Remembering former Spurs player Micky Dulin and his Spurs career:

Michael Charles Dulin was born in Stepney, in the east end of London in the October of 1935. However, he grew up in Hertfordshire, and would attend Hitchin Grammar school during his youth. Micky had represented England Grammar Schools at football, and the promising footballer and sportsman who had also played for a very successful Hitchin Grammar school side, was scouted by Arthur Rowe’s Spurs during the pre-season of 1952, and he would later join the club on amateur forms. A winger with a good low centre of gravity, very good pace, skill and also strength on the ball. Micky had impressed so much during his early days at Spurs, that he had signed professional forms with them as early on as November of 1952. He would progress up the youth ranks at Spurs during the early 1950s, and travelling to where Spurs trained from Hertfordshire, he would often join former Spurs A and reserve team player Derek Castle on the train journey to Spurs, during those early days. Micky would later play for Spurs at A and B team level, and also in the London Midweek League for Spurs, during his early days at the club.

Having football heroes such as Sir Thomas Finney and Sir Stanley Matthews, Micky was also in awe of the great players who were around at Spurs during the early 1950s, after he had just joined the club. Micky continued to progress well at Spurs, featuring even for the Spurs reserve side, before in the August of 1954, he featured in a friendly against French side Lille Olympique. This was to be the first of 25 Spurs first team appearances that the winger made for the club (11 of those appearances came in competitive competitions). Spurs were starting to build a special team during the late 1950s, not long after many of the players from the great success of the 1950/51 side had either left the club or retired. During his time as a player at the club, Micky Dulin would travel abroad to play for them during a tour of America and Canada, and he played with some of the finest players to ever play for Spurs. Players such as Danny Blanchflower and Eddie Baily, to name just a couple.

Very sadly an injury to Micky’s cruciate ligament in a First Division game against Birmingham City in late 1957, would end Micky’s footballing career and time at Spurs. It was a very sad end to his time at the club, and only four years later, when Micky would likely have been in his footballing prime, Spurs won the double. There would have been an excellent chance that Micky would have been part of that double winning success, at the club. Despite having to retire from playing the game professionally in the late 1950s, the former Spurs player would go onto achieve great things during his life, and in football. Micky became Wingate manager in 1967, starting a legendary association with the non-League club that is now known as Wingate & Finchley. He was named life vice-president of the club in 2000. However, Micky would also manage Barking and also Ilford.

Still playing in charity/veterans games for a number of years, after he had finished playing football for Spurs. Micky would work for the fire brigade, and also as a sports development officer at Waltham Forest. I had the great pleasure and privilege of meeting and interviewing Micky, in 2018, about his time at Spurs during the 1950s. It was without doubt one of the most memorable and interesting Spurs interviews that I have ever done. Micky sadly passed away in 2021. His legacy of all that he achieved in his life will live on. To have appeared for the Spurs first team during the 1950s as a youth team graduate, with all of the great players that were around at Spurs at that time, was a great achievement, and is a credit to just how talented a footballer Micky was.

Where are they now? Looking at where the former Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of 2021/22, are now:

An article that I write around this time every season, where I follow the progress of the former Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of their contracts at the end of the previous season. In the following piece I will be writing a short update on where those former Spurs Academy players are, who left the club at the end of the 2021/22 season. As always, I wish those former Spurs Academy players all the very best of luck for the future.

Josh Oluwayemi: The 21 year old goalkeeper joined League One side Portsmouth, in the summer, after leaving Spurs in June. A Spurs Academy player for many years, Josh was a regular starter for the Spurs Under 18 side and Under 21 side, during his time at the club. Since joining Portsmouth, Josh has so far made five senior competitive appearances for their first team (all in the Papa Johns Trophy). And as the second choice goalkeeper for Portsmouth this season, Josh has featured many times on the bench for Danny Cowley’s side. Josh has kept three clean-sheets from five appearances for Portsmouth this season, and it would be great to see him start for them against Spurs, in their third round FA Cup tie at Spurs, next month.

Thimothée Lo-Tutala: France youth international and goalkeeper Thimothée Lo-Tutala signed for Championship side Hull City in the summer, after leaving Spurs in June, after his contract had come to an end. Thimothée hasn’t featured for the Hull City first team yet, but he has featured on the bench for them on two occasions. He has however, featured for their Under 21 side on occasions, and the Paris born goalkeeper was called-up to the France Under 21 side for the first time, earlier this season.

Kapcer Kurylowicz: A former Poland youth international, 21 year old goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz is a goalkeeper, who like Josh and Thimothée, I think very highly of. Having featured for the Spurs Under 18 and 21 sides in the past during his time at Spurs, Kacper spent some time out on loan with non-League side Potters Bar Town, towards the end of last season. Kacper left Spurs at the end of his contract, after that 2021/22 season had come to an end. He was on trial with West Ham United’s Under 21 side during the start of the 2022/23 season, and he even featured on the bench for their Under 21 side in a Premier League 2 game, at the beginning of the season. During the early stages of the season, Kacper signed for Yaxley FC. The club is based in Cambridgeshire, and they play their football in the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands. From researching Yaxley’s matches, I found out that the former Spurs man has started almost every game for Yaxley, since he signed for them.

Isak Solberg: A regular at youth level for Norway, goalkeeper Isak Solberg only featured for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion in competitive competition during his time at Spurs, but he did feature on the bench for their Under 21 side on occasions. A Spurs Academy player for three seasons, the player from Voss in Norway signed for Norwegian OBOS-ligaen (second tier of Norwegian football) Kongsvinger in September of this year, during their season. Isak made the bench for  Kongsvinger on a good number of occasions, but didn’t feature for their first team during that season. With that season now officially ended, I was unable to find out whether the 19 year old goalkeeper will still be with them for the 2023 season.

Tobi Omole: Joining Spurs’ Academy set-up in 2020, as an experienced Academy player from his time at Arsenal. 23 year old central defender Tobi Omole spent two seasons with Spurs’ Under 21 side, in which time he became an important player for the side. Tobi left Spurs at the end of the 2021/22 season, and soon after he would join League Two side Crawley Town. Tobi featured for Crawley Town on five occasions early on in the 2022/23 season, before unfortunately picking up an injury in August. He has yet to return from that injury to play again for Crawley Town, since August.

Dermi Lusala: A highly skilful full-back with good balance to his game, an injury halted Dermi Lusala’s progress at Spurs, during his second season of scholarship with the club. After playing some games for the Spurs Under 21 side last season, Dermi left Spurs at the end of that 2021/22 season. He joined Championship side Coventry City in July of this year, and the 19 year old has featured for the Coventry Under 21 side this season. And earlier this month Dermi joined non-League side Barwell Town on a one month loan.

Jordan Hackett: A former England Under 18 international, left-back Jordan Hackett joined the Newcastle United Academy set-up in July of this year, after leaving Spurs at the end of his contract in June. Jordan has so far featured on eight occasions for the Newcastle United Under 21 side in the Premier League 2 Division Two, a league that they currently sit in sixth place in, going into 2023.

Jez Davies: Skilful and tenacious midfielder Jez Davies was previously with the Leyton Orient Academy set-up, before joining Spurs’ Academy. The 18 year old signed scholarship forms with Spurs in the summer of 2020, and would feature mainly for their Under 18 side, during his time at the club. After leaving Spurs this summer, he played some matches for Chelsea’s Under 21 in pre-season, before spending some time without a club. However, he very recently joined Burnley’s Academy set-up.

Oliver Turner: Creative and hardworking midfielder Oliver Turner featured for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion, during his two years of scholarship with their Academy. I recently read that Oliver had joined Aldershot Town’s Academy set-up after leaving Spurs in the summer, but unfortunately I’ve been unable to confirm whether he is still playing for them at Academy level.

Renaldo Torraj: Highly creative winger and Albania youth international Renaldo Torraj, like Jez Davies, featured for Chelsea’s Under 21 side in pre-season, but wouldn’t end up signing for them on a permanent basis, after leaving Spurs in the summer. However, Renaldo signed for Burnley’s Academy in October of this year. He has been with their Under 21 side, and he will be a teammate once again of Jez Davies in the new year.

Khalon Haysman: Former England youth international Khalon Haysman, is a central midfielder who during his time at Spurs, at Under 18 level, liked to get forward to support the forward players. One of the Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of last season, the 18 year old featured for one of Bolton Wanderers’ Academy sides in November of this year. However, I have been unable to find out if he has actually signed for the League One club.

J’Neil Bennett: A skilful and unpredictable winger, 21 year old professional footballer J’Neil Bennett was at Spurs for a number of years as an Academy player, after joining them from QPR. The scorer of the first ever goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, J’Neil joined Brentford B in late November, after leaving Spurs at the end of last season. Paris Maghoma was another former Spurs Academy player who has represented both Spurs at Academy level and also Brentford’s B team in recent seasons.

A piece on Spurs’ highly skilful and creative first year scholar Tyrese Hall:

Although I won’t be covering the Spurs Academy matches anymore, I will still be writing the occasional piece on the Spurs Academy players, especially as I’ve received so many nice and very kind messages in the past week from people. Tyrese Hall is a player who I saw live around a dozen times in matches for the various Spurs Academy sides, since the start of the 2021/22 season. A versatile player, who is capable of playing as a box to box midfielder, defensive-midfielder, CAM or as a winger. Tyrese is a very exciting, skilful and creative player, regardless of which position that he starts matches in. With his fine balance, vision for a forward pass and his excellent creativity, Hall is a player who I will very much be looking forward to following at Spurs during the future. Having featured for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, Tyrese signed scholarship forms with the club last summer, and only recently he signed his first professional contract with Spurs.

Impressing in the games that he featured for Spurs’ Under 18 side in last season while playing in a number of different positions, Tyrese was outstanding in a Premier League South fixture away to Reading, towards the end of last season. In that game, which Spurs won, he performed his role as the box to box midfielder with real maturity and skill. Providing an all important assist, it was Tyrese’s desire to receive the ball, take players on for skill and look to create chances for his teammates which really made the difference. In another game last season (this time for a Spurs Under 17 side in the Under 17 Premier League Cup final against Manchester City) Tyrese came on in the second half to make a good impression on the game, against a top Manchester City side. And only very recently against both Crystal Palace and Norwich City’s Under 18 sides, the 17 year old midfielder showed his class in midfield, and in the game against Norwich in particular, he was really, really impressive. And he really helped Spurs to win the midfield contest in that game.

A player with great ability on the ball. I’ve noticed in every game that I’ve seen Tyrese Hall involved in, that he is always very positive in his all-round play. Liking very much to receive the ball and go on long and very skilful surging runs, the Spurs Academy player is unpredictable with his dribbling on the ball, is more than capable of creating chances out of very little, and he with his consistently impressive weight and vision for a pass, he is also capable of making those all important forward passes. In fact Tyrese reminds me quite a lot of former Spurs Academy player Rafferty Pedder, in his style of play. Rafferty is a real talent and is now doing really well with QPR’s Under 21 side. Both having good pace, movement off the ball and a real desire to play the ball forward and create chances. Tyrese also has great ball control and the ability to evade challenges in tight spaces, similar to how Rafferty plays.

Tyrese Hall has goals and assists to his game also, and he likes to take efforts from distance. However, he is also a tenacious player who has a good defensive side to his game, and he demonstrated this really well in the recent league game with Norwich City, and also the game last season away at Reading. A player who from what I’ve seen has a big future at Spurs, the talented midfielder is a player whose style of play I am a really big fan of, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him earn a call-up to England’s Under 18 side/youth team in the near future. Along with other creative players in the Spurs Under 18 side, like Mikey Moore and Oliver Irow, Tyrese Hall will in my opinion be integral to Spurs’ Under 18 side doing well in the FA Youth Cup this season. I would like to wish Tyrese all the very best of luck for the rest of this season, and for his future at Spurs.

Looking back on my wonderful time following and watching the Spurs Academy sides, over the past seven or so seasons as a supporter:

On Wednesday I tweeted a thread on Twitter, pretty much just saying that I would no longer be able to attend the Spurs Academy matches (home and away), because of other commitments. However I’ll still be writing articles on my blog, with some being historical articles on Spurs, and others being about the Academy, but maybe just not as frequently as before. I’ve always been a very big Spurs fan. I’ve been going to Spurs matches for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love the club and it’s sides at all levels. However, following and attending all of the Spurs Academy matches in my spare time (the Spurs Under 18, Under 19 and Under 21’s matches), all really came about by chance. My father asked me one Friday evening whether I’d like to attend a match in the old Under 21 Premier League, between Spurs’ Under 21 side and Liverpool at White Hart Lane. I was interested to see the game, and so I met him at White Hart Lane, and we watched the game. There was maybe about a thousand or so fellow spectators at the ground. Spurs lost the game 3-1 to a very strong Liverpool side that evening. However, I really enjoyed the match, the experience and watching these players who had already come so far in their careers at Academy level.

From watching that game against Liverpool’s Under 21 side I really started to become interested in the Academy, and I remember the next morning I was checking the scoreline of the Spurs Under 18’s match, while on my way with my dad to the Spurs first team game. And so my interest in the Spurs Academy grew from there really. I was learning a lot about Academy football, following every result, but at that stage I was only really able to get to the occasional Academy games that used to be held at the old stadium. In time, possibly during the next season or so I started to attend more matches at Spurs Under 21 level, and then at Spurs Under 18 level. Going to watch an Under 18 league game at Spurs’ incredible Hotspur Way training ground for the first time was just amazing. It’s so very impressive, and it was without doubt the best training ground that I ever visited while reporting on the academy games. Fast forward and before I knew it I was attending and writing previews and reports on every Spurs Under 18’s and 21’s match, in my spare time. This would last around seven or so seasons, until very recently.

I quickly found out that getting permission to attend some of the away Academy matches at certain training grounds was very, very difficult. Also, getting to so many of those places where the games would take place, by public transport, was in many cases quite challenging to say the least. I’ve got to watch so, so many wonderful footballers play against Spurs at Academy level, who have gone on to achieve great things in the game, so far in their careers. And for Spurs, the Academy players who are currently at the club and who were once at the club, were and are so incredibly talented. The level of technical ability that these players have is just incredible, and you really get to appreciate that by watching the matches week in and week out. Players like goalkeeper and Spurs Academy graduate Brandon Austin, who was just brilliant, and who has got better and better by each passing season. Also, then there is the fantastic Oliver Skipp, and players who are technically unbelievable, like the Shashoua brothers – Samuel and Armando. 

Skilful and fast winger Anthony Georgiou was a player who I always really thought very highly of, and who I wrote a lot on. I thought that he was very unlucky with injuries during his time at Spurs. Without doubt my favourite season covering the Spurs Academy sides was in 2018/19. That season and under the tutelage of Under 18’s head-coach Matt Wells, Spurs’ Under 18 side played consistently outstanding football. The team consisted of players like Dilan Markanday, who is another outstanding footballer with such great potential, Harvey White, the captain Armando Shashoua, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Dennis Cirkin, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Maxwell Statham, Josh Oluwayemi, Luis Binks, J’Neil Bennett, Troy Parrott and Jubril Okedina. I could literally write piece after piece on that side, who during the leadership of Matt Wells and his time at the club during that season as head-coach of the side, were in my opinions the best Under 18 side in England. They seemed fitter than pretty much all of the sides that they faced, but the quality of the football that they played, was quite simply breathtaking. I reckon that Matt Wells will make a great manager one day.

I’ve been so lucky to build up so many wonderful memories of watching Spurs’ various academy sides, all over the country, and also in Europe at the pre-season and end of season Academy tournaments. I loved attending those tournaments, and so many of the players were so very friendly and thankful that I’d made the trip over to support them. Because at the end of the day I am a Spurs supporter first of all. Not all fellow Spurs supporters might have liked the fact that I was always positive in my reporting on the Spurs Academy matches. However, I very much appreciate the fact that these young Spurs Academy players are still at the very beginning of their footballing journey. Certainly I’ve always felt that I was never in a position to criticise players for their performances, after all I’m just a Spurs fan, not a coach or an analyst, or whatever. I would like to say a very big thank you to all of the fellow Spurs supporters who have so kindly followed my reports, updates, player articles, tweets and other writing on the Spurs Academy over the years. I would also like to say a special thank you to those Spurs Academy parents who have introduced themselves to me in the past, and who have been so kind to me. And also to the Spurs Academy players (past and present), many of whom were very kind to me and so willing to chat and introduce themselves to me. I only wish every Spurs player all the very best.

And so we come to the end of my rather long piece, in which I have reminisced rather a lot! I will greatly miss going to all of the Spurs Academy matches in person, although I will still be following every result, and also watching every game on SpursPlay. I think that I’m very lucky to have so many memories of watching so many great games of Spurs at Academy level, all over the country. Some of my favourites include 9-0 wins over Arsenal and West Ham United respectively, at Under 18 level, some big wins against top academy sides at Under 21 level, seeing some wonderful football being played, and overall just having a great time. I feel like  I’ve really got to learn so much about the game in this time. I truly think that Spurs fans should be feeling optimistic about the future of the Academy players who are on their own footballing journey. I still think that Troy Parrott will and can be a big player for Spurs’ first team in the future, and Oliver Skipp and Brandon Austin will only get better. Also, some of the younger players such as Dane Scarlett, Harvey White, Maxwell McKnight, Josh Keeley, Alfie Devine, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Tyrese Hall, Will Lankshear and Rio Kyerematen, are just some of the Spurs Academy players who I personally believe can have great careers at the club.

I’ve loved every minute of going to all of the Spurs Academy games during recent years (barring of course the 2020/21 season, when no one could attend matches). I would like to wish the Spurs Academy players and Academy graduates of the club all the very best of luck for the future. I look forward to continuing to follow the progress of all of the players.