Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Kodi Lyons-Foster:

(In the above photograph Kodi is pictured second on the extreme right, to the left of Joe Pritchard.)

Islington born defender Kodi Lyons-Foster is a real footballing centre-half, just like his younger brother Brooklyn who currently plays for Spurs’ under 23 side. Kodi Lyons-Foster joined Spurs relatively late on as a schoolboy, but he settled in well at the club that he has always supported. A very gifted player, Lyons-Foster is a modern day centre-half, always a player who was good on the ball the Londoner can pass well off both his left and right foot. A tall but quick defender who reads the game well and who is also good at bringing the ball out from the back, Kodi is also strong in the air, but the player who came to Spurs as a centre-half would move into midfield for a spell at the club, playing primarily as a number four. However, he came back to play at centre-half after a period of time playing as a defensive midfielder for Spurs at Academy level, and the composed defender would enjoy some very successful times at the club. Such as when he impressed for a Spurs youth side at the prestigious Milk Cup in Northern Ireland at two successive tournaments, in 2011 and 2012. Kodi also performed really well for Spurs’ youth team at a tournament in Solsona, Spain, and he also played at a number of other tournaments in Europe during his time at the club. He was also picked to represent England at youth level, and he played for their under 16 side at the Victory Shield one year, and he did well for his country. A player who would constantly step up to play for the year above his age group at Spurs, in his final year as a schoolboy at Spurs he would also train with the under 21 side regularly. However, unfortunately Kodi wasn’t offered scholarship terms by Spurs, and he left the club at the end of the 2012/13 season.

Lyons-Foster signed scholarship forms with Aston Villa in the summer of 2013 for the start of the 2013/14 Academy season, and the former Spurs player would go on to play many a game for Aston Villa at under 18 level. He also captained their under 18 side on a good number of occasions, but he only made three competitive appearances for their then under 21 side, making his competitive debut for them in a league game against Bolton Wanderers in the March of 2015. In that particular game Kodi played with current Aston Villa star Jack Grealish, while he also played against his future Aldershot Town central-defensive partner Alex Finney. Lyons-Foster suffered a bad injury towards the end of his time at Aston Villa which set him back quite a bit, but after leaving them in the summer of 2016 he joined Bristol City, a club whose under 23 side he would play for. Kodi spent a season at Bristol City, he also went on a short loan to Guernsey FC, as well as trialling for Irish Premier Division side Derry City during his time there. And after playing at centre-half for them in friendlies against UCD and Cabinteely FC respectively, the Irish side who were then managed by Kenny Shiels wanted to sign Kodi, but it wasn’t the right time for him to move countries, so in the end he declined. After leaving Bristol City at the end of his contract in the summer of 2017, Kodi decided to step into the non-League, when he signed for Aldershot Town that summer. Lyons-Foster was loaned out to then National League South side Whitehawk FC in the October of that year for a short period of time.

The Londoner did return to Aldershot but he was given a free transfer to sign for Whitehawk on a permanent basis in the January of 2018. A versatile defender who I watched as recently as last Saturday, when he played in central defence for Aldershot against Bromley, when I thought that he put in a solid defensive performance. Kodi can also fill in at right-back and as a defensive midfielder, and he is also good at organising the defence. The former Spurs Academy player unfortunately couldn’t prevent Whitehawk from being relegated to the Isthmian Premier Division that season, and he ended up leaving them in the August of 2018. He joined then National League side Braintree Town for the start of the 2018/19 season, and he did well as he got regular games in the top division of the non-League, but unfortunately he suffered relegation again, as Braintree Town were relegated to the National League South at the end of that season. However, Kodi rejoined Aldershot for the beginning of the 2019/20 season, and during that particular season the determined defender was a regular in the side, and he put in some strong defensive performances over the course of the season, which ended up coming to a halt in March of 2020. He remained with Aldershot for the current 2020/21 season and so far he is doing really well for Danny Searle’s side, and he is starting virtually every game alongside Alex Finney in the heart of defence, and the pair complement each other on the pitch. The player who was part of the same age group as Kyle Walker-Peters and Anthony Georgiou at Spurs, is getting stronger as a defender by each passing game.

Kodi seems to be popular at Aldershot with the fans, and the more games that he plays the player who is fast approaching 100 National League appearances will get closer and closer to playing in the EFL, something that I have no doubt that he will achieve, and from there even greater things will follow for him. A defender with great technical ability, at only 24 Kodi Lyons-Foster is still a player with a lot of potential I feel. To already have played almost 100 games in a really tough league like the National League is a tremendous achievement for Kodi at his age, and to have left Academy football without having played a competitive senior game, and make the brave step into the non-League is something which should be applauded, and Kodi should be very proud of what he has achieved so far in his footballing career. Aldershot currently occupy 15th place in the National League, but are only six points off the play-off places. I would like to wish Kodi all the very best of luck for the remainder of the 2020/21 season with Aldershot Town, and I look forward to continuing to follow his progress in the game.

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