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.