Spurs’ Under 23 side play their first pre-season friendly on the 17th of July against non-League side Ramsgate F.C. This is followed by friendlies against Enfield Town, Hastings United, Crawley Town and finally Barnet on the seventh of August. The new Premier League 2 season for the category one Academy sides should start in August, usually around the weekend that the Premier League season starts, but that is yet to be confirmed. Last season Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side had a very good season in the PL2 Division One, finishing third (their best ever finish at Under 23 level) in the league. Recording some memorable results over the course of the season, the quality of their performances (of the games that I did see) was really impressive. This season Spurs’ Under 23 side will play two new teams in Leeds United and Crystal Palace, who won promotion from the Second Division last season. Leeds United are one of my teams to watch this season, as the team who won their league comfortably last season and who play a number of first team players, are incredibly difficult to play against. With their pressing football proving too much for many teams in last seasons Premier League 2. Other teams to watch out for this season are the current champions Manchester City, who were unplayable at times last season, and they were by the far the best team that Spurs came up against in their division. Chelsea were also impressive last season and they did the double over us in 2020/21, as did Derby County, who are always a difficult team to face at Academy level.
Along with competing in the Premier League 2 this season, Spurs’ Under 23 side will also compete in this seasons Papa John’s Trophy, against League One and Two sides. In our group this season are Cambridge United, Oxford United and Stevenage Borough. Any further domestic competitions that Spurs will be competing in, if at all, have not been announced yet. 31 players (not including Oliver Skipp. And not including players who could be with the first team squad) are so far part of the Under 23 squad as such, and that does not include players from the Under 18 side, who could be already training with the Under 23’s. That is a lot of players, but I would imagine that a fair few will go out on loan before the season starts. Players such as TJ Eyoma, Tobi Omole, Harvey White, Troy Parrott and possibly others like Jamie Bowden, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Kion Etete are players that I personally think might go out on loan this season. Depending on how many players do go out on loan I would personally imagine that second year scholars Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine will get a lot of game time for the Under 23’s this season, even more than they did during the season just gone. Perhaps even first year scholar Jamie Donley might get the odd game for the Under 23 side, as he already made a good number of appearances for the Under 18’s last season. Another player that I reckon could potentially step up to play for the Under 23’s this season and possibly even in pre-season, is creative and skilful winger and second year scholar Roshaun Mathurin (17).
From the Under 23 side itself, a player such as Rafferty Pedder (19), is somebody who could really have a breakthrough season with the Under 23’s in my opinion, and make a lot of appearances. Capable of playing in central-midfield, as a CAM or out wide, the Maidstone born player made two starts last season for the Under 23 side, and he is someone who can really dictate the tempo of matches from the middle of the pitch. He also loves to get on the ball and drive forward with it at pace. Skilful and goalscoring midfielder Max Robson missed a fair few matches for the Under 18 side last season but he did make his Under 23 debut in 2020/21. And he is somebody who I definitely feel could flourish this season. As could forward thinking right-back Dermi Lusala and versatile player Kallum Cesay,(both first year pros). There are also many other players who I’m looking forward to seeing this season for the Under 23’s. I’ve got a good feeling about this season and while results are not everything at this level, I do believe that this very talented group of players could really challenge the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Leeds United for the league title. An interesting season awaits and while I’m unsure if I’ll be able to get to all of the competitive matches again next season to report on the matches, I do plan on reporting on all five of the Under 23’s pre-season matches. I already have my ticket for the Ramsgate game on the 17th of July, and I’m really looking forward to that game. I would like to wish the Spurs Under 23 side all the very best of luck for the 2021/22 season.
Spurs’ Under 23 squad for the 2021/22 season (as it stands):
Goalkeepers: Josh Oluwayemi, Kacper Kurylowicz, Thimothee Lo-Tutala, Isak Solberg.
Full-backs: Dennis Cirkin, Marcel Lavinier, Dermi Lusala, Jeremy Kyezu, Kallum Cesay.
Central-defenders: Tobi Omole, Jubril Okedina, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, TJ Eyoma, Maksim Paskotši, Marqes Muir.
Midfielders: Harvey White, Jamie Bowden, Rafferty Pedder, Elliot Thorpe, Nile John, Matthew Craig, Michael Craig, Max Robson, Yago Santiago.
Wingers: J’Neil Bennett, Dilan Markanday, Jeremie Mukendi, Romaine Mundle.
Forwards: Kion Etete, Troy Parrott.
Under 23 players currently out on loan: Brandon Austin (on loan at Orlando City SC).