Spurs Under 18’s versus Leeds United: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will play their first group game of this seasons Premier League Cup on Saturday afternoon (the game starts at 14:00pm), when they face Leeds United at their Thorp Arch Training Centre. Spurs are in a difficult group which also contains Fulham and Stoke City. However, hopefully Spurs can start the group off well, by getting a good result against a Leeds United side who have picked up six points from their opening four league games of this season, and they haven’t actually faced Spurs at Under 18 level in a competitive game for a long time. Spurs got their first competitive win of the new season last Saturday, against Reading, and that will give them confidence going into tomorrow’s game. Leeds have a good Under 18’s side, and one of their players to watch out for is Northern Ireland youth international Charlie Allen, who could be a difficult player to play against if involved on Saturday. Unfortunately I wont be able to make Saturday’s game, as I’m at the Under 23 game against Blackburn Rovers the night before. And it’s just too difficult to get from there to where the Leeds match is being played. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Hayton, Torraj, Dorrington (c), Andiyapan, Linton, Haysman, Kyerematen, Bloxham, Donley, Owen, Williams.

Subs from: Krasniqi, Chaplin, McKnight, Cassanova, Amo. 

Injured/unavailable: Roshaun Mathurin.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: 2-2.

My one to watch: Northern Ireland Under 19 international Charlie Allen (17). The former Linfield midfielder has made three competitive appearances for Leeds United’s Under 18 side so far this season, and last season he scored three league goals from 15 appearances for them.

Spurs Under 23’s versus Blackburn Rovers: (match preview)

After beating Liverpool 2-1 last Saturday in the Premier League 2, Spurs’ Under 23 side travel up to Leyland in County Lancashire this week, to face Blackburn Rovers in their latest league game, at the LFA County Ground on Friday (the game starts at 19:00pm). Wayne Burnett’s side beat tomorrow’s opponents 3-2 away from home last season, before then drawing 1-1 with them at Hotspur Way in the reverse fixture. Spurs have picked up seven points from their opening four league games of this season, while Blackburn have picked up two points from their opening four league games of the season, and are without a win in all competitions so far this season. Always a tough team to face at this level, since being promoted to Division One of the Premier League 2 back in 2018, Blackburn have always been a strong side in the league. They play the game at a good intensity, and are also a physical side as well. The last time I was up in Leyland to watch Spurs’ Under 23’s play we actually lost 4-0, but the home side did field a strong team for that game. I personally wouldn’t have thought that the Academy players who traveled out to France for Thursday’s UEFA Europa Conference League game with Stade Rennais, would then play against Blackburn on Friday. However, that could still be possible. The home side have players who could potentially cause Spurs problems, such as top scorer Sam Burns. However, Blackburn also have experienced players like Gibraltar international Louie Annesley.

This will be a tough game for Spurs, but we also have players who have played so far this season, who have a really good amount of experience of playing competitive Under 23 football. I will be travelling up to Leyland to report on the match, and then on my way back the following day I will be hoping to watch J’Neil Bennett play for Crewe. I would however, like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for tomorrow’s game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Paskotši, Muir, Lyons-Foster (c), Cesay, Matthew Craig, White, Clarke, Pedder, Devine, Santiago. 

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Lavinier, Michael Craig, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Romaine Mundle.

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Sam Burns. The 19 year old has so far scored four goals from five appearances for Blackburn Rovers’ Under 23 side this season.

Spurs Under 23’s 2-1 Liverpool: (match report)

Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side welcomed Liverpool to The Lamex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in what was their fourth Premier League 2 match of the new season. Spurs deservedly won the match 2-1, and on another day they could have won it by a lot more. Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal while a back four of Matthew Craig, Marqes Muir, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Kallum Cesay lined up in front of him. Captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Harvey White started in midfield, and Jack Clarke and Alfie Devine started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Nile John. Yago Santiago led the line in the absence of Dilan Markanday and Dane Scarlett. Liverpool got the game underway, and it was actually from their first real chance of the game that they took the lead. Kaide Gordon received a long pass out to him on the right flank, and the winger then came inside before finding the bottom right hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, despite the Spurs goalkeeper managing to get a hand on the ball, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond, and Jack Clarke hit an effort wide across the face of the Liverpool goal from the right hand side of the Liverpool box. Then Mateusz Musialowski hit an effort narrowly wide of Oluwayemi’s goal from just outside of the Spurs box. Spurs came close again to getting an equaliser though, as Clarke received Nile John’s pass down the right side of the Liverpool box, but again he hit the ball just wide, across the face of the goal.

Harvey White had an effort from a free-kick deflected behind, and then from Harvey White’s following corner kick Alfie Devine managed to meet the ball, but his header was pushed onto the crossbar by Marcelo Pitaluga. After a great run from Yago Santiago, which saw him go past Liverpool defender Billy Koumetio, the former Celta Vigo player had an effort on goal saved by Pitaluga, before Devine hit the ball over the goal from close range on the half volley. A brilliant forward run from left-back Kallum Cesay ended in him having an effort on goal blocked by Dominic Corness, before Spurs finally managed to get their equaliser. Nile John passed the ball to Devine, who managed to work his way towards the edge of the Liverpool box, before then powerfully hitting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 1-1. Clarke then had an effort blocked behind before a good move which started with the former Leeds United player passing the ball to Santiago on the right flank, ended with Santiago’s cross being met by John in the Liverpool box. However, his effort was saved by Marcelo Pitaluga, in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway, and they almost got off to a great start. After Devine found Harvey White down the left of the Liverpool box, the Spurs midfielder hit the ball across the Liverpool goal and just wide.

Lyons-Foster hit a low effort wide from distance, before Jack Clarke had an effort blocked. Oluwayemi was able to save Jack Bearne’s effort at his back post, and then at the other end of the pitch Lyons-Foster headed over Harvey White’s corner kick. Owen Beck then hit the ball over the Spurs goal from distance, before Fagan-Walcott blocked Tyler Morton’s low effort on goal. Rafferty Pedder came on to replace Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, and went up front as Yago Santiago replaced Michael Craig. Kallum Cesay was shown a yellow card by the referee, before Rafferty Pedder was given the ball by Tyler Morton, and he went forward with it towards the edge of the Liverpool box, but ended up hitting the ball over the goal. Jack Clarke was shown a yellow card as Spurs went in search of the winner, and that winner came almost ten minutes from the end. Alfie Devine managed to latch onto Jack Clarke’s through-ball pass. Devine entered the Liverpool box where he was met by Marcelo Pitaluga, but he showed great composure in front of goal to just deftly put the ball over the Liverpool goalkeeper and into the back of the goal, 2-1. Devine had a very late effort deflected behind for a corner kick, in what was the final piece of action of the game. Next up for Spurs is a trip up to Lancashire to face Blackburn Rovers next Friday. I will be attending that game.

Player reviews: 

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper really didn’t have that much to do against Liverpool apart from one important save that he made in the first half of the game.
  • Matthew Craig: Despite playing out of position at right-back, midfielder Matthew Craig did well in my opinion against winger Mateusz Musialowski, during his time on the pitch.
  • Marqes Muir: The right sided centre-half read the game well and also dealt well with Liverpool centre-forward Max Woltman, alongside Malachi Fagan-Walcott.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: A composed but assertive defensive performance from the left sided centre-half on Saturday against Liverpool, made it difficult for the Liverpool forwards on the day.
  • Kallum Cesay: Playing at left-back Kallum Cesay got forward really well down the left-flank, and some of his very skilful forward runs were excellent.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The Spurs captain in my opinion did very well in central midfield. His passing and positioning was good, and he protected the defence well during his time on the pitch.
  • Harvey White: The midfielders passing from midfield was as good as always, and also he made some clever forward runs from midfield, and came very close to scoring a goal at the beginning of the second half.
  • Jack Clarke: This was another good performance from Jack Clarke on the right flank. Clarke was direct with the ball, showed some good pace and skill with it and also tracked back well. Clarke got the assist for Alfie Devine’s winning goal.
  • Nile John: The CAM completed most of the game, and he went on some good forward runs with the ball. John got the assist for Alfie Devine’s first goal of the game.
  • Alfie Devine: My man of the match, see below.
  • Yago Santiago: Playing as a centre-forward, Yago Santiago pressed the Liverpool defenders excellently during his time on the pitch. He also showed nice skill on the ball, and traveled forward well with it.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The second half substitute went to play at centre-forward, and apart from the chance which he had, which he created, I thought that he worked really hard off the ball.
  • Michael Craig: The midfielder came on to fill in for Brooklyn Lyons-Foster in midfield, and he stopped one potentially good chance for the away side during his time on the pitch.
  • Maksim Paskotši: The defender came on during the final minutes of the game to replace Nile John.

My man of the match: Alfie Devine. The midfielder turned left-winger for Saturday’s match, had a very good game against Liverpool. Devine’s movement off the ball and runs behind the Liverpool defence on occasions were quality, and he took both of his goals on the day excellently well. Devine worked hard of the ball as well, but he showed great quality on it, even though he was playing out of position.

Spurs Under 18’s 3-2 Reading: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side played their fourth league match of the new season on Saturday, when they hosted Reading at Hotspur Way. Head coach Stuart Lewis saw his side dramatically score a very late winner to win 3-2 on the day, after having previously been 2-0 up. Spurs started with Adam Hayton in goal, while a back four consisting of Renaldo Torraj, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Jahziah Linton lined up in front of him. Spurs captain Dante Cassanova and Khalon Haysman started in midfield, and Sam Amo and Riley Owen started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway and after Riley Owen was able to bring the ball into the Reading box early on in the game, it looked like he was going to give Spurs the lead. However, Reading’s right-back Sam Paul managed to take the ball off of him at the vital moment. After receiving David Nyarko’s pass inside the Spurs box Hamid Abdel-Salam hit an effort over Adam Hayton’s goal. A really powerful effort from distance from Jamie Donley was stopped well by Reading goalkeeper Matthew Rowley, before a clearance from Alfie Dorrington at the other end of the pitch came to Caylan Vickers. However, his effort on goal was saved by Hayton. 

Renaldo Torraj cleared Sam Paul’s cross well inside the Spurs box, and then Cassanova had a free-kick saved by Rowley shortly after. Khalon Haysman hit a powerful effort wide from the edge of the Reading box, but a couple of minutes later Spurs did take the lead. Cassanova had an effort on goal blocked by a Reading defender, with the ball then coming to Renaldo Torraj, who hit a really powerful effort on goal from outside the Reading box, and the ball went past Rowley and into the goal, 1-0. After Donley conceded a free-kick in a promising position for Reading, the visitors looked to make the most of it. Reading captain Benjamin Purcell played the ball short to Caylan Vickers in the Spurs box, but Hayton saved his effort well. Then and after receiving Caylan Vickers’ pass down the right side of the Spurs box, Harry Murphy tried his luck on goal, but his effort across the goal was really well saved by Hayton. After receiving Jamie Donley’s pass, Jaden Williams was through on goal just inside the Reading half. Williams continued forward with the ball before being met by the outrushing Reading goalkeeper, who initially blocked his effort on goal. However, the ball fell kindly for Williams, who went past Rowley this time and was through on goal. He went all the way into the oppositions penalty area, but Reading defender Kelvin Abrefa had sprinted the length of the pitch to take the ball off of him quite spectacularly, just as he was about to tuck the ball home.

Williams nodded wide Owen’s corner kick, before at the other end of the pitch Abraham Kanu headed wide from Caylan Vickers’ corner kick. After receiving Donley’s pass down the left of the Reading box Riley Owen was in a good position to score, but unfortunately his effort went over the Reading goal. Not long before half-time however, Spurs doubled their lead after Donley’s forward ball was latched onto by Jaden Williams, who ran into the Reading box before finishing low past Rowley and into the back of the goal, 2-0. The half-time whistle was sounded by the referee not long afterwards. Reading got the second half underway, but it was Spurs who had the first chance of the half. Linton passed the ball to Haysman, who had a low effort saved by Rowley. A couple of moments later Reading got a goal back. Substitute Aston Greaver passed the ball to David Nyarko down the right hand side of the Spurs box, he then saw his effort on goal saved by Hayton, but the ball then ended up coming to Jordan Addo Antoine, who tapped home, 2-1. The alert Adam Hayton was able to save David Nyarko’s effort inside the Spurs box, before Spurs went forward down the opposite end of the pitch. Riley Owen managed to pick out Sam Amo inside the Reading box, but he then saw his low effort on goal saved by the Reading goalkeeper.

A lofted pass from Haysman was volleyed wide by Donley inside the Reading box, and then at the other end of the pitch Hayton produced a fine save with his left leg to prevent Aston Greaver from scoring inside the Spurs box. Hayton then saved Kelvin Abrefa’s header from a corner kick, and he did well to hold the ball. Once again Hayton had to be alert, this time to stop David Nyarko’s effort from close range. Sam Amo hit an effort over from range as the game started to become even more end to end. Khalon Haysman was replaced by Rio Kyerematen, before the newly introduced substitute had a low effort saved by the Reading goalkeeper from the edge of the Reading box. Kyerematen then received a clever pass from Donley inside the Reading box, but the midfielder saw his effort on goal saved by Rowley. Owen curled an effort over after cutting inside from the left flank, before Thomas Bloxham replaced Sam Amo out on the right flank. Owen had a curled effort saved by Rowley, and then after receiving Kyerematen’s pass down the left of the Reading box Donley had an effort on goal deflected wide, as Spurs pushed for that all important third goal. Bloxham volleyed wide from Donley’s cross, and then Maxwell McKnight came on to replace Riley Owen, before Renaldo Torraj blocked behind David Nyarko’s effort on goal. Jahziah Linton had an effort on goal blocked by Kelvin Abrefa, but then Reading managed to score a late equaliser.

After receiving the ball inside the Spurs box David Nyarko hit a low effort on the Spurs goal, but his effort deflected off of Chaplin and went in past Hayton, 2-2. With little time left to respond Maxwell McKnight whipped a hopeful but fine cross deep into the Reading box, during the final moments of the game. The ball was met by Jamie Donley, whose really good volleyed effort was saved by Rowley. The ball then came to Kyerematen, who cut the ball back to Williams in the centre of the box. His effort was blocked by Kelvin Abrefa, but the ball came up for Williams to head the ball on goal however, his effort was saved by Rowley. Although the Reading goalkeeper could do nothing to stop Donley running in to volley home the winner for Spurs from close range, 3-2. What followed were great celebrations from the Spurs players, as they had managed to secure their first win of the new season. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time shortly afterwards.

Player reviews:

  • Adam Hayton: The goalkeeper had a fantastic game for Spurs on Saturday. Hayton made numerous excellent saves, and he played a really big part in Spurs managing to get all three points.
  • Renaldo Torraj: The scorer of a really well taken goal from distance, right-back Renaldo Torraj joined the forward players well when going forward.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half for this match, the first year scholar made some important clearances, was good in the air and kept good positioning alongside Archie Chaplin.
  • Archie Chaplin: Making his competitive Spurs Under 18’s debut yesterday, I thought that defender Archie Chaplin put in a strong defensive performance alongside Alfie Dorrington.
  • Jahziah Linton: Like Renaldo Torraj on the opposite flank, left-back Jahziah Linton got forward well whenever he was able to.
  • Dante Cassanova: The Spurs captain covered a lot of ground in the central areas of the pitch, as he played in the number four role alongside Khalon Haysman. 
  • Khalon Haysman: Playing as a number eight alongside Spurs captain Dante Cassanova, Khalon Haysman was once again always looking to make forward passes, and he also tried his luck on goal on a couple of occasions.
  • Sam Amo: Playing out on the right flank, Sam Amo came close to scoring his first goal at this level on his debut, during the second half.
  • Jamie Donley: My man of the match, see below.
  • Riley Owen: Always positive whenever he received the ball, left-winger Riley Owen looked to take defenders on and also be unpredictable as well with the ball.
  • Jaden Williams: The scorer of a well taken goal in the first half, Jaden Williams led the line well, and was lively inside the Reading half. He came very close to scoring the winner during the latter stages of the match, and he seemed to have a very good understanding of the game with CAM Jamie Donley.
  • Rio Kyerematen: Creative and direct in the CAM role, substitute Rio Kyerematen brought the ball forward well, and he showed some nice skill as well.
  • Thomas Bloxham: Showing some nice skill on the ball, Thomas Bloxham was always looking to be creative whenever he did get on the ball.
  • Maxwell McKnight: The defender played a part in Spurs’ winning goal after delivering a good cross into the Reading box from the right flank.

My man of the match: Jamie Donley. The Northern Ireland Under 19 international had an excellent game against Reading on Saturday. The creator of some fine Spurs chances, Donley took responsibility in important situations and his passing on the day was quality. Making some clever runs off the ball, the first year scholar showed great determination against Reading, worked hard off the ball and also got an all important goal (the winner) and assist. Playing really well as a number ten behind centre-forward Jaden Williams, Donley linked up very well with Williams throughout the game, and on another day the forward could have had more goals to his name. Donley has now been involved in five goals (three goals and two assists) from league appearances so far this season.

Spurs Under 23’s versus Liverpool: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 23 side return to Premier League 2 action on Saturday afternoon (the game starts at 15:00pm) as they take on Liverpool at The Lamex Stadium. Wayne Burnett’s side last played a competitive match on the 31st August, and they impressively won that match 4-3 against League Two side Stevenage FC. Spurs haven’t lost to Liverpool in a competitive game at this level since September 2017, and on that day Liverpool fielded a very strong and experienced side. Liverpool are unbeaten at this level so far this season, but sit only one place and one point above Spurs in the league table, in sixth place. Last season Spurs did the double over Liverpool, winning 4-3 at their training ground, before then winning 4-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium towards the end of the 2020/21 season. Some Liverpool players to look out for tomorrow include forwards Kaide Gordon and Max Woltman, and also talented defender Billy Koumetio. This will be a difficult game for Spurs on Saturday, but hopefully Wayne Burnett’s side can record a good result. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the match, and I will be going to Stevenage soon after the Under 18’s match against Reading finishes to report on the game. My match reports of both games will be out at some point on Sunday. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Fagan-Walcott, Lyons-Foster (c), Omole, Cesay, Matthew Craig, White, John, Devine, Clarke, Markanday.

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Muir, Michael Craig, Pedder, Santiago.

Injured/unavailable: Marcel Lavinier (suspended).

Doubtful: Romaine Mundle, Maksim Paskotši.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-1.

My score prediction: 2-2.

My one to watch: Talented forward and England Under 18 international Kaide Gordon.

Spurs Under 18’s versus Reading: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side return to playing competitive games on Saturday (the game starts at 11:30 am), when they host Reading at Hotspur Way, in the Premier League South. Both sides have lost their opening three league games of the season going into Saturday’s game, and last season both games between the two sides ended in draws, with the first of those two matches ending in a dramatic 4-4 draw at Hotspur Way. It sounded like Spurs were unlucky to lose 3-2 to Birmingham City in their last league game, but a good thing about the Reading game on Saturday is that Northern Ireland Under 19 international Jamie Donley returns, after serving a three game ban for a straight red card that he picked up in Spurs’ Under 18’s defeat to Chelsea last month. However, defender and second year scholar Jordan Hackett had to come off for England Under 18’s after just ten minutes in a recent match against Wales, so I would imagine that he will be a doubt for the game on Saturday. It should be another good match on Saturday and hopefully Spurs can get their first win of the new season. I will be reporting on the match and would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Hayton, McKnight, Dorrington, Andiyapan, Linton, Cassanova (c), Haysman, Donley, Kyerematen, Owen, Williams.

Subs from: Krasniqi, Bryan-Waugh, Torraj, Chaplin, Bloxham.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Jordan Hackett.

Previous meeting: 2-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Harvey Maunder (17). The Reading attacking midfielder scored ten league goals from 21 appearances last season.

Revisiting some of the biggest Spurs Youth Team/Academy side wins: 

Over the years Spurs’ various youth and Academy sides have recorded some fantastic high scoring victories. Some more recent than others, while some will be too long ago for most Spurs supporters to remember. In the following short piece I will be looking back at five high scoring (not necessarily the highest scoring victories ever) that Spurs’ various youth/Academy sides have achieved in fairly recent history. Although I must say that these games that I am looking back on are only the highest scoring victories for Spurs’ youth sides that I have heard of, but there probably are higher scoring wins if you look back through all of the club handbooks.

Spurs Under 18’s 9-0 Arsenal: The final competitive Spurs Under 18 game of the 2017/18 season was a Premier League South North London Derby with Arsenal, at Hotspur Way. The Arsenal team was by no means their strongest, as they had an important FA Youth Cup fixture to play that same week, meaning that they fielded a team consisting of first year scholars and schoolboy footballers. However, Spurs, who were then managed by Scott Parker, were absolutely unplayable on the day. With the likes of Oliver Skipp, Jamie Bowden, Dilan Markanday and Reo Griffiths all having brilliant games on the day. Centre-forward Reo Griffiths was actually directly involved in seven of Spurs’ goals against Arsenal (four goals and three assists). The following season (2018/19) Spurs and Arsenal were involved in a very competitive Premier League South title race.

Spurs Under 18’s 9-0 West Ham United: During the early stages of the 2018/19 Premier League South season, Spurs’ Under 18 side made the short trip to Little Heath to face West Ham United. It was to be their second competitive 9-0 win in less than a year, as Spurs (managed by Matt Wells) put in an outstanding performance, with their passing game proving too much for West Ham. Centre-forward Troy Parrott led the line really well and scored two deserved goals, while Jamie Bowden provided great creativity in midfield. However, it was a great team performance, and we could easily have scored over ten goals on the day, as that’s how good Spurs were going forward.

Spurs Under 18’s 10-0 Boldmere St. Michaels: Going back to 1994, Spurs were involved in a second round FA Youth Cup tie with a team from the English Midlands – Boldmere St. Michaels. Spurs were at home for the game, and they comfortably won 10-0. In the Spurs starting line-up that day were future first team players Stephen Carr and Stephen Clemence. Also playing was the talented Peter Gain, Kevin Maher, Mark Arber and Ross Darcy, as Spurs progressed into the next round of the prestigious youth competition.

Spurs XI 11-0 Canvey Island: A youthful Spurs XI (basically a youth team) took on Canvey Island’s first team in an away friendly back in the 2006/07 pre-season. Spurs won 11-0, as Lee Barnard scored four goals and Charlie Daniels scored an 18 minute hat-trick in what was a very impressive team performance from the youthful Spurs team. Also playing was Jamie O’Hara, who had an influential game, Jake Livermore, Jacques Maghoma and current Spurs Under 18’s head coach Stuart Lewis.

Spurs Youth XI 14-0 Metropolitan Police Cadets: A 14-0 FA Youth Cup first round tie win over Metropolitan Police Cadets in the November 1966 surely has to be one of Spurs’ biggest ever victories at youth/Academy level. Playing for Spurs on that day were future first team players John Collins, Ray Evans and Tony Want, in what must have been the highest scoring Spurs win that the Spurs supporters who were there on that day must have ever witnessed.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Sam Cox:

“ To play with Sam he was always a hard worker, who always gave 100% per cent. He played centre-mid or right-back when I played with him and you always knew what you were going to get with him. Nothing fancy, nothing special but always gave everything for the team. Done the dirty work. I would hate to play against him. ” (Danny Hutchins)

Samuel Peter Cox is a name that many Spurs fans will be familiar with because of his association with Spurs as a player, and now as an Academy coach. Part of a very talented Spurs youth side that played during the late 2000s, London born footballer Sam Cox joined Spurs as a schoolboy footballer, and later signed scholarship forms with the club for the start of the 2007/08 season. From there the talented and versatile player who can play as a holding midfielder or as a full-back progressed into the Spurs Under 18 side, where he became a regular for them. The then Spurs player played with the likes of Steven Caulker, Ryan Mason, John Bostock, Harry Kane, Andros Townsend and Danny Rose, to name just some of the members of what was an incredibly talented Spurs youth team. Sam later progressed up from the Under 18 side, and he even made a first team match-day squad for Spurs in a UEFA Cup tie against Shakhtar Donetsk at White Hart Lane back in the late 2000s. The defensive minded midfielder who always gave 100% on the pitch for Spurs during his days at the club was and still very much is a very difficult player to play against. Playing the game at a high intensity, Sam is a very determined player regardless of where he plays on the pitch, and he never allows players to have any time on the ball, such is his fantastic work rate. However, he is also a good technical player who has good skill on the ball as well.

While a part of the Spurs reserve side Sam went out on some loans, starting with a loan to Cheltenham Town, then a loan to Histon FC and then Torquay United. Sam left Spurs permanently at the end of the 2009/10 season to join Barnet, as he began a new footballing journey, one which would see him experience some of the highest levels of non-League football. After over a year with Barnet where he was part of the side who incredibly avoided relegation to the non-League, Sam joined Boreham Wood on loan until the February of 2012. Then after coming back to Barnet and seeing out the remainder of the 2011/12 season with them the former Spurs man joined up with Hayes & Yeading (he was the captain of the team) for the start of the 2012/13 season, and he played for them for that season. However, Sam would return to Boreham Wood for the following season, and he would spend just over three successful years with them. During his time with Boreham Wood Sam played with and was also coached by another former Spurs player, in Mario Noto. After those years spent at Boreham Wood during his second time there Sam moved onto another non-League side in Wealdstone. After a good time there he joined Hampton & Richmond Borough FC on an initial loan move in the autumn of 2018, and he would sign for them on a permanent transfer in the September of 2019. Sam has been with Hampton & Richmond Borough FC since then, where he has gone onto become an important player for the team, and he played for them as recently as last Saturday, in a 1-1 draw with Tonbridge Angels FC.

During the 2020/21 The Vanarama National League South season (it wasn’t completed that season) Sam helped Hampton & Richmond Borough FC to achieve a sixth place finish in the league, just ten points off of league leaders Dorking Wanderers. And he will no doubt be an important player for Hampton & Richmond Borough FC again this season in the league and in the FA Cup. Probably Sam’s greatest achievement to date in his footballing career has been captaining the Senior national team of Guyana, and he was an important part of the Guyana side that qualified for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, something which he must be incredibly proud of. In addition to his playing career with Hampton & Richmond Borough and Guyana, the one time Spurs player has since returned to the club where he started his playing career at, this time as an Academy coach. A promising young coach, Sam is helping Spurs’ very talented young players to improve their game, and I’m sure that as an ex-player that the current Academy players all look up to him. I actually asked a former Spurs Academy player what it was like to be coached by Sam during his time at the club. The former Spurs Academy player told me that he connected with the Academy players not only by being a coach, but also as somewhat a team as well (this ex-Spurs player actually played with Sam in a pre-season friendly back in 2018). The ex-Spurs Academy player also told me how that going through the same journey as some of the Academy players, how he knew what it took and also what coaches looked out for.

A player who has always made a positive impact on the pitch for the clubs that he has played for, Sam Cox was a very popular player at Spurs, and for all that he has achieved so far in his footballing career Sam should be very proud. As to be able to play at one of the highest levels of non-League football is something which is still a great achievement, as is playing international football. I would like to wish Sam all the very best of luck for the remainder of the season both on and off the pitch, and I definitely plan on catching a Hampton & Richmond game this season, as it’s always great to follow the progress of the ex-Spurs Academy lads.

Spurs Under 21’s 4-3 Stevenage FC: (match report)

Spurs’ Development side played their first group-stage game of this seasons Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday evening, when they took on Stevenage FC at the Lamex Stadium. Wayne Burnett’s side won the match 4-3 despite the fact that they were missing a number of players because of international call-ups. It was a very good and mature performance from Spurs, who really took the game to Stevenage right from the start of the match. Burnett’s side showed a real desire to press the opposition, and that real desire led to them creating numerous fine chances during the game. Spurs lined-up with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, while a back four consisting of Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Marqes Muir, Tobi Omole and Marcel Lavinier started in front of him. Captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Harvey White started in central midfield, while Kallum Cesay and Jack Clarke started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Dilan Markanday. Yago Santiago led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway on a cool evening in Stevenage, and after a good start the first chance of the game came their way. Dilan Markanday’s low effort on goal from the edge of the Stevenage box was saved by Stevenage goalkeeper Sacha Bastien. Then at the opposite end of the pitch Stevenage’s Arthur Read hit an effort wide on the turn. 

Spurs took a deserved lead in the eighth minute of the game, thanks to a goal from Harvey White. A great pass from Lyons-Foster reached Jack Clarke on the left flank, and he continued forward before sending in a low cross into the Stevenage penalty area. Harvey White had made an intelligent run into the box to meet it and finish past Bastien with a composed and accurate first time finish, 1-0. Harvey White did receive a yellow card not long afterwards for a strong challenge that he made on Jack Smith. Marqes Muir cleared a cross from the left flank, before Spurs doubled their lead. A brilliant forward run from Markanday resulted in him passing the ball to Santiago, who continued into the Stevenage box before initially delaying his effort, before then powerfully finding the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-0. Luke Norris nodded narrowly wide a cross from the right flank, before the impressive Yago Santiago had a low effort saved by Bastien. Jack Clarke then came inside onto his right foot before trying his luck with a curling effort on goal, but it was saved by the Stevenage goalkeeper. Scott Cuthbert headed wide from a Stevenage corner kick, and then Joshua Oluwayemi pushed behind a low shot. An important defensive intervention from Malachi Fagan-Walcott followed, before Stevenage got a goal back. James Daly received Jack Smith’s pass on the edge of the Spurs box, before looking up and curling an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, 2-1.

A Stevenage player hit an effort narrowly wide of Oluwayemi’s goal shortly after the restart, and then moments later another Stevenage player came inside from the left flank to curl an effort over the Spurs goal. A couple of minutes later Oluwayemi gathered a low cross from the right flank, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. The home side got the second half underway but it was Spurs who almost extended their lead soon into the half. Santiago latched onto a loose ball before passing it to Harvey White in the Stevenage box, but the Spurs midfielder hit the ball over the Stevenage goal, in what was a great chance for Spurs. However, not long afterwards Spurs did get their third goal of the game. Dilan Markanday received the ball down the right hand side of the Stevenage box, before continuing forward and then squaring the ball for Harvey White to tap home, 3-1. But Spurs’ two goal lead didn’t last long as soon afterwards Ross Marshall powerfully headed Jack Smith’s corner kick home, 3-2. A quick throw-in from Stevenage then almost caught Spurs out, but Oluwayemi did well to keep out James Daly’s low effort on goal from inside the Spurs penalty area. A good forward run from Santiago ended in him being fouled on the edge of the Stevenage penalty area. Harvey White’s resulting free-kick hit the Stevenage wall before coming back to him. The Tottenham midfielder then put the ball into the box, where he managed to pick out Tobi Omole down the left. Omole’s first time effort was saved by Bastien before the ball came back to him and he squared the ball for Lyons-Foster to tap home from close range, 4-2.

Oluwayemi comfortably gathered Ben Coker’s cross before Ross Marshall headed over a Stevenage free-kick. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Tobi Omole both received yellow cards during the latter stages of the game, and once again Oluwayemi had to make a save, this time to stop a low effort from a tight angle. A difficult end to the game was to follow for Wayne Burnett’s side though, after Ben Coker’s cross was met by Luther John-Wildin on the volley, and his powerful effort went into the goal off of Tobi Omole, 4-3. Rafferty Pedder replaced Dilan Markanday for the final minutes of the game, as Spurs managed to hold on to get a vital three points.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper made some good and important saves on the night, and he also dealt well with crosses into the box.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: It was a solid performance out of position from Malachi Fagan-Walcott at right-back. He cut out one dangerous Stevenage attack and also kept good positioning throughout the game.
  • Marqes Muir: I thought that the right sided centre-half did very well alongside Tobi Omole against Stevenage. Muir worked really hard and I thought that him and Tobi Omole complemented each other well in central defence.
  • Tobi Omole: The more experienced of the two centre-halves put in a commanding performance in defence, and his positioning and reading of the game was good. Omole also got the assist for Lyons-Foster’s goal.
  • Marcel Lavinier: The left-back got up and down the left-flank really well and supported the attack when he needed to.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Playing as a number four for Spurs on Tuesday, Spurs captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was constantly giving advice and encouraging the younger members of the Spurs side, as he demonstrated his leadership qualities. Lyons-Foster was very good on the ball in midfield, played the game at a really good intensity, made some good forward passes and scored the all important fourth Spurs goal.
  • Harvey White: The scorer of two goals and also involved in the buildup play to Brooklyn Lyons-Foster’s goal, Harvey White formed a very strong midfield partnership with Lyons-Foster during the game. The 19 year old midfielder took both of his goals well, made some good passes and also made some good and intelligent runs into the Stevenage box.
  • Kallum Cesay: The defender played out on the right flank as a winger and I though that he had a good game. Cesay got forward well and also linked up well with right-back Malachi Fagan-Walcott.
  • Dilan Markanday: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jack Clarke: The former Leeds United man got a good assist during the first half and showed quality going forward, but it was his excellent work-rate and tracking back which impressed me the most.
  • Yago Santiago: The midfield player led the line very well and took his goal really well (his first at this level). He was composed on the ball and clever in how he moved off it.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The late substitute was involved in one good Spurs counterattack during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Dilan Markanday. Once again it was a very good performance from the 20 year old winger. Markanday carried the ball forward really well and with great skill, and he took on the Stevenage players really well, and the CAM was always looking to make that forward pass. He also registered two assists against Stevenage during his time on the pitch.

Spurs Under 21’s versus Stevenage FC: (match preview)

Spurs’ Development Side return to the Papa John’s Trophy for this seasons edition of the competition. Wayne Burnett’s side lost 2-1 to Arsenal in the Premier League 2 last Friday, and they go into Tuesday’s group-stage game against Stevenage FC (the game starts at 19:00pm) at the Lamex Stadium, without a number of players because of international call-ups. This will undoubtedly be a very tough game for Spurs against an experienced League Two side. However, this game and competition will provide the Spurs Under 21’s with the invaluable experience of playing against EFL teams in competitive competition, as it has done in recent seasons. Spurs played well against Arsenal on Friday, but after Marcel Lavinier was shown a second yellow card in the second half, the game became just too difficult for Spurs. Because of the various international call-ups of players during this international break, this will hopefully give opportunities to some players who haven’t played many games this season, and what a great game it will be to play in for them, if selected. Spurs will have to watch out for Stevenage forwards Luke Norris and Jamie Reid on Tuesday, as both have goals and experience in forward areas. However, the whole Stevenage team are more than capable of causing Spurs problems on the night, which is what will make it such a challenging game. I will be in Stevenage reporting on the game on Tuesday evening, and I will hopefully have my match report ready for the next day. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Cesay, Lyons-Foster (c), Fagan-Walcott, Lavinier, White, Santiago, Mundle, Robson, Bennett, Markanday.

Subs from: Hayton, Muir, Kyezu, Haysman, Pedder, Torraj, Williams.

Unavailable (international call-ups): Dane Scarlett, Thimothée Lo-Tutala, Maksim Paskotši, Nile John, Alfie Devine, Jamie Donley, Jordan Hackett, Will Andiyapan.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: 2-2.

My one to watch: Luke Norris (28). The Stevenage forward has already scored two goals in League Two this season from five appearances, and he is a player that the Spurs defenders will have to watch closely, if he does play.