My preview of Spurs U21’s participation in the forthcoming Tournoi Europeen:
Our development side will be traveling to north western France in the next day or so to compete in the annual Tournoi Europeen in Ploufragan, Britanny. Wayne Burnett’s side are defending the competition after winning it in a dramatic penalty shootout against Standard Liege back in 2017. However, due to the amount of development squad regulars that are out in the states with Mauricio Pochettino’s first team, Tottenham’s task will be a lot tougher this time around, with a lot more u18 players likely to travel. The majority of that cup winning side of last season have either left or are in America with the first team, Burnett will be missing several key players such as Oliver Skipp, Kazaiah Sterling and TJ Eyoma. However, this younger more inexperienced side are just as talented and they impressed me during our recent pre-season outing at Enfield Town on Monday evening in which they ran out 2-1 winners. Players such as Jonathan De Bie, Jamie Bowden (17), Dylan Duncan and Connor Ogilvie all stood out in that game. The inclusion of Ogilvie, Edwards and Harrison in this squad will greatly bolster our chances of topping our group as will the inclusion of players such as Samuel Shashoua and Japhet Tanganga. There are two groups in this tournament and we have been drawn in group A alongside three top French sides. PSG, OGC Nice and Stade Rennais will all be competing with Spurs to try and top the group. The Parisians have a renowned academy set up and have brought through players to the first team such as Adrien Rabiot and Timothy Weah in recent seasons. PSG will likely be our toughest test, they have some talented players on their books such as forward Metehan Güçlü, Kévin Rimane and midfielder Yacine Adli. Also in our group is local side Stade Rennais they are another team with a top class academy set up, Stade Rennais’s second team finished the France national 2 group D in 15th place last season.
The final team in our group is OGC Nice, once again they are another side with a world famous academy set up. Nice’s second team finished the France national group A in 11th place last season. Meanwhile group B contains Turkish giants Besiktas JK, French powerhouse AS Monaco and fellow French teams FC Lorient and EA Guingamp. I will be making the long trip down to Brittany by train tomorrow to report on the three day tournament which begins on Friday. As always it will provide our development side with a great experience against some top class opposition. It’s also being held at the world renowned Henri Guérin centre which I’m sure our lads will enjoy playing at. As for Spurs fans unable to make the tournament I don’t believe there are any live streams planned. However, when we reached the final last season a short highlights reel was uploaded on the CTB Henri Guérin Twitter account and Facebook page. As always I will do my absolute best to keep you all informed providing you with in-depth match reports of each Spurs game. I’m really looking forward to seeing how our lads get on at this years edition of the Tournoi Europeen and I wish them the very best of luck!
Friday: (Both games will last 50 minutes, 2 x 25) At 11:15 Am CET we will face PSG.
At 16:30 PM CET we will play OGC Nice.
Saturday: There’s only the one game for Burnett’s side on the Saturday, they will take on local side Stade Rennais at 12:30 PM CET in their final group game.
Sunday: On Sunday we will be competing in a final play off game (hopefully the final!) that game will last 60 minutes (2 x 30).
The squad that I’m predicting will travel to France: (Estimation of 17 players)
Goalkeepers: Jonathan De Bie and Charlie Freeman.
Defenders: Tariq Hinds, Connor Ogilvie (c), Jonathan Dinzeyi, Japhet Tanganga and Jubril Okedina.
Midfielders: Dylan Duncan, Jack Roles, Jamie Bowden and Paris Maghoma.
Forwards: Samuel Shashoua, Marcus Edwards, Shilow Tracey, Shayon Harrison, Troy Parrott and Dilan Markanday.
Injured: Jamie Reynolds (knee injury)
Doubtful: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jaden Brown and Reo Griffiths.
The futures of Jaden Brown and Reo Griffiths remain unclear and I’d be surprised if either of them travel to France.
My message of support to the team: I wish all of our lads the very best of luck as they begin their defence of the Tournoi Europeen on Friday morning. I will be traveling down to France to report on our games but also to support our lads as they look to defend their cup. Burnett’s talented set of players can beat any side on their day with their exciting brand of attacking football, and I hope that they can implement that into their game over the next couple of days, I’m sure they will do the club and us fans proud! COYS