthony: My footballing hero was Pele and I loved the Brazilian teams growing up. The 1982 team in particular. The player who I tried to base my game on was Kenny Dalglish. And being at Spurs when I was, I am the same as every player at that time and loved watching Gazza.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Anthony: Greatest influences is tough- there were some great coaches. Ray Clemence was really good to play for but Venables was on a different level. He was so knowledgeable and everything he did was spot on. I remember when we used to practice on a Friday before the game on the Saturday, and he would be working on the first team shape and set pieces etc but would still spot things about what you were doing even though you were just there to take the place of the opposition.

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

Anthony: Like I said I was a big fan of Dalglish but the Spurs squad at the time was massively talented so you would try and pick things up from everyone.

What was the toughest thing about being a young up and coming player during that time and what were the training facilities like in those days?

Anthony: Training facilities were decent but the sports science was primitive so it was all based on getting out on the training ground and working. The tough thing was there were about 50 professionals fighting for 22 places on a Saturday so if you got injured or had a bad game you didn’t know when you would get another opportunity.

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

Anthony: I had loads of great memories from my time at Spurs but I guess the obvious one would be winning the FA youth cup final at White Hart Lane. As a forward scoring in the first leg was also a great memory.

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

Anthony: After I left I went to Dagenham and Redbridge in the Conference as they were favourites for promotion but I kept getting injured- from the injury to my knee I ended up with a bad back and weak ankles. I don’t think I ever played a full injury free season after leaving Spurs. I played for lots of non league sides but never for long and I also travelled to New Zealand with another ex Spurs player Greg Howell but again I could never seem to shake the injuries, so in the end at about 25 I gave up trying to get back into football and trained to be a teacher.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Anthony: Thats a tough one, Gazza was unbelievable but I never played a competitive game with him. Him, Samways and John Moncur were all very gifted but Jamie Redknapp was probably the one.

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

Anthony: Remember you are very close and the only thing that can stop you now is you. So start training early be the last one to leave, go to the gym – make yourself the fittest strongest version of you that you can be, as when I look back it wasn’t the most talented who made it but the hardest working and most focused. Also mentally don’t get carried away by success and don’t get too down at failure just treat it all as a learning curve. Make sure you can never look back and say “If only” I was always very focused and the injury was my main issue but I still look back and wish I had done even more.

Could you talk me through that triumphant FA youth cup campaign of 1989/90?

Anthony: I can’t remember the early rounds but I think we might have played Wolves in one of the games. The hardest two matches were the quarter and semi final. In the quarters we were drawn away to a very strong Man City side – on a personal front although I didn’t score it was probably my best game for the club and we won 2-0. In the semi it was a really strong Man United side complete with Giggs. There was only one goal in it which we got at Old Trafford. I was lucky enough to set it up with a cross/shot inside the last few minutes and we were through! I remember the game as a huge occasion and all the club’s big names were there watching and seemed genuinely thrilled at the occasion. The final itself was won at Middlesborough when we won 2-0 We played really well and myself and Scott Houghton got the goals. The ground was packed and they had to delay kick off and I can remember everyone getting very nervous sitting around waiting to go out. We dominated the game though and it meant the second was quite comfortable especially when Ollie Moran headed home from my cross. Although it finished one all we were in control throughout. It was brilliant lifting the trophy in front of our own fans at White Hart Lane.

My interview with former Spurs defender Jimmy Holmes:

My interview with former Spurs defender Jimmy Holmes:

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I caught up with Jimmy Holmes to have a brief chat about his career at the lilywhites. A left back by trade, Holmes was full international for Ireland and played at Spurs from 1977-81. Making 80 appearances for the lilywhites before moving to the Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada. Jimmy is now retired from the game and lives in Warwickshire in England.

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

Jimmy: I played my last game for Coventry at Derby County we won 2-1 when we got back to Coventry I was told by our Manager Gordon Milne, that Bill Nicholson and Keith Burkinshaw were waiting for me at a local hotel and wanted me to join Spurs. I had no idea I was leaving Coventry.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Jimmy: Brilliant, best club I ever played for, very professional.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Jimmy: Johnny Giles.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Jimmy: Bill Nicholson and Steve Perryman.

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

Jimmy: Tony Dunne. Great fullback.

What was the toughest thing about coming over to England as a youngster and trying to adapt to English football at your first club Coventry City?

Jimmy: Missing all of my mates from John Bosco FC. But Coventry City had a great youth team so I settled down very quickly, I played for Ireland before I played in Coventry’s first team.

Could you share with me your memories of your testimonial at Dalymount Park against a Glenn Hoddle XI?

Jimmy: I can say it was my proudest moment of my life all my family were there. I can recall myself watching Ireland play in Dalymount, and now they were there for me.

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories from your time at Tottenham Hotspur?

Jimmy: To see Glenn Hoddle progress into a wonderful footballer, a great bloke, and top man. Also having the pleasure to play with Ossie and Ricky, amazing players.

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

Jimmy: when I broke my leg playing against Bulgaria it took me about a year to recover I was not the same player after that, I went out to Vancouver Whitecaps stayed there for 3 years. Came back played for Torquay, Leicester, and Brentford, then joined West Midlands Police Force in Coventry. I done 23 years in the Police and retired. I have been retired for 8 years and I now drive the Mayor of Nuneaton, where I live.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Jimmy: Playing against Brazil in Rio at the Maracana Stadium.

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

Jimmy: Playing against Pele.

Spurs and Ireland have a long and rich history. Was the strong links between Spurs and Ireland something that had prompted your decision to join the lilywhites in the late 1970’s?

Jimmy: Of course, Joe Kinnear was one reason.

Could you talk me through the day you made your Spurs debut?

Jimmy: Played at home against West Brom and had a great right winger playing against me, Laurie Cunningham. Good game, 1-1.

As a Dubliner yourself, you may be aware of the highly rated Irish striker Troy Parrott who is currently a part of the Tottenham academy. As a player who came to play in England as a young man, what would your advice be to this latest Spurs starlet as he looks to carve a career for himself at the lilywhites?

Jimmy: I would tell Troy listen and learn and try to be honest in everything that you do. Train hard and don’t leave anything out on the field.

My interview with former Spurs academy player and Northern Ireland u21 international Chris Herron:

My interview with former Spurs academy player and Northern Ireland u21 international Chris Herron:

In the latest of my series of interviews with former Spurs academy players, I had the great pleasure of interviewing fullback Chris Herron. A familiar name amongst youth watches of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Herron was of the same age group as players such as Dean Marney, Stephen Kelly and Robert Burch. Herron was at Spurs from the age 8 right through until he was 18. Now retired and after spells at the likes of QPR, Chesham and Slough. Chris spoke to me about his memories of his time at Spurs and his subsequent career in the game, one which was sadly hampered by a gruesome leg injury.

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

Chris: Earliest memory was being scouted by Dick Moss aged 8/9 playing for Enfield eagles and attending a trial game on Northumberland Park Astro, behind White Hart Lane stadium in midweek and being really nervous being a Spurs fan.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Chris: Mixed emotions really as I had so many ups and downs- playing against an England select 11 at Spurs lodge when I was 15 or so and really standing out, which got me promoted to the u17’s for a game or two whilst I was still at school. I came on against Millwall and remember just being really scared as it felt like I was playing against men! I had so many great memories and on the whole they were positive but I did feel at times under certain coaches my natural game game was being stifled somewhat. I came to the club as an attacking left winger and converted to a left back by the time I signed YTS forms.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Chris: I never really had an out and out hero growing up but as a winger I loved watching players like Steve McManaman, John Barnes, Chris Waddle & Gazza.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Chris: My Greatest influence at the club was probably Robbie Stepney during my time there. He was so passionate about football, believed in me and was always offering advice etc, his training sessions were always high intensity and fun, he was just such a great man I admired him a lot.

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

Chris: As a winger obviously I loved David Ginola but when I converted to a left back around 14/15 I guess I admired Ashley Cole…just a shame he was a gooner at the time!

What was the toughest thing about being an academy footballer?

Chris: Pre season!!! They ran us for fun. But for me I guess the toughest thing for me was mental toughness, you are constantly worrying about performances, getting another contract, riding the wave when I was flavour of the month, I played most of the first year in the academy for the Under 19’s after having a strong pre season and playing well at the milk cup (before breaking my nose out there) But i I found it hard making that step up at times and playing in the older age group. Pat Holland was coach at the time and he did improve me defensively but that was never my strong point, as I said earlier my game was stifled as I wanted to be an attacking full back/wing back but I couldn’t go past the halfway in his system of play! He was a great coach don’t get me wrong but I couldn’t play what I felt was my natural game – attacking, running with the ball etc.

How did your time as a youth player at Spurs prepare you for your later career?

Chris: Mainly It taught me a lot about discipline and dedication and what was needed for the game. Ultimately It got me a move to QPR after Spurs where I spent a season and a half there. Gary Waddock was my coach and really believed in me. I honestly felt if I started my career there I would have been playing at a higher level than where I ended up playing. They were struggling financially at the time though. It was a case of right club wrong time.

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories from your time as a youth player at Tottenham Hotspur?

Chris: I had a lot of favourite moments. Weirdly most of those memories were from the changing room. We had a lot of laughs, there were some great characters in the changing room, I never laughed so much. That’s the only thing I miss now I’ve stopped playing footie, is the dressing room banter. On the pitch I don’t remember much before I went full time as I was there from such a young age but the highlights were playing in the Milk Cup, playing at White Hart lane in the FA youth cup and a few other big stadiums around the country, getting called up to the Northern Ireland U17’s was a proud moment for me and my family and lastly playing a few games in the reserves under Chris Hughton before signing for QPR.

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

Chris: After Spurs I signed for QPR after impressing on trial. Gary Waddock was such a great coach and really believed in me. His style of play suited mine and I scored quite a few goals from left back as he wanted me to get up and down the pitch. Halfway through my contract Ian Holloway asked to see me in his office, all of the coaching staff were in there and he presented me with a letter. It was from the Irish FA to say I’d been called up to the Under 21 squad. He gave a great speech, told me to keep improving, keep going, take my chances in the reserves etc. Everybody shook my hand and I walked out of the room on such a high. I played several times for NI U17s and 19s but this felt like a major step up playing in the Euro qualifiers. I think I got three or four caps in total playing against some household names still playing the game today. Towards the last few months of that season I was still no nearer to the first team at QPR so wasn’t surprised when my contract wasn’t renewed. By this time having a second rejection really did knock my confidence but I was always realistic and had my head screwed on so I started to think about life outside of the full time game. I did my coaching badges and started working for myself coaching in schools around Enfield and Barnet. This progressed to becoming football development officer for Barnet Council which was a job I really enjoyed.

By then I’d signed for Chesham United who were in the southern Premier league at the time I believe- I was around 19/20 and flying there playing down the left hand side with some other really talented players who never quite made it at other premier league clubs. We had a great side under Steve Bateman and I was enjoying football again. AFC Wimbledon came in for me which would have been a great step up again but i turned them down as the travelling would have just been too much 3/4 times a week on top of a full time job (looking back it’s a decision I regret but it just wasn’t right at the time). Not long after we were playing an FA cup game at Chesham against Dunstable I think it was- I went in for a 50/50 challenge – I got there first and tried to dink it over the other guys foot- he came in high- it was a really bad challenge, by the time I’d hit the ground after somersaulting in the air I knew I’d broken my leg, the pain wasn’t that bad at the time but by the time I got to Stoke Mandeville hospital in Aylesbury, I was in agony. The length of time waiting and lack of treatment I received in the first 12 hours caused me to get compartment syndrome- without going into too much detail (its gory- google it!) after coming out of surgery they told me I was an hour away from the leg being amputated, I knew it wasn’t good at this point I did think I would never play football again.

I had several more surgeries, metal rods inserted, pinned for the break etc (which still causes disruption going through metal detectors at airports! Two skin graft operations from the compartment syndrome. In total I spent just over three weeks in hospital- I couldn’t walk for three months as I had severe nerve damage in my foot from he injury/operations, I couldn’t work for four/five months. It was tough. Thankfully a year to the day after I broke my leg I was back playing for Chesham again but never really felt like the same player again after that. I certainly wasn’t as consistent. When Steve left Chesham I followed him to Hemel Hempstead along with several others and stayed there for two/three seasons again showing glimpses of my old self.

Steve then left for Slough Town and took me with him….again with several others! I was 28/29 at this point and work commitments were making it more and more hard to commit to football, travelling up and down the country three times a week getting home late etc and I had really started to fall out of love with it all. I’d started picking up more and more injuries too and by the end of my time at Slough I knew it was time to call it a day I just didn’t have the heart for it anymore. Looking back I am quite happy with the career I had although I should have played at a higher level for longer than I did- I played for Spurs and QPR, got caps at u17,19 & 21 level with Northern Ireland, travelled all around Europe, had a good semi pro career at some big non league clubs and stayed in and around football through coaching in youth/sport development manager roles until a couple of years ago. I now work for worldskills UK as an education and competition skills manager. Occasionally I do some 1-2-1 football coaching with friends children but that’s about it now.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Chris: The Pinnacle – I would probably say getting my first U21 cap for Northern Ireland and playing in the European championships against Spain.

 

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

Chris: There were so many, at Spurs/QPR at youth/reserve level I’d played against the likes of Jermaine Defoe, David Bentley, Darren Bent, Jermaine Pennant, joe Cole, Wayne Routledge (who broke my nose a second time!). With Northern Ireland I played with Steven Davis (Southampton captain) and behind Paddy McCourt who could honestly have been a bigger star than he was (he did feature for Celtic a few times)- I shared the pitch with Fernando Torres, Mikel Arteta and a few others I forget but if I had to name the greatest: it’s gotta be Dennis Bergkamp!

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

Chris: My advice would be simple. Focus entirely on football if that truly is your dream. It’s a short career so work hard, have self belief and confidence and a single determination and drive to succeed. You’ve basically got to Live sleep and breath football if you have any chance of making it in the game. Also focus in class on your college day- you never know how important that my be if you don’t quite make it.

Lastly…..take up golf!

 

Spurs under 23’s 4-2 Derby County: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 4-2 Derby County: (match report)

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Our under 23’s took a significant step in securing their division one status for next season with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Derby County at Hotspur Way on Saturday afternoon. It was a thrilling end to end game with chances a plenty at both ends, but it was Burnett’s resilient side who deserved all three points. After an excellent start which saw Spurs get two early goals, Burnett’s side suffered a lack of concentration and soon afterwards they allowed Derby to pull a goal back. The rams drew level moments later making it all to play for once again. This is when the technically better Spurs side took their chance, knowing that they needed all three points, and a thunderbolt by Anthony Georgiou went along way to securing that on the half hour mark. An equally as thrilling and captivating second half ensued, but it was the battle like nature of Spurs who were led by players such as Pritchard and Maghoma (captain) that saw out the game. A late penalty kick for Kazaiah Sterling managing to secure all three points for Spurs in what was a precious victory for Burnett’s men. That win sees Spurs move above Derby and into ninth place in the table, but most importantly of all it puts Spurs four points clear of the relegation zone. Meaning that a win against Chelsea in our next PL2 fixture would ensure our division 1 status. For the second consecutive game Spurs defender TJ Eyoma would come up against his older brother Aaron who is on trial with Derby from Arsenal who we faced last time round. Soon after walking on to the pitch both sets of players posed for a team photograph in front of a kick it out flag. Burnett’s side got the game underway at a blustery Hotspur Way for the lunchtime PL2 fixture.

After a fast paced start to proceedings there was one player who would be heavily involved in the opening stages of the game. Moments after almost getting Spurs into trouble with a misplaced pass across the Spurs defence, Joe Pritchard was almost the hero at the other end with a sublime solo effort. It was so nearly a sumptuous goal for the midfielder, who with shades of Gazza 96 saw him knock the ball over the head of Aaron Eyoma before connecting with a low volley on the edge of the Derby penalty area. His well executed effort came bouncing off the bottom of the post. The fast pace of the game continued to develop, some impressive aerial goalkeeping from Alfie Whiteman in the Spurs goal caught the eye. But it was the lilywhites who were creating the more potent chances in front of goal, and with just nine minutes on the clock it was Burnett’s side who took the lead, albeit with a little help from the Derby goalkeeper. The goal came via a huge slice of luck for Burnett’s side, Lee Buchanan’s seemingly routine back pass to the rams goalkeeper Barnes caught him by surprise. Sterling’s aggressive pressing influenced Barnes, who completely missed the ball as it rolled towards the goal line. The Derby goalkeeper tried frantically to get to the ball but just as it was about to squirm over the line he took a wild swing in an attempt to clear the ball, but it ended up flying right into to the back of the Spurs net, 1-0. Spurs capitalised on the rams absolute howler of an own goal and managed to double their lead a mere three minutes afterwards. A fast attacking foray from the lively Keanan Bennetts down the left flank saw the wide man slip Pritchard in down the left side of the penalty area. Still with all to do, Pritchard managed to do extremely well to clip the ball inside the far corner of Barnes’ goal from such an acute angle, 2-0. The Spurs players rushed over to congratulate the attacking midfielder.

A far too common theme in Spurs’ season had been conceding straight after taking the lead, and unfortunately that trend continued when the rams pulled a goal back through Cameron Cresswell less than four minutes after Pritchard’s goal. It was a sloppy goal to concede from Burnett’s side who allowed captain Alex Babos to drive the ball into the Spurs box. It was like pinball inside the area, Maghoma went to clear but ended up steering the ball into the feet of Cresswell who calmly slotted the ball past Whiteman from close range. Spurs were now the team who found themselves under pressure. Things then got even worse for Spurs when Cresswell found the net for the second time in the space of two minutes. Spurs had been caught napping at the back, the tricky Aaron Eyoma managing to jink forward before threading a nice through ball to Cresswell down the right side of the penalty area. The Derby striker clinically drove the ball home to make it 2-2. It was hard to believe that Spurs had been leading 2-0 just a couple of minutes before hands, in total control of the game. Now they appeared to be like a totally different side who were simply unable to contain the rams. More chances came Derby’s way, left back Louie Sibley was allowed to advance forward unchallenged down the left hand side. Before squaring the ball for Jason Knight inside the box, the Irishman’s first time effort was blocked on the line by Anthony Georgiou. Despite allowing Derby to have a way back into the game, Spurs seemed to have regained their composure on the ball and were looking to play fluid attacking football once more. A further slice of luck came Spurs’ way when they regained the lead through Anthony Georgiou’s 25 yard thunderbolt shortly after the half hour mark.

After picking up Pritchard’s pass Georgiou decided to try his luck from range and unleashed a fizzing effort at Barnes’ goal. The ball took a significant deflection off a Derby player before flying into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, it was a howitzer nonetheless, 3-2. Sterling had a penalty claim waived away soon afterwards as Spurs looked to reestablish their authority on the game. Yet danger was never far away and the Spurs players would have been incredibly relieved that referee Sam Purkiss didn’t spot George Marsh’s blatant handball after trying but eventually failing to head clear Max Birds corner kick. Wassall’s side managed to cause the Spurs defence some problems in the final stages of the half. Anthony Georgiou was forced into making a terrific interception on the edge of the Tottenham box. Whilst soon afterwards Alfie Whiteman was called into action. It was a long ball upfield which caused problems for Spurs, Tanganga ended up slipping in the area after attempting to clear. The ball came the way of Knight whose instinctive outside of the boot effort was stopped spectacularly by Whiteman from close range, with an important diving save to tip it wide of the mark. The visitors got the second half back underway and it started pretty evenly. And it was the visitors who would have the first meaningful chance of the half, the dangerous Eyoma was once again allowed to surge down the right hand channel. Eyoma travelled towards the byline before whipping a dangerous ball across the face of Whiteman’s goal, but somehow Babos couldn’t connect with it at the far post. Once again Spurs were let off the hook.

Derby had started the half well and were keeping up their high tempo, the decisive Japhet Tanganga made an important sliding challenge to prevent an opening for Cresswell a couple of minutes later. It was evident that the rams were really going for the game and they didn’t care about leaving gaps at the back in order to do so. Bird fired an effort well wide as Burnett’s side struggled to get a foothold on the game. Keanan Bennetts saw his free kick go straight down the throat of Barnes, I was growing anxious at the amount of times Derby were managing to break past our defence. The bombardment of Whiteman’s goal continued, Babos volleyed the ball across goal at the back post. Pritchard had blocked the same man’s effort a couple of moments later, after Maghoma had conceded a free kick on the edge of the box. Whiteman was then forced in to saving Jason Knight’s well struck volley. After a spell of great pressure, Burnett’s side managed to find it in them to respond, and respond they did! Spurs had come a fraction away from extending their lead courtesy of a terrific long range effort from the tireless Shilow Tracey. Tracey had the audacity to cut in on to his right foot from over 25 yards out from goal. Before unleashing a powerful curler of an effort which had totally deceived Barnes, as it dipped on to the inside of his near post before bouncing wide. so, so close! Tracey came desperately close to opening his account once more, after he tested Barnes for the second time in under two minutes.

After receiving the ball on the right wing Tracey decided to sprint forward, managing to skin his man before powering an effort at the Derby goal which managed to squirm under Barnes. Before being cleared on the line by the Derby goalkeeper who somehow managed to sprint back. Aaron Eyoma was causing more problems inside the Spurs half, after squaring agonisingly across the face of the goal. And the Derby trialist was gifted a chance a couple of moments later, when Tanganga sloppily gave the ball straight to the winger. Eyoma powered forward before firing a low deflected effort inches wide of the Spurs goal. Reo Griffiths came on in place of Bennetts as Burnett looked to add fresh legs to his side as a frantic final ten minutes ensued. Chances came and went at both ends, Bird sent his header straight in to the arms of Whiteman. Spurs made another replacement when they brought key man Joe Pritchard off in place of Duncan, Spurs coach Paul Bracewell tapped the influential Spurs man on the shoulder as he made his way across to the bench. The temporary assistant (I think?) John McDermott cried to Shilow ”we need a fourth goal from you” as Spurs fought desperately hard to see out the remainder of the game. It was evident that Burnett had ordered his side to close down the rams who were not giving up of a late goal but it just wasn’t in Spurs’ attacking style to play that way. Whiteman produced another decent save after he clutched substitute Lewis Walkers volley, after connecting sweetly with Birds cross. Then there was a heart in mouth moment for Burnett’s side after a late corner kick found its way to Knight at the far post. The Irishman’s resulting volley flew narrowly wide much to the relief of the Spurs defence.

There was to be a further late twist in the game when Spurs were awarded a penalty in the third minute of additional time. After latching on to George Marsh’s hopeful long ball inside the penalty area, Kazaiah Sterling was taken clean out by Lee Buchanan, who got his sliding challenge all wrong. Sterling kept his composure as he made his way to the spot, giving Barnes the eyes before cooly slotting the other way, 4-2. There was a bit of an altercation on the final whistle between Christian Maghoma and Louie Sibley after the latter had said something. Maghoma told him to walk away, but it wasn’t to matter as it was all smiles again soon afterwards. A precious, precious victory for Wayne Burnett’s side who are now all but safe from the threat of relegation with just two leagues games to go. It was an enthralling game to watch, and one in which demonstrated great resilience and fight from the Spurs players. Elsewhere our under 18’s defeated Fulham 2-1 at Motspur Park on Saturday morning with first goals of the season for Armando Shashoua and Troy Parrott. Up next for Burnett’s side is a visit to Stamford Bridge, to face Chelsea next Friday. COYS

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: Enjoyed a solid game in the Spurs goal, looked assured throughout and had a fine all round game. Made a couple of really important saves, including a stunning one on the stroke of half time. Impressive stuff!
– TJ Eyoma: Not his finest performance in a Spurs shirt, Eyoma got done quite a lot down the left wing and his lack of pace didn’t help matters. I always feel as if he is much better suited to playing at centre half.
– Anthony Georgiou: Really impressive performance from the attacking full back who managed to combine decisive defending with well timed attacking runs down the left hand side. Made some really crucial blocks and interceptions. And not forgetting his excellent 25 yard screamer in the first half, that was his first goal of the campaign.
– George Marsh: Very effective in the centre of the park, bossed the midfield from start to finish and kept things moving. Made some really strong and important challenges. However, I can’t help but notice his unnecessary Bartonesque antics which he produces on a game to game basis, catching players in the face deliberately. Maybe it’s something that the Spurs coaches like, but I don’t see the necessity in winding players up. Great performance nonetheless!
– Christian Maghoma: A force to be reckoned with in the air, the skipper formed a typically solid partnership alongside Tanganga at centre half. He was assured and strong in every aspect of his game, his leadership and advice to team mates proved effective throughout. I greatly admire his attitude and great work ethic. Really helped us see out the game.
– Japhet Tanganga: Impressive performance, was in the right place at the right time and in doing so he managed to make some really important challenges. Like Maghoma he was excellent in the air.
– Shilow Tracey: After a fairly quiet first half, Tracey really came to life in the second half. Impacting the game profoundly with his numerous lung bursting runs down the right. He was direct and made things happen and on another day could easily have bagged a brace. Tracey is a player who has been absolutely exceptional in the second half of this season.
– Tashan Oakley-Boothe: A decent but seemingly ineffective performance in the centre of the park. Despite his obvious talents I can never work out what kind of player Oakley-Boothe is. He isn’t a steely ball winner and despite his great eye for a pass he rarely makes any ambitious passes. He was decent and tidy but nothing more. Possibly played to deep?
– Kazaiah Sterling: Aggressive and high pressing, Sterling lead the line well for Spurs. Despite his lack of chances, Sterling held up the ball well and did a good job in influencing play. Took his penalty really well.
– Joe Pritchard: My motm, see below.
– Keanan Bennetts: Enjoyed a lively game down the left, allowed Georgiou to overlap on occasions. Was skilful on the ball and impacted the game in the first half laying off a nice assist for Pritchard.
– Jade Brown: Good half an hour cameo, stayed deep and looked solid.
– Reo Griffiths: promising 15 minute cameo, got stuck in and went on some fruitful runs. Hopefully he’ll start the Chelsea game.
– Dylan Duncan: N/A

My man of the match: Joe Pritchard. It was a colossal match winning performance from the 21 year old attacking midfielder, Pritchard had an immense influence on proceedings. He provided nonstop energy, his movement across the pitch and particularly in and around the six yard box was top class. Scored an excellently taken goal in the first half and also managed to pick out Georgiou for our third. But it was the midfielders terrific work rate and eagerness to get stuck in and defend deep, but also make pitch perfect runs in and around the six yard box which won us the game. I am a big, big fan of Pritchard and he is a player who I think has been absolutely sensational all season. His versatility has proved invaluable for Burnett.

Spurs: Whiteman, Eyoma, Georgiou (Brown 62), Marsh, C Maghoma (c), Tanganga, Tracey, Oakley-Boothe, Sterling, Pritchard (Duncan 84), Bennetts (Griffiths 77). Substitutes (not used): Austin, Roles.

Derby County: Barnes, Bateman, Sibley, Bird, Wassall, Buchanan, Eyoma (Mitchell-Lawson 84), Babos (c), Cresswell, Wilson (Walker 72), Knight.
Substitutes (not used): Yates, Karic, Taylor.

Goals: Spurs – Buchanan (OG) 9, Pritchard 11, Georgiou 31, Sterling 90+3 (pen); Derby – Cresswell 16, 18.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Marsh 63, Tracey 69; Derby – Eyoma 62.

Referee: Sam Purkiss.

U23’s 2017/18 statistics: Top scorers: Sterling-11
Loft-1
Duncan-2
Edwards-4
Tanganga-1
Pritchard-4
S.Shashoua-5
Bennetts-5
Tracey-3
Harrison-4
C.Maghoma-2
Roles-4
Walkes-1
Eyoma-1
Skipp-1
Georgiou-1

Assists: Skipp-1
Miller-1
Sterling-2
Pritchard-7
Edwards-3
Tracey-7
Eyoma-1
S.Shashoua-1
Brown-1
Sterling-4
Bennetts-6
Marsh-1
Harrison-1
Roles-1
Tanganga-1

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

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

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After a successful trip to Italy to compete in the annual Torneo Maggioni in Turin last week, Spurs’ first year scholars will have brought back confidence to Parker’s camp ahead of our under 18’s trip to Fulham on Saturday morning, after an impressive tournament. Spurs finished in third place, topping a group containing Juventus, Borgaro Nobis and Dynamo Kyiv. Only losing on penalties to the eventual winners of the competition (Atalanta) in the semi finals. Spurs managed to find it in them to beat Juventus for a second time, a couple of hours later to win the third place play off. John McDermott’s side thrived in the warm conditions and his young side which contained players as young as 14, adapted really well to the Italians slow tempo style of play and looked more than comfortable in possession against their opponents. You can rewatch all of Spurs’ games on Borgaro’s YouTube channel. And even if your not that interested in watching the full games, they’re worth viewing for the individual excellence of Irish wonder kid Troy Parrott alone, who enjoyed an excellent tournament. Scoring ten goals in five games and in the process securing the golden boot. Other Spurs players who picked up individual awards were J’neil Bennett (best young player), Dilan Markanday (best foreign player) and Maximus Tainio (best defender). Having watched four of our five games, I was most most impressed with Parrott. The range of his goals was phenomenal and his menacing pressing forced teams into making errors. Regarding tomorrows league game against Fulham at Motspur Park, Parker’s side will be looking to respond to an unlucky 2-0 defeat to West Ham in their last outing and will be bolstered with the likes of Maghoma and Bowden all available for selection.

Owing to our under 23’s game against Derby on Saturday lunchtime, I will be unable to cover the Fulham game, sadly. Which is a shame as I’m anticipating a really good game, as two attacking sides who are very close to each other in the table prepare to do battle. We have faced the cottagers on two previous occasions this season and both of those games have ended in 2-1 defeats. Renowned for their academy, Fulham’s main danger man consists of tricky forward Sony Hilton who caused our fullbacks an absolute nightmare of a time in our last meeting back in the league cup. Owing to his excellent form in Italy I would expect schoolboy Troy Parrott to make his third start of the season for the under 18’s and I certainly wouldn’t bet against him adding to his excellent recent goalscoring form. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie (c), Hinds, Tainio, Dinzeyi, Reynolds, Bowden, P.Maghoma, Markanday, Patterson, Richards, Parrott.

Subs from: Freeman, Statham, A.Shashoua, Bennett, Clarke.

Doubtful: Jubril Okedina (leg).

Injured/unavailable: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster (ligaments).

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

One to watch: The cottagers skilful forward Sony Hilton.

Spurs under 23’s versus Derby County: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Derby County: (match preview)

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It’s almost a month since our under 23’s last played a competitive game of football, with Wayne Burnett’s sides glorious 3-1 win over Arsenal being their last game. Starting with tomorrow lunchtime encounter with Derby, Spurs face the first of three hugely important remaining league fixtures. It took a long time to find but Burnett’s side have finally found their form in the league and they’ll need to maintain that if they are to ensure their division one status for another season. Seated one point above Sunderland in the relegation zone, the game against Derby presents Spurs with a big opportunity to bolster their survival chances ahead of tough fixtures against Chelsea and Man City. In many ways it’s a six pointer, as a Spurs win would see them go above the rams who are situated just one point above us. I’m anticipating a close game with so much at stake for both sides. under the tutelage of Darren Wassall Derby have enjoyed a mixed campaign, picking up some impressive results along the way but still finding themselves in a precarious situation. I wasn’t at all impressed with Wassall’s side when they beat us 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Pride park back in October. They looked flat and offered little in the way of creativity, despite this they still managed to beat us. Unbeaten in our last six games in all competitions, if Burnett’s side can demonstrate the same energy levels that thrashed Arsenal 3-1 in our last fixture then I’ve no doubt that we could out do the rams at Hotspur Way on Saturday. I will be reporting on tomorrows game from the training centre and will have my match report published later that evening. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Eyoma, C.Maghoma (c), Tanganga, Georgiou, Marsh, Skipp, S.Shashoua, Pritchard, Bennetts, Griffiths.

Subs from: Whiteman, Brown, Duncan, Roles, Tracey.

Injured/unavailable: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster (ligaments) and Nick Tsaroulla.

Doubtful: Kazaiah Sterling and Shilow Tracey.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

One to watch: The rams top scorer with six league goals and the scorer in the reverse fixture at pride park, Luke Thomas.

In other news: Spurs u23’s assistant manager Justin Cochrane has left his role at the club to take up the job of managing England under 15’s. A highly respected figure at the club, Cochrane had a big impact at Spurs on a wide range of age groups.