Rafferty Pedder – A promising young talent:

Rafferty Pedder – A promising young talent: 


As our under 18’s prepare to face Liverpool in the third round of the FA youth cup on Monday night, I’ll be focusing in on one of the players who could prove to be key to us overcoming the ‘ Reds ‘. Rafferty John Pedder is from Maidstone in Kent, and he is currently a second year scholar who plays for Spurs’ under 18’s. Pedder operates both at CM and CAM, the right footed attacking midfielder is a skilful player whose movement, and pace makes him a thorn in oppositions sides. In the following short piece I will be talking about what type of player Pedder is, his traits as a footballer, and his style of play. Pedder has been at Spurs since a very young age, like fellow County Kent lads Harvey White and Luis Binks. The 17 year old is a very technical player who is not too dissimilar to development side regular Armando Shashoua (19) in his style of play. Pedder is a seriously nippy midfielder who is of small build, in addition he has a good turn of pace and he likes to use that to his advantage by going on long, jinking forward runs through the middle of the park. He has good vision and is an incisive passer of the ball however, he is also good at creating little pockets of space for himself (like Shashoua). The midfielder is also very positive and direct, he is the kind of player who will excite, and get you up off your seat.

Rafferty Pedder missed over a year of football when he was a schoolboy due to suffering a broken arm (around the age of 15/16) yet the talented midfielder was still offered a scholarship by the Lilywhites. This however, did mean that Pedder missed out on so much vital game time, for which he is still trying to make up for now in his second year of scholarship. During his first year of scholarship at Spurs Pedder was part of the Spurs under 17 side that won the Euro Youth Cup out in St Wendel, Germany during the early part of the 2018/19 season. However, Pedder would struggle for game time in Matt Wells’ under 18 side that season, making only six appearances for them. Pedder did also feature for a Spurs under 19 side at the end of season Terborg tournament. There were three games from last season that Pedder was involved in, which I would like to briefly focus on. Rafferty’s league debut against Aston Villa came back in the September of 2018 and Pedder made an almost instant impact after coming on as a late substitute. After embarking on one of his trademark bursting forward runs the then 16 year old had a shot saved by the Aston Villa goalkeeper, before Troy Parrott headed home at the second time of asking.

A game against Norwich City in the March of this year also brought out the best of Pedder who, when operating as a CM put in a very tenacious performance in the middle of the park, combining both his attacking duties with his defensive duties well. While at the end of season Terborg tournament Pedder put in a another good shift for Spurs, against a physical Vitesse Arnhem team. Impressing with his weight of pass, his off the ball movement and reading of the game. However, since the start of the 2019/20 season Pedder has been in fine form for Spurs’ under 18’s. Making 11 appearances to date for Matt Taylor’s side, Pedder has had a consistent run of games, and he has paid back the Tottenham academy coaches by putting in a string of very good performances. Operating primarily as a CM Pedder has also chipped in with two goals and one assist so far this campaign. Although he has put in a number of good and very technical performances so far this season, there is one game which really stands out and that is our under 18’s 4-0 win over Norwich City in which Pedder was absolutely electric in. Operating as a CAM the teenager who is a keen surfer away from football, dictated the tempo of the game. With his pace, low centre of gravity and many intelligent passes the 17 year old was a major headache for the opposition.

In that game against Norwich Pedder chipped in by scoring a fine goal, he was also involved in another of Spurs’ goals in what was an excellent individual performance from him. From the view of a Spurs supporter there is so much to admire about Pedder the footballer, from what I have seen of him over the past two seasons. Technically speaking he is one of the best in our current under 18 side however, his work off the ball is also very good even though he is a very slim and slight player. Linking back to my comparisons with Armando Shashoua, Pedder has that ability to link play really well and create openings for his teammates. Furthermore, the youngster has such a high work rate and he never stops running on the field of play. He is also a skilful player who has good close ball control. The only thing that could cause problems for Pedder when he plays in the middle of the park, is coming up against more physical players. That actually occurred in our under 18’s last game against Newcastle United, when Pedder was a little bit bullied by the very physical Newcastle midfielders Lucas de Bolle and Joe White, and that quelled the attacking threat in which he posed. However, Rafferty will get stronger over time, though for now he is probably more effective as a ten rather then as a four, due to him having much more freedom and space to roam.

The former Maidstone Grammar School pupil just needs a really good run of games from now until the end of the season to aid his development. He has been one of our under 18’s best players so far this season along with Chay Cooper, and for that he should be very proud of himself. Spurs fans should pay close attention to this very talented young man over the next couple of seasons, and just maybe Pedder’s positive attacking play might be the difference against this extremely talented Liverpool side on Monday night.

Spurs under 19’s 1-0 Olympiacos: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 1-0 Olympiacos: (match report)


Our under 19’s hosted Greek side Olympiacos at Hotspur Way on Tuesday afternoon, in a crucial UEFA Youth League group stage encounter. Ryan Mason’s side needed to win this game to stand any chance of progressing from group B, and that’s exactly what his side managed to achieve. However, it was far from easy for Spurs, as Olympiacos were compact and defensively solid. After creating a number of decent chances Spurs finally scored what turned out to be the winner on 57 minutes, courtesy of a fine strike from the potent Troy Parrott. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation with a couple of notable changes from that 2-0 defeat to Crvena zvezda. Josh Oluwayemi started in goal while a back four consisting of TJ Eyoma, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Captain Jamie Bowden and Tashan Oakley-Boothe partnered up in central midfield while Dilan Markanday and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Harvey White. Spurs got the game underway on a cold day at the Tottenham Hotspur training centre. Jamie Bowden’s early deflected effort off of Georgios Fekkas was eventually gathered by Konstantinos Tzolakis, only after he had caught Spurs defender Luis Binks. After Troy Parrott flicked on Dilan Markanday’s cross the ball came very close to being latched onto by Harvey White inside the Olympiacos box. 

A couple of minutes later and after getting onto TJ Eyoma’s sprayed pass, J’Neil Bennett volleyed the ball into the direction of Dilan Markanday in the centre of the oppositions penalty area. Markanday’s powerful, first time effort flicked off of Troy Parrott before going narrowly wide of the goal. J’Neil Bennett had a cross towards Dilan Markanday cleared away by Anastasios Boskouidis at the last moment, before Harvey White cleared away Ilias Martinis-Apostolos’ free kick. Then a couple of minutes later Alexandros Voilis passed the ball to Martinis-Apostolos on the edge of the Spurs box however, his low curling effort was brilliantly tipped behind the left hand post by the diving Josh Oluwayemi. Martinis-Apostolos then shot wide from Nikolaos Gkotzamanidis’ corner kick. A couple of minutes later Harvey White fed the ball into Troy Parrott (the Irishman had timed his run to perfection) inside the Olympiacos penalty area however, he took his shot early and curled the ball just wide of the goal. Georgios Fekkas blocked a shot on goal from Jamie Bowden before Spurs came close to taking the lead through Troy Parrott. Fagan-Walcott passed the ball to Eyoma who in turn gave it to White. He sent a low cross into the Olympiacos box towards Parrott who turned and shot, but his shot took a deflection off of Nikolaos Gkotzamanidis before being saved by Tzolakis.

After going on a promising forward run Dennis Cirkin cut inside from the left flank before having a powerful effort on goal saved by Tzolakis. After Parrott passed the ball to Bowden the Spurs captain sent a cross into the Olympiacos box which Dilan Markanday nodded wide of the goal. Harvey White then had a corner kick gathered by Tzolakis before Bennett jinked past Nikolaos Freris before having a shot blocked by Gkotzamanidis. Shortly before halftime Troy Parrott latched onto Jamie Bowden’s long ball before firing it over Konstantinos Tzolakis’ crossbar from inside the Olympiakos box, before the referee sounded his whistle for half time. Olympiacos got the second half underway. After managing to find Harvey White at the back post of the Olympiacos goal from Troy Parrott’s whipped cross, White had only the goalkeeper to beat however, his side footed effort was spectacularly tipped over the crossbar by Konstantinos Tzolakis to prevent Spurs from taking the lead. J’Neil Bennett then had a shot saved by Tzolakis before Alexandros Voilis headed over Ilias Martinis-Apostolos’ corner kick at the opposite end of the pitch. After receiving Troy Parrott’s lofted pass, J’Neil Bennett headed the ball across the face of the Olympiacos goal but no one was there to meet it. Konstantinos Tzolakis then saved Jamie Bowden’s effort from distance. 

Spurs finally took the lead in the 57th minute of the game courtesy of a fine strike from Troy Parrott. After receiving TJ Eyoma’s pass on the edge of the Olympiacos box, Parrott calmly curled the ball (first time) past Konstantinos Tzolakis and into the top right hand corner of the goal, 1-0. Shortly after the restart and after receiving Luis Binks’ pass, Dilan Markanday had a cross cleared away by Anastasios Boskoudis. A couple of minutes later a Harvey White corner kick came to Parrott who headed wide of the goal. Left back Dennis Cirkin was shown a yellow card shortly afterwards before Paris Maghoma came onto replace Dilan Markanday. Maghoma fired over from distance after receiving Dennis Cirkin’s pass before Troy Parrott was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Giorgios Neofytidis. Harvey White had an excellent thumping effort tipped over the crossbar by Tzolakis before Jamie Bowden fired over from long range. Bowden was replaced shortly afterwards by Maurizio Pochettino. J’Neil Bennett then whipped a menacing ball across the face of the Olympiacos goal before Rodel Richards came onto replace Troy Parrott for the final minutes of the game. This was an important win for Spurs however, Crvena zvezda unfortunately held Bayern Munich to a draw in the other  group game. That means that Spurs must beat Bayern Munich away in their final group game, and hope that Crvena zvezda drop points to Olympiacos.

Player reviews:

  • Josh Oluwayemi: The Tottenham goalkeeper made only saved on the day but what a crucial save it was! Oluwayemi was very vocal. 
  • TJ Eyoma: I thought that this was another very solid performance from Eyoma at right back. The 19 year old kept good positioning and he defended well against the Olympiacos forwards.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: The RCB had a solid game, was dominant in the air and he made some important clearances.
  • Luis Binks: Another player who didn’t put a foot wrong, Binks was excellent in the air and commanding on the ground. Binks was also vocal and he would often point things out to his teammates.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back was defensively solid and he also went on some nice jinking forward runs down the left flank. 
  • Jamie Bowden: The deeper of the two central midfielders recycled possession well, looked good on the ball and he made some fine challenges in important places on the park.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The central midfielders movement was good and his passing was nice and crisp.
  • Dilan Markanday: The right winger tracked back well, made some good runs into the box and he came close to scoring an early goal for Spurs.
  • Harvey White: Operating as a CAM for this fixture, Harvey White had a very good game for Spurs. White moved the ball around the park positively, he held onto the ball well and he also read the game well.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The tricky winger constantly beat his man down the left flank and he whipped many dangerous balls into the danger zone. Bennett worked hard for the team although he did fade away a bit in the second half.
  • Troy Parrott: My man of the match, see below.
  • Paris Maghoma: The creative midfielder injected energy into the game and he linked play well during his time on the pitch. 
  • Maurizio Pochettino: N/A.
  • Rodel Richards: N/A.

My man of the match: Dubliner Troy Parrott led the line with aplomb for Spurs on Tuesday afternoon. Parrott put in a great shift for the team, pressing relentlessly and running non stop. Furthermore, the second year scholar held the ball up well, did a good job at bringing others into the game, but most importantly of all he scored a fine goal which secured all three points for Spurs. I paid close attention to Parrott yesterday and his off the ball movement was second to none, and in my eyes I thought that he had a very good game. 

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Eyoma, Cirkin, Bowden (c) (Pochettino 86), Binks, Fagan-Walcott, Markanday (Maghoma 70), Oakley-Boothe, Parrott (Richards 90+2), White, Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Lo-Tutala, Lusala, Muir, Robson.

Olympiacos: Tzolakis, Freris, Martinis, Neofytidis, Gkotzamanidis, Boskoudis (Aslanidis 76), Arsenidis (Tselios 65), Nikolis, Voilis (c) (Bullari 76), Fekkas (Ntotis 84), Sourlis (Katsavakis 76). Substitutes (not used): Stournaras, Liatsos.

Goal: Spurs – Parrott 57.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Eyoma 15, Cirkin 63, Parrott 74; Olympiacos – Martinis 65.

Referee: Peter Kjaesgaard (DEN).

Venue: Hotspur Way, Enfield.

Attendance: 253.

Spurs under 19’s statistics:

Goals: Troy Parrott – 6

Rodel Richards – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Max Robson – 1

Kion Etete – 1

Harvey White – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Assists: TJ Eyoma – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 2

Rodel Richards – 1

Troy Parrott – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1 

Jonathan De Bie – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Clean sheets: Josh Oluwayemi – 1

Spurs under 19’s versus Olympiacos: (match preview)

Spurs under 19’s versus Olympiacos: (match preview)


Our under 19’s host Greek side Olympiacos at Hotspur Way on Tuesday afternoon in a crucial UEFA Youth League group stage encounter. Ryan’s Mason’s side must win tomorrow’s game if they are to stand any chance of progressing out of the group. Spurs are currently situated in third place in group B, three points behind second place Crvena zvezda who face top place Bayern Munich tomorrow afternoon. Olympiacos on the other hand sit in bottom place in the group, and they can not qualify having picked up only one point from their four group games (that point came in a 1-1 draw against Spurs). The heat played a big factor in Spurs drawing that reverse fixture. Tomorrow’s game is one in which I personally think that we will win relatively comfortably. However, that all relies on whether or not the inform Troy Parrott who is the top scorer in the competition this season is included in the squad. Some of the Olympiacos players to look out for tomorrow include centre forward Alexandros Voilis, right winger Georgios Fekkas, goalkeeper Konstantinos Tzolakis and central midfielder Giorgios Neofytidids. Unfortunately this important game is not being shown live on television however, I shall be in attendance and my in-depth match report will be out for the next day. This is a very big game for Ryan Mason’s young side and I would like to wish the lads all the very best of luck. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Binks, Cirkin, Bowden (c) White, Markanday, Richards, Bennett, Parrott.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Lusala, Fagan-Walcott, Maghoma, Pochettino, Robson, Whittaker.

Injured/unavailable: Nile John, Michael Craig, Kion Etete.

Doubtful: Enock Asante, Matthew Craig, Dane Scarlett.

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 5-0. 

My one to watch: Olympiacos’ physical centre forward Alexandros Voilis. The 19 year old impressed me in the reverse group fixture.

Some notes on Spurs under 18’s 5-2 defeat to Newcastle United:

Some notes on Spurs under 18’s 5-2 defeat to Newcastle United:


Our under 18’s final group game of this seasons premier league cup took place on Saturday morning at the Newcastle United Academy facility. Matt Taylor’s side needed to beat the ‘ Magpies ‘ to stand any chance of progressing to the quarter finals of the competition. Unfortunately Spurs were defeated 5-2 by Newcastle in what were pretty awful conditions as the rain poured and poured down on the players, with the ball being massively slowed down on the pitch. Apologies for this much shorter than usual report, this was down to the appalling weather conditions and the fact that my note pad got ruined by the heavy rain. Newcastle started the game off in style after Kallum Cesay conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs box on 15 minutes. Joe White stood up to curl a low effort past Lo-Tutala and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Spurs had an appeal waved away for a penalty after Romaine Mundle appeared to be fouled inside the Newcastle penalty area. Kevin Reed doubled the ‘ Magpies ‘ lead shortly afterwards, after latching onto the ball after Aaron Skinner had slipped on the edge of the box. Reed then fired a low effort past Lo-Tutala. Four minutes later Reed headed home Dylan Stephenson’s cross to make it 3-0 to Newcastle.

Spurs tried very hard to battle back in the adverse weather conditions, and o 32 minutes Spurs pulled one back after Max Robson smartly headed home Dermi Lusala’s cross, 1-3. Less than eight minutes later Spurs managed to pull back another goal, this time through Jneil Bennett. After receiving birthday boy Tarrelle Whittaker’s pass out on the left wing, Bennett brought the ball into the Newcastle box before curling an effort into the right hand corner of the goal on his left foot (Bennett’s effort took a significant deflection off of Newcastle defender Joe Oliver). However, Spurs were unable to find an equaliser and in the second half the ‘ Magpies ‘ netted clinically through Joshua Scott and Josh Harrison. We finished third in group E with three points from three games. The weather played a massive factor in us losing yesterday’s game, as we couldn’t get our usual passing game going. The performances of Jneil Bennett and Max Robson were however, extremely encouraging on the day. Our under 18’s next game is a massive FA youth cup third round tie against Liverpool on Monday the 2nd of December.

Player reviews: 

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: The Spurs goalkeeper made a couple of decent saves and he was unlucky not to save Joe White’s opening goal of the game, after he managed to get a hand on the ball.
  • Dermi Lusala: The right back defended his side of the pitch well for the most part of yesterday’s encounter. Lusala also set up Max Robson’s first half goal. 
  • Marqes Muir: The RCB showed good strength on the ball and he made an excellent late block to prevent a certain goal for Newcastle’s Dylan Stephenson.
  • Aaron Skinner: Like Muir, the LCB showed good strength on the ball and I thought that he did well under the extremely difficult conditions.
  • Dennis Cirkin: This was a good performance from the left back who managed to combine his defensive duties with his attacking duties well. Cirkin went on some good jinking forward runs down the left flank
  • Kallum Cesay: The CDM sat in front of and protected the back four relatively well.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The central midfielder showed good skill on the ball and close ball control, and he worked hard off the ball. However, physical Newcastle midfielders Lucas de Bolle and Joe White did make it difficult for Pedder to make his usual impact on the game.
  • Romaine Mundle: The right winger was positive down the flank and he should have been awarded a penalty kick early on in the game.
  • Max Robson: This was a very good performance from Robson as a CAM. The 16 year olds movement was very good and he was excellent on the ball, using the ball resourcefully. Robson covered vast amounts of the pitch and he managed to take his first half goal well.
  • Jneil Bennett: My man of the match, see below. 
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The Spurs forward led the line well and his movement and well timed runs in behind the Newcastle defence made him difficult to defend against. Whittaker also set up Jneil Bennett’s first half goal.
  • Yago Santiago: The Spanish midfielder had some good touches of the ball, and he was tricky first on the right wing and later in central midfield.
  • Jeremy Kyezu: The second half substitute operated out on both the right wing and the left wing, on what was his competitive debut for our under 18’s.
  • Eddie Carrington: The skilful winger was direct and positive during his short time on the pitch. 

My man of the match: Left winger Jneil Bennett had an excellent game for Spurs out on the left flank. The highly skilful winger was a constant thorn in Newcastle’s side with his direct forward runs. Every time that Bennett got on the ball he was looking to beat Newcastle United’s right back Joe Oliver, or look to cut inside onto his right foot and test the goalkeeper. The 17 year old was unpredictable and I liked that. He also worked really hard for the team, was vocal and he took his first half goal well. He should be proud of his performance.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala, Lusala, Cirkin, Cesay, Muir, Skinner, Mundle (Santiago 60), Pedder (Kyezu 79), Whittaker, Robson Carrington 85), Bennett. Substitute (not used): Kurylowicz.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:


Tarrelle Whittaker – 6

Chay Cooper – 3

Enock Asante – 3

Kion Etete –  3

Max Robson – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Harvey White – 1


Chay Cooper – 4

Max Robson – 3

Tarrelle Whittaker – 3

Dermi Lusala –  3

Kion Etete – 2

Romaine Mundle – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Eddie Carrington – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Enock Asante – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Yago Santiago – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Harvey White – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 2

Joshua Oluwayemi – 1

Spurs under 23’s 3-1 Everton: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 3-1 Everton: (match report)


Our under 23’s returned to PL2 action on Friday night when they took on mid table Everton at the Pure stadium in Southport. Wayne Burnett’s side put in one of their best performances of the season thus far as they dismantled the reigning champions of the PL2 division one, by comprehensively beating them 3-1, in a game that Spurs completely dominated for large periods. After opening the scoring in the fourth minute of the game through Dilan Markanday Spurs began to knock the ball around the park well. The energetic Armando Shashoua made it 2-0 to Spurs on 42 minutes, before the 18 year old netted his second goal of the game nine minutes into the second half to give Spurs a three goal cushion. Late pressure from the home side saw them pull a goal back through Dennis Adeniran however, Spurs defended strongly for the remaining minutes of the game to secure the victory. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Josh Oluwayemi started in goal for the Lilywhites. A back four consisting of captain TJ Eyoma, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Luis Binks and Tariq Hinds sat in front of him. Harvey White and Tashan Oakley-Boothe partnered up in central midfield while Dilan Markanday and Shilow Tracey operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Armando Shashoua. Rodel Richards led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway on a cold and wet night in Southport. After a bad early pass from Tottenham goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi, Everton’s Harry Charsley latched onto the ball. The Irishman darted forward down the left flank before crossing the ball into centre forward Ellis Simms inside the Spurs penalty area. Simms controlled the ball before volleying it over Oluwayemi’s crossbar, but he ought to have done better from that range. A couple of minutes later Spurs took the lead. After Malachi Walcott sprayed a lovely pass out to Shilow Tracey on the left flank the speedy wide man sprinted past Alex Denny down the left side of the Everton box, before attempting to square the ball for Tashan Oakley-Boothe. Everton goalkeeper Harry Tyrer palmed the ball out and after a bit of a scramble Dilan Markanday was there to clinically slot the ball into the back of the goal, 1-0.

Everton tried to respond immediately from the restart. The pacy Dennis Adeniran whipped in a cross which just deceived Ellis Simms inside the Spurs box before TJ Eyoma cleared away Antony Evans’ corner kick. Adeniran then whipped a dangerous low ball across the face of Oluwayemi’s goal. After Shashoua had passed the ball to Oakley-Boothe the Spurs midfielder gave it to Rodel Richards on the edge of the Everton box. The Spurs strikers attempted forward pass went into the box and he managed to get back on the end of it before shooting wide of Harry Tyrer’s goal. After receiving Tariq Hinds’ pass on the edge of the Everton box Dilan Markanday had a shot blocked by Matthew Foulds. After coming in from the left flank Shilow Tracey had an effort on goal blocked by Ryan Astley with the ball almost falling kindly for Rodel Richards inside the penalty area. After Malachi Fagan-Walcott conceded a free kick out on the left flank, Antony Evans had a whipped effort saved by Spurs goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi. A couple of minutes later Dilan Markanday headed wide a cross from Tariq Hinds before colliding with Matthew Foulds, there was a brief pause in play. A good Spurs move saw Tracey pass the ball to Shashoua, he in turn gave it to Oakley-Boothe who passed it to Markanday. Markanday passed the ball back to Oakley-Boothe on the edge of the Everton box however, he dragged his shot wide of the goal. Shortly afterwards Oakley-Boothe had a deflected cross volleyed straight at Ryan Astley, by Dilan Markanday. Spurs doubled their lead in the 42nd minute of the game through Armando Shashoua. After Eyoma passed the ball to Oakley-Boothe out on the right flank the central midfielder found the run of Armando Shashoua in the centre of the Everton box, and the creative midfielder calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-0.

Antony Evans responded for the ‘ Toffees ‘ by curling a deflected effort wide of goal from distance, before Tariq Hinds headed clear the same players corner kick. Malachi Fagan-Walcott blocked Ellis Simms’ shot from inside the Spurs box before Josh Oluwayemi punched clear a corner kick from Everton captain Antony Evans. The referee Andrew Miller sounded his whistle for half time a couple of moments later. Everton got the game back underway. After being given the ball by Tashan Oakley-Boothe on the edge of the Everton box, Armando Shashoua had a low shot saved by Harry Tyrer. A couple of moments later Tariq Hinds managed to find Shilow Tracey inside the Everton box however, his resulting shot was blocked by Tyler Onyango before Spurs netted their third goal of the game. After receiving Tariq Hinds’ pass inside the Everton box the Spurs striker unleashed a powerful effort on goal. Goalkeeper Harry Tyrer could only parry it into the path of the alert Armando Shashoua who calmly side footed the ball home, 3-0. Shortly after the restart Rodel Richards was shown a yellow card for making a late challenge on Antony Evans, a bit of a confrontation between both sets of players followed. Oluwayemi then saved Antony Evans’ chipped effort on goal, before Harry Charsley slipped the ball into the feet of Ellis Simms down the right side of the Spurs box however, his powerful low effort was smartly tipped around the post by the attentive Oluwayemi. After going in late on Ellis Simms, Harvey White was shown a yellow card. Shortly afterwards a cross from Shilow Tracey found Dilan Markanday inside the Everton penalty area but his resulting shot was blocked by Ryan Astley. After skinning Alex Denney down the left flank Shilow Tracey had a low shot saved by Harry Tyrer with Rodel Richards unable to get to the ball on the follow up. Josh Oluwayemi saved Harry Charsley’s effort from long range before a good Spurs move came close to ending in a goal.

After Shashoua passed the ball to Tracey the Tottenham winger passed it to Hinds who in turn gave the ball to Oakley-Boothe, whose powerful effort on goal was blocked by the head of Ryan Astley. Manasse Mampala then curled an effort over Oluwayemi’s crossbar from long range before Oakley-Boothe passed the ball to Shashoua inside the Everton penalty area however, his shot was blocked by Ryan Astley. Dilan Markanday then had a shot blocked by the same player before Spurs made a double substitution in the 80th minute of the game. Maurizio Pochettino and Phoenix Patterson came onto replace Rodel Richards and Dilan Markanday, as Shilow Tracey went up top to lead the line. Luis Binks blocked Antony Evans’ shot on goal before the ‘ Toffees ‘ pulled a goal back through Dennis Adeniran. After bursting forward from deep the former Fulham man fired an unstoppable effort past Oluwayemi and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 3-1. Malachi Fagan-Walcott cleared Nathangelo Markelo’s cross before the Dutchman tested Oluwayemi from range. Markelo’s powerful strike was tipped over the crossbar by the Spurs goalkeeper. Luis Binks cleared Antony Evans’ resulting corner kick before Manasse Mampala headed over Alex Denny’s searching long pass. Con Ouzounidis’ cross was headed into the arms of Josh Oluwayemi by Antony Evans before Ellis Simms rounded Malachi Fagan-Walcott on the edge of the Spurs box before entering the penalty area. However, the brave Luis Binks slid in and managed to get some of the ball which ran through to Manasse Mampala who fired the ball into the side netting. Con Ouzounidis’ cross was met by Ellis Simms inside the Spurs box and the Everton strikers bullet header was saved excellently by Oluwayemi, before Simms fired over on the half volley. Simms then headed over Antony Evans’ corner kick before the referee brought an excellent Spurs team performance to an end by sounding the full time whistle.

Player reviews:

  • Josh Oluwayemi: This was a fine performance from the 18 year old shot stopper, on what was his competitive debut at this level. Oluwayemi made six saves in total including a couple of crucial ones late on in the game. The first year pro dealt well with crosses and set pieces and overall he had a very good game.
  • TJ Eyoma: The Islington born defender did a sterling job for Spurs on a cold night in Southport. Eyoma operated at right back and the Spurs captain was faultless in that position making many well timed interceptions. The 19 year olds positioning and ball control was very good indeed.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: The RCB defended solidly throughout our encounter with Everton. Fagan-Walcott was good in the air, kept good positioning and he cut out some dangerous attacks. The 17 year old linked up really well with fellow centre half Luis Binks.
  • Luis Binks: The cultured central defender had a wonderful game at LCB for the young Lilywhites. The Gillingham born Binks was skilful, attentive and decisive in his defending against the ‘ Toffees ‘ and once again he was dominant in the air, winning the vast majority of his aerial duels. Binks made an excellent potentially match saving sliding challenge on Ellis Simms late on in the game. It really was a top call from the second year scholar.
  • Tariq Hinds: Once again the 19 year old filled in at left back for Spurs and once again he did a fine job. Hinds managed to combine his attacking duties with his defensive duties well and he was pretty much faultless.
  • Harvey White: The central midfielder sat in front of and protected the back four well throughout Fridays game. White’s passing was immaculate and he read the game ever so well. He quietly did a very good job for Wayne Burnett’s side.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The central midfielders movement was good on the night and he pressed the opposition players tirelessly. Furthermore, Oakley-Boothe linked play well and he got himself into some good positions.
  • Dilan Markanday: Another player who had a very good game, Markanday performed really well out on the right wing. The 18 year old threatened Everton fullbacks Kyle John and Con Ouzounidis well throughout his time on the pitch, and he went on some lovely jinking runs down the right flank. Markanday opened the scoring for Spurs on four minutes with an accurate finish and he tested the Everton defence on several more occasions during his 80 minutes on the pitch. He also tracked back really well.
  • Armando Shashoua: My man of the match, see below.
  • Shilow Tracey: The left winger was a constant thorn in Everton’s side with his speedy runs down the flank. Tracey did well to set up Dilan Markanday for our opener and he gave Everton right back Alex Denney a torrid time for most of the game as Denney could not deal with Tracey’s pace.
  • Rodel Richards: The Spurs striker led the line really well and he pressed the Everton defenders into making mistakes. Richards’ movement was good and he was unlucky not to get on the score sheet himself.
  • Phoenix Patterson: N/A.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: N/A.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: N/A.

My man of the match: This was yet another excellent performance from CAM Armando Shashoua for our development side. The 19 year olds electric movement, non stop pressing and running, as well as his fine balance and skill made him too difficult and too tricky for the ‘ Toffees ‘ to contain. Shashoua took both of his goals well on the night however, it was his excellent movement and intelligent decision making which impressed me most of all, everything from his passing to his ball control was top draw. I was watching last nights game with former Spurs youth team player Martin O’Donnell and he was mightily impressed with the talented Shashoua’s performance.

Everton: Tyrer, Denny, John (Ouzounidis 24), Onyango (Mampala 46), Astley, Foulds, Adeniran, Evans (c), Simms, Markelo, Charsley. Substitutes (not used): Hansen, Anderson.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Eyoma (c), Hinds (Lyons-Foster 88), White, Fagan-Walcott, Binks, Markanday (Patterson 80), Oakley-Boothe, Richards (Pochettino 79), Shashoua, Tracey. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Okedina.

Goals: Everton – Adeniran 83; Spurs – Markanday 4, Shashoua 42, 54.

Yellow cards: Everton – Charsley 57, Adeniran 66; Spurs – Richards 57, White 61.

Referee: Andrew Miller.

Venue: The Pure Stadium, Southport.

Spurs under 23’s statistics:

Goals: Armando Shashoua – 5

Harvey White – 3

Rodel Richards – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 2

Dilan Markanday – 2

Shilow Tracey – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Assists: Shilow Tracey – 6

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 3

Armando Shashoua – 2

Jamie Bowden – 1

Tariq Hinds – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Dilan Markanday – 1

TJ Eyoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Rodel Richards – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 1


Spurs under 18’s versus Newcastle United: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Newcastle United: (match preview) 


Our under 18’s face Newcastle United on Saturday morning in a crucial premier league cup group game. All four teams in our group are tied on three points going into the final round of group matches, and that means that all four teams could qualify for the quarter finals by winning the group (there is also the possibility of finishing in second place and qualifying as one of two best placed runners up). Saturday’s game which takes place at the Newcastle United academy training centre, is a must win for Spurs. The opposition haven’t started the season well domestically. The ‘ Magpies ‘ sit in 11th place in the premier league south after picking up only eight points from their opening nine league matches. Newcastle who are managed by Neil Winskill are, I must admit a team that I know little about as we rarely play northern teams at this level. However, from the research that I’ve done on this Newcastle team it appears that their main danger man is forward Elliot Anderson. Other players to look out for include Dylan Stephenson and Josh Gilchrist. This will likely be a tough game for Spurs, and it will be Interesting to see what style of play is on show (I’m guessing fairly direct) from the home side. I shall be in Newcastle reporting on this game and I would like to wish the lads the lads all the very best of luck.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Lusala, Muir, Skinner, Cirkin, Santiago, Robson, Mundle, Pedder, Cooper, Whittaker.

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Cesay, Matthew Craig, Mathurin.

Injured/unavailable: Michael Craig, Nile John.

Doubtful: Jeremy Kyezu, Matthew Craig, Enock Asante, Kion Etete, Dane Scarlett. 

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-0.

My one to watch: Newcastle forward Elliot Anderson who has found the back of the net in four of his six league appearances so far this season. 

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

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


(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Our under 23’s resume PL2 action after the recent international break when they take on Everton in Southport, at the Pure stadium on Friday night. Wayne Burnett’s sides last game was a very physical one against Gillingham in the Leasing.com trophy in which they put in a decent performance in. Spurs sit two points behind Friday’s opponents Everton in ninth place in division one, and in fact both sides haven’t started the season in the way that they would have wanted to. The ‘ Toffees ‘ who are managed by David Unsworth have struggled for form of late, and they haven’t won any of their last six fixtures in all competitions. Everton have however, picked up eight points from their four home league games so far this season. A team who we have a historically bad record against at this level, some of Everton’s talents to look out for on Friday night include tenacious midfielder Beni Baningime, defender Lewis Gibson and centre forward Ellis Simms who has netted three goals from six appearances in the PL2 so far this season. Everton are a physical team who like to play good, attacking football, and Friday nights game will be a difficult one for Wayne Burnett’s side. However, they will be encouraged by the fact that centre forward Rodel Richards has now returned from injury. I will be travelling up to Southport on Friday afternoon to report on this game before I then head to Newcastle for our under 18’s premier league cup game the next morning. I would like to wish our lads all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie, Hinds, Eyoma, Binks, Lyons-Foster, Oakley-Boothe, Bowden (c), Tracey, Shashoua, Bennett, Richards. 

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Okedina, Dinzeyi, Maghoma, Patterson.

Injured/unavailable: Jeremie Mukendi.

Doubtful: Kion Etete.

Previous meeting: 2-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Everton’s prolific 18 year year old centre forward Ellis Simms who has netted three goals from six PL2 appearances this season.

Remembering former Spurs man Noel Brotherston:

Remembering former Spurs man Noel Brotherston:


Noel Brotherston was a highly skilful winger who had a great knack of being able to read challenges and turn at pace. Brotherston would go onto enjoy a successful career with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers, as well as for his country Northern Ireland on the international stage. However, in this article I will be focusing mainly on Brotherston’s time at our beloved Spurs, as well as touching on his career as a whole. This is a commemorative piece intended to remember a much loved footballer who in other years could quite easily have gone onto become a household name at the world famous Tottenham Hotspur. Noel Brotherston was born on the 18th of November 1956 in Dundonald, (just east of Belfast) Northern Ireland, the son of James and Eleanor. The young Noel Brotherston grew up in Dundonald’s Ballybeen estate where he played for Glentoran’s youth team during the Northern Ireland troubles. The Ballybeen estate was a close knit community where everybody knew one another. Brotherston was one of four children (Noel had three sisters Gael, Janet and Nicola) and his father worked in the Belfast shipyards. As a child Brotherston was inspired by the legendary George Best who Noel had a big poster of up in his room, with all of Best’s scars and many injuries on show. Ironically Noel was scouted by the same guy (Bob Bishop) who had discovered George Best, Bishop had actually been at this particular game to scout another boy when he came across the talented Noel. He quickly recommended the tricky winger to a number of clubs. Described by his wife Lynne as a calm and quietly spoken man, Noel Brotherston was actually a Leeds United fan as a boy however, it was Bill Nicholson’s Spurs who impressed Noel’s father the most, so much in fact that the 15 year old Noel decided to sign for the north London club in the early 1970’s as a 15 year old. Initially Noel found life in north London very difficult and life in his home town of Dundonald must have felt a million miles away for the young Noel, and that’s why Spurs put him in digs with young players from Wales, Scotland and of course Ireland at mrs Crossley’s house in Haringey. However, life changed for Noel when he met his future wife Lynne a local girl from Tottenham, one New Year’s Eve at the local British Queen public house.

Noel would frequently bump into Lynne in the area near White Hart Lane as Lynne’s parents ran a fish and chip shop on the high road, and after paying Lynne’s fare one day on the bus, the pair would get on like a house on fire. This really helped Brotherston to settle into life in the English capital. During my interview with Lynne she described Noel’s Spurs career as “ living the dream. ” (Noel was the great Alan Gilzean’s boot boy) Brotherston had managed to work his way up the ranks at Spurs and he went onto become an important member of the Spurs side which won the 1974 FA youth cup under the tutelage of the much respected Pat Welton. The pacy Brotherston would also go onto become a regular in the Spurs reserves. Brotherston was performing well for Spurs at reserve team level when he was called up to play for the first team for their league game against Aston Villa on March 13 1976 at White Hart Lane to replace the injured Jimmy Neighbour (his one and only competitive appearance for the Lilywhites). However, Noel was replaced by Martin Robinson in the second half and the Northern Irishman felt that he hadn’t performed his best on the day, despite giving 100%. Life for Noel at Spurs after that game wasn’t easy as he wasn’t favoured by the then Spurs manager and fellow countryman Terry Neill. Brotherston had been regularly training with the first team before Neill had arrived and before winger Peter Taylor had signed for Spurs. At the end of the 1976/77 season and after four memorable years at Spurs, Neill decided to give Brotherston a free transfer. The likes of Charlton and Leyton Orient all came after Noel but after a phone call from Jimmy Smith from Blackburn Rovers, and after much deliberation between him and Lynne, Noel decided to sign for the then second division club. Brotherston would go onto spend 11 memorable years with Blackburn who, he struck up a great relationship with the clubs fans. Known for his long jinking runs down the wings, Noel really showcased just how skilful a player he was. With great balance and good vision on the ball, Brotherston was a tricky winger who felt that the artistry of the game wasn’t expressible in British football. In that way it’s a pity that a move to French side Saint Etienne broke down when Noel was at Blackburn (the French club had come to watch Noel play).

During his time at Blackburn Noel endeared himself to the Blackburn faithful, and it was his positivity and ability to do the unexpected with the ball which had the Blackburn fans on the edge of their seats. Doing my research on Noel I discovered just how loved and admired he was by fans of the ‘ Rovers ‘. He was a hero to many at the time with his charismatic hairstyle and superb footballing ability. Brotherston also had a good eye for goal and during his first season with Blackburn he finished it as top scorer. Brotherston became a,regular under a number of different managers at the Lancashire club before he departed Ewood Park for Bury who he spent two seasons with. Brotherston then moved to Swedish side Motala AIF after a chance encounter with a Swedish scout in Blackburn. He would go onto spend two enjoyable years with the Swedish semi professional club. Brotherston would return to England where he ended his career with non league side Chorley Town. However, it was Noel Brotherston’s time at Blackburn Rovers which was the pinnacle of his club career. Brotherston received high praise from fans and journalists alike during his time there, and during one interview with full back Kenny Samson in Shoot magazine the former Arsenal man described the former Blackburn man as the most skilful player that he ever had to defend against. However, leaving Brotherston’s club career to one side, it was in fact his international career with Northern Ireland which was the pinnacle of Noel’s footballing career as a whole. Brotherston was capped from schoolboy level right up until senior level with his country who he was so proud to represent. Lynne describes Noel’s time with Northern Ireland as being wonderful all the way through. In total Noel won 27 caps for his country between 1980 to 1985. Brotherston helped Northern Ireland to qualify for the 1982 World Cup which he played in however, his biggest contribution was scoring the goal against Wales in 1980 which secured Northern Ireland the British championships trophy. 

Another highlight for Noel was his footballing hero George Best singing his praises on television during the 1982 World Cup as well as playing in the final qualifying match against Israel at Windsor Park (having played in all the qualifying matches to get to the World Cup). Going back to Noel’s time at Spurs, Lynne said that it was a club that he had such fond memories of with it being his first club. The club of Martin Chivers, Alan Gilzean, Pat Jennings and Ralph Coates always had a special place in Noel’s heart until the day that he died, and that is so wonderful to know. Following his retirement from the game Noel went into the painting and decorating business, he also worked for Blackburn Rovers in their legends lounge on match days. Brotherston later played regularly for the Blackburn Rovers veteran team (the modern day legends team, right up until his untimely passing). The skilful winger who had gone onto become a cult hero with Blackburn Rovers and Northern Ireland, tragically passed away aged just 38, after suffering a heart attack on the fifth of May 1995, the season that Blackburn won the Premier League for the first and only time in their history. The much loved family man who loved his boys Lee and Ryan who would have been so proud to see them grown up and carrying on the Brotherston name with two beautiful granddaughters, Evie and Clara, had a funeral fitting of the great man he was. His service in Blackburn was packed with people who loved and admired him so well. Many of his former Spurs teammates attended the funeral including his close friends from the Tottenham youth team Neil McNab, Ian Cranstone and Wayne Cegielski. The gentleman who everybody that met liked was, in many ways a hero to Blackburn Rovers and his country Northern Ireland, and that speaks volumes in itself. I think all at Spurs ought to be very proud of what Noel went onto achieve in the game, and what a lovely man he went onto become. A huge thank you must go to Noel’s wife Lynne who so kindly invited me into her house to do an interview. Without Lynne’s cooperation I would not have been able to write this article.

Some notes on Spurs youngster Troy Parrott’s performance against New Zealand:

Some notes on Spurs youngster Troy Parrott’s performance against New Zealand:


It was a memorable night for 17 year old Dubliner Troy Parrott on Thursday as the second year scholar made his debut for the Republic of Ireland’s senior team, in their international friendly against New Zealand at the Aviva stadium in Dublin. Parrott completed 62 minutes of last nights match and he chipped in with an assist to cap off a fine debut performance. The tigerish centre forward put in a good shift up top for Mick McCarthy’s side and he also came close to netting a debut goal. Starting up top in a 4-3-3 formation, Parrott pressed well during the opening stages of the game. After the skilful Jack Byrne (a player who Parrott would link up well with on the night) sent a nice lofted pass over the New Zealand defence, Parrott was set racing through on goal down the left side of the oppositions box. However, the flag on the far side went up (it was a very tight one!) just as he flicked the ball over the New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic. After a dominant spell of possession for the Irish, Parrott managed to upset New Zealand defender Winston Reid after he had caught the West Ham man from behind. Around six minutes later Parrott made a run down the right flank to try and latch onto Robbie Brady’s lofted pass. However, Marinovic had come rushing off of his line to clear the ball before Parrott could get to it. A good move from Ireland saw Jack Byrne pass the ball to Robbie Brady who passed the ball to Parrott who had his back to goal inside the New Zealand penalty area, he appeared to be shoved to the ground by physical central defender Michael Boxall, but no penalty kick was given. After receiving Alan Browne’s pass Parrott tried to the pull the ball back to Jack Byrne inside the New Zealand box however, his pass was cut out by the alert Michael Boxall. New Zealand then took a slightly surprising lead on 30 minutes through Callum Mccowatt. Ireland tried to respond. After getting on the end of the ball inside the New Zealand box after a bit of a scramble, Parrott turned and shot but once again Boxall was in the way to block it. A couple of minutes later Parrott managed to get on the end of a Robbie Brady free kick however, his acrobatic volleyed effort was blocked and cleared away by Michael Boxall.

After holding the ball up well on the left flank Parrott passed the ball to Derrick Williams who rifled a shot wide from long range. Williams would eventually draw Ireland level before half time. The tigerish Troy Parrott started the second half with the same high intensity and it didn’t take him long before he made an impact on the game. After winning the ball off of Joe Bell on the edge of the New Zealand box Parrott laid the ball off to Sean Maguire who struck it first time, curling a glorious effort into the top right hand corner of the goal to make it 2-1 to Ireland. Shortly afterwards Parrott won a free kick after some good work on the edge of the New Zealand penalty area. Parrott came very close to getting on the scoresheet himself after almost finishing off a lovely Ireland attacking move. After receiving Jack Byrne’s pass Sean Maguire slipped the ball into Troy Parrott down the left hand side of the New Zealand box. Parrott kept his composure in front of goal but his eventual low finish which was intended to go through the legs of Marinovic, was saved by the goalkeeper who had come out to close the teenagers angles down. Parrott was replaced by Callum Robinson in the 63rd minute of the game. This was a very positive performance from Spurs’ bullish centre forward. Parrott imposed himself well on the game, his movement was good and he made many intelligent runs. I see know reason why Troy can’t be included on the bench for the Republic of Ireland’s crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark on Monday.

The continued progress of young Spurs striker Troy Parrott:

The continued progress of young Spurs striker Troy Parrott:


Back in March 2018 a schoolboy called Troy Daniel Parrott, started ahead of Spurs’ inform striker Reo Griffiths in an important under 18 premier league cup final against Chelsea, at their Cobham training centre. Parrott had only played one competitive game previously for Spurs’ under 18’s, that came against Swansea City just a little over a week earlier. On that ice cold day in Surrey, Parrott worked tremendously hard for the team, he also linked play well however, he could not match the strength of the two physical Chelsea centre backs Marc Guehi and Marcel Lavinier, and hence he struggled to make much of an offensive impact on the game. Fast forward two seasons and Parrott has grown an awful amount physically speaking. As bullish and determined as he has ever been, the now second year scholar who has always been regarded as a hot prospect, has in my opinion developed a lot as a footballer over the last six to eight months alone. Don’t get me wrong he has always been an exceptional talent whose work rate and hunger to score has been so refreshing to see. However, since he returned from a toe injury towards the tail end of last season the teenager from Buckingham street in Dublin’s north inner city, has looked considerably sharper, stronger and more potent in matches. Parrott has also been in red hot form of late and so far this season for club and country the centre forward has netted ten goals in eight matches, going into tonight’s international friendly with New Zealand where the young Parrott will make his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland. In doing so Parrott becomes the first Spurs academy player to win a senior cap for his country since Christian Maghoma did in 2017 (for the Democratic Republic of Congo). I have already gone into great depth about the Irishman’s style of play, traits and qualities in a long piece that I wrote last season. However, there is just so much to admire and write about the young Troy Parrott. From the impeccable timing of his runs to his razor sharp movement in and around the danger zone, Parrott has in many ways all the attributes to become a Harry Kane-esque complete centre forward. The 17 year old is good in the air, quick on his feet (he can dribble well), and he is quick and has a good first touch.

The former Belvedere schoolboy is not just a clinical centre forward who is prolific in front of goal and scores a wide range of goals, he is also a centre forward who offers much, much more. The Dubliner has a tremendous work rate (one of the best I’ve ever seen at youth level) and he can often be seen dropping 50 yards down the pitch to help out the defence. Furthermore, he has that ability to link play (he is a fine passer of the ball) and bring others into the game, much like Harry Kane does. Parrott is also vocal on the pitch and he is an effective communicator who isn’t afraid to tell his teammates what to do in certain situations. I have been watching Troy play for Spurs since soon after he joined the club as a schoolboy in the 2016/17 season and there are many matches that he has played both for club and country which I look back on with great fondness. One such game was against Liverpool under 23’s at the very start of the 2018/19 season, when Parrott was a second year scholar. The then 16 year old led the line at Anfield with the maturity and nous of a veteran. Spurs were reduced to ten men early on in the game after Japhet Tanganga was sent off for handling the ball inside his own penalty area. However, Parrott rose to the occasion on his competitive debut for the young Lilywhites development side. He got stuck in, covered vast amounts of the pitch, and he dropped deep to help his team defend. Apart from all of this Parrott also somehow managed to set up Marcus Edwards to score our equaliser with a glorious long pass. Another game in which Parrott shone in was against Swansea City’s under 23’s at the tail end of last season. In a crucial PL2 encounter in which Spurs needed to win to avoid relegation, Parrott once again rose to the occasion. Capping a superbly well rounded display by scoring two sublime goals. The final game in which I’d like to focus on was actually the last game that he played in. On a mild afternoon at Hotspur Way Spurs took on Serbian side Crvenza zvezda. In what was an excellent team performance from the Spurs lads, Parrott put in an outstanding individual performance. Scoring four different types of goals, the centre forward showed a remarkable desire to score goals and lead the Tottenham line.

In that game against Crvena zvezda a defining moment occurred with the scores at 2-0 to Spurs. After chasing Jonathan De Bie’s long kick up field all the way into the oppositions penalty area, most strikers would have stopped running when the goalkeeper Andrija Katic partially gathered the ball however, Troy is not one of those players. Parrott continued to run at full pelt before throwing himself at the ball, managing to knock it away from Katic. I was stood close to where the eventual goal was scored and it was quite incredible to see Parrott fall to the floor, adjust his legs and body, and somehow manage to tuck the ball home while he was still stretched out on the floor. It was a goal that would win us the game. Parrott would go onto score two more goals in that game and what really struck me was that he was never satisfied with just the four goals. He was always striving for more, and making good runs in behind the Crvena zvezda defence. After winging a late free kick on the edge of the oppositions penalty area, Parrott had a brief albeit fairly friendly quarrel with set piece specialist Harvey White as to who would take it, in the end Parrott let White take it. However, that was just one refreshing example of Troy’s hunger and determination to score goals. Parrott’s record at youth level for club and country is very impressive. For Spurs Parrott has scored 16 goals in 15 appearances for our under 18’s, while in the UEFA Youth League for our under 19’s he has scored eight goals in eight appearances. Then for our development side he has scored four goals in 14 appearances. Parrott has also been somewhat of a creative force for Spurs and he has laid off a number of goals for his teammates over the last season and a half. The 2018 Borgaro Maggioni Righi player of the tournament winner has trained exclusively with Spurs’ first team this season after enjoying an impressive pre-season. Parrott also made his competitive debut for Spurs’ first team in a challenging Carabao cup game against Colchester United back in September, while more recently making the bench in a premier league game against Everton. It’s fair to say that Parrott is on the cusp of Spurs’ first team as they continue to struggle for results this season. However, it is with the Republic of Ireland who he has made even greater progress with. Ireland boss Mick McCarthy already confirmed that Parrott will start tonight’s international friendly with New Zealand at the Aviva stadium in Dublin.

McCarthy said in yesterday’s press conference that he had been impressed with the young Spurs man in training and there was one time in training when Parrot turned sharply and shot at goal, which particularly impressed the experienced Ireland manager. That is something that the young Parrott is somewhat of an expert at. On what will be such a special night for young Parrott, I and so many other Spurs and Ireland fans will be proudly watching on. Troy’s huge potential is a breath of fresh for Irish football in general and although it is still such early days in his career, I hope and believe that he surpasses what former Spurs man Robbie Keane has achieved in the game. Tonight’s game is only just the very beginning for Parrott. Spurs have a long and rich history of helping to improve Irish talents. The names Robbie Keane, Stephen Carr, Pat Jennings and the late Noel Brotherston are just some of those who have improved as footballers after donning on the famous Lilywhite shirt of Tottenham Hotspur. Troy will surely be looking to some of those players as inspiration as he continues to develop as a footballer.