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.