Spurs Under 21’s 2-2 Leicester City: (match report)

In the Spurs Under 21’s first Premier League 2 fixture of the new 2022/23 season, Wayne Burnett’s side played against Leicester City, at their new training ground. The game finished in a 2-2 draw. It was quite a close and end to end match, and in the end I thought that a draw was probably the fair result. Spurs lined-up with Josh Keeley in goal, with Tyrell Ashcroft, Matthew Craig, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Charlie Sayers starting in defence. Captain Jamie Bowden and Kallum Cesay started in central midfield, as Yago Santiago and Romaine Mundle started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Nile John led the line for Spurs, who got the game underway. Early on in the match a through-ball pass from Ethan Fitzhugh to Tawanda Maswanhise resulted in the Leicester forward receiving the ball inside the Spurs box, but his low effort was saved by Josh Keeley. Kallum Cesay blocked Kasey McAteer’s effort inside the Spurs penalty area, before Leicester took the lead shortly after. The impressive Sammy Braybrooke’s lofted pass to Tawanda Maswanhise on the right side of the Spurs box, resulted in the Leicester player heading the ball across goal. However, unfortunately Charlie Sayers’ attempted headed clearance saw the ball go into the goal off of the underside of the crossbar, 0-1.

Less than six minutes after conceding the opening goal of the match, Spurs managed to score an equalising goal. Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick found Malachi Fagan-Walcott inside the Leicester box, and his volleyed effort on goal bounced into the goal and past Chituru Odunze in the Leicester goal, 1-1. After receiving Kasey McAteer’s cross inside the Spurs penalty area, Ethan Fitzhugh’s headed effort on goal was saved by Josh Keeley. A good free-kick from Romaine Mundle deflected wide of the Leicester goal, from the left side of the pitch. Then a couple of minutes later Josh Keeley did well to save Ethan Fitzhugh’s low effort from the edge of the Spurs penalty area. After latching onto a loose pass, Romaine Mundle tested the Leicester goalkeeper Chituru Odunze with an effort from distance, but the goalkeeper saved well, before Alfie Devine hit an effort wide of the goal. After receiving Alfie Devine’s pass on the edge of the Leicester penalty area, Tyrell Ashcroft hit an effort over the Leicester goal.

Jamie Bowden had an effort from the edge of the Leicester penalty area blocked, after receiving the ball from Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick. After winning the ball, Romaine Mundle went forward with the ball at pace, before having a low effort saved from the right side of the Leicester penalty area. Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Tyrell Ashcroft were both shown yellow cards during the remaining minutes of the first half, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. Leicester got the second half underway. A low cross from Kasey McAteer on the right side of the pitch, resulted in Tawanda Maswanhise meeting the ball in the centre of the Spurs box, and he tapped the ball past Josh Keeley to put Leicester in to the lead again, 1-2. Josh Keeley did well to get the ball off of Kasey McAteer on the right side of the Spurs box, and he then made a good and important challenge on Ethan Fitzhugh, outside of his penalty area. Spurs made two substitutions in less than three minutes, with Jamie Donley firstly replacing Charlie Sayers, before Roshaun Mathurin replaced Yago Santiago.

Spurs managed to score an equalising goal on 66 minutes, after Jamie Bowden met Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick on the edge of the Leicester box. Bowden’s powerful effort was well saved by Chituru Odunze, but the ball came to Nile John inside the Leicester box, and he was able to finish into the goal, 2-2. Soon after Spurs’ equalising goal, Jamie Bowden had an effort from the edge of the Leicester City penalty area saved by Chituru Odunze, before Marqes Muir came on to replace Jamie Bowden. Very late on in the match Alfie Devine headed an effort just wide from Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick towards the near post of the Leicester goal. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time shortly after. Spurs’ next Premier League 2 fixture is at home to Everton, at Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium on Friday evening.

My Spurs player of the match – Romaine Mundle. Starting the match out on the left flank as a winger, in my opinion Romaine Mundle had a good game, and was arguably Spurs’ best player on the day. The 19 year old used the ball well, went on some good forward runs with it, and he got the assist for Malachi Fagan-Walcott’s goal. Romaine’s set-pieces were consistently good against Leicester City.

Spurs Under 21’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

Spurs’ newly named Under 21 side start their Premier League 2 season on Monday evening (the game starts at 19:00pm), when they face Leicester City at their new training ground. Spurs won 4-1 (away) and 3-1 (at home) against Leicester City last season, in the Premier League 2. Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side competed in the annual Tournoi Européen pre-season tournament in France, recently. They finished in seventh place in that tournament. The pre-season friendly matches will definitely have been very important for the Spurs Under 21 side, ahead of their first fixture of the new season. Leicester City are always a difficult side to play against in the Premier League 2, and with forwards like Chris Popov (Wales Under 21 international), Tawanda Maswanhise, Shane Flynn and Portugal Under 20 international Wanya Marçal-Madivadua, the Spurs defence will have to be in good form to keep a clean-sheet this evening. Summer signings Tyrell Ashcroft and Josh Keeley could possibly make their Premier League 2 debuts for Spurs this evening, as could first year professional Roshaun Mathurin. This is a great match to start the season for the Spurs Under 21 side, and I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Keeley, Cesay, Fagan-Walcott, Muir, Lavinier, Craig, Bowden (c), Mundle, John, Santiago, Devine.

Subs from: Maguire, Paskotši, Mathurin, Robson, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Chris Popov (17). The second year scholar and Wales Under 21 international is a player who was in great form for Leicester City’s Under 18 side last season, scoring a lot of goals. He also stepped up to represent the Leicester City Under 23 side, scoring one goal from five Premier League 2 matches. Chris Popov impressed very much in an Under 18 Premier League South fixture against Spurs last season, with his very good pace and skill on the ball. He was also very clinical in front of goal in that Premier League South fixture, last season.

My piece on highly skilful goalscoring Spurs Academy midfielder Rio Kyerematen:

Now in his second season of scholarship with Spurs, midfielder Rio Kyerematen (17) had a very good season in 2021/22, in my opinion. Born in London, Rio has been at Spurs as an Academy player for many years, and he made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side before he signed scholarship forms with the club, in 2020/21, in a Premier League South win against Southampton. Kyerematen is an England youth international, who was in my opinion one of the Spurs Under 18 sides’ best players last season, scoring seven goals and providing six assists for the side, from 28 competitive appearances. He also stepped up to play for the Spurs Under 23 side on one occasion last season. A versatile midfield player who can play as a defensive-midfielder, a central-midfielder and as a CAM, Rio Kyerematen is highly skilful on the ball. The player who signed his first professional contract last season, is very capable of going past players with great skill, and he likes to go on surging and skilful forward runs with the ball from midfield.

A very promising player, Rio Kyerematen impressed in a really good number of games last season as a first year scholar, in my opinion. He impressed greatly in many of the games that he was involved in (Rio hardly missed a game for the Spurs Under 18 side last season), and his statistics regarding goals and assists were also impressive. Kyerematen had some very good games against Crystal Palace (at home) when he captained the side, West Ham United (at home), and in both Premier League South fixtures with Norwich City. Always looking to make decisive forward passes, Rio is a very good passer of a football, and he has a good range of passing. In addition, he is also very reliable on the ball, is very good at dribbling with the ball and at turning with it, and he uses the ball really well. I was impressed with how Rio would link the play in games last season for Stuart Lewis’ side, and he had a really good balance to his game, regardless of which position he would start matches in.

A good defensive-midfielder, as Rio showed in a couple of games last season, the second year scholar is tenacious and good at winning the ball in midfield, on the occasions that he has played in that position. A clinical finisher with the ball on the edge of the penalty area, Rio Kyerematen can strike a football really well, and it resulted in him finishing last season as the third highest top scorer for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22. I’m sure that the 2022/23 season will be another season that Rio does really well in, for Spurs and England, and I would not be surprised if he went on to feature quite a lot for the Spurs Under 21 side at times this season. I would like to wish Rio all the very best of luck for the 2022/23 season.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Armando Shashoua:

London born professional footballer Armando Shashoua was a player who excelled for Spurs at Academy level, during his time at the club. The younger brother of another former Spurs Academy player – Samuel Shashoua. With his low centre of gravity, skill, excellent close ball control and outstanding work off the ball, Armando is also a leader on the pitch, as he showed for Spurs at Academy level so often over the years. After joining Spurs on a full-time basis in the summer of 2017, Armando worked his way up the ranks at the club, at Academy level. He was a regular and important player for the Spurs Under 18 side, during his two seasons as a scholar at the club, and during his second season of scholarship at Spurs, Armando was the captain of the Spurs Under 18 side. He would later progress to the Spurs Under 23 side, and he finished the 2019/20 season as the top scorer of the Spurs Under 23 side, despite leaving the club in the January of that season, to join Spanish third tier side Atlético Baleares, on loan to the end of that season. After making some appearances for Atlético Baleares during that 2019/20 season, Armando would leave Spurs to join the team from Mallorca, in the summer of 2020 on a permanent transfer. Following in his brother Samuel’s footsteps, after he had already played for Atlético Baleares.

Armando did really well, in my opinion during the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons for Atlético Baleares, and he has improved even further in his all-round game. He made 51 competitive appearances for Atlético Baleares during his time in Mallorca, scoring four goals from those appearances. Armando played in a number of different roles on the pitch, during his time at Atlético Baleares. Impressing with Atlético Baleares over the past two seasons, Armando impressed with his ability to bring the ball forward at pace and with great skill from midfield, while starting matches in that position. Armando also played in the CAM role, where once again he linked the play really well, showed his ability to glide past players, as well as working really hard off the ball. He has always been a very clever player, who never stops running and impressing with his movement off the ball, and at Spurs he was a player who I always thought would achieve great things in the game. 

During the 2021/22 season the former Spurs Academy player was a very important player for Atlético Baleares, as they achieved great things in the Spanish Copa del Rey, with Atlético Baleares reaching the round of 16 of the competition that season, having entered it at the first round stage. Armando started his former club’s round of 16 game against Valencia, completing 90 minutes of their 1-0 home loss to Valencia. After two seasons of good strides with Atlético Baleares in the league and cup, the 21 year old midfielder signed for Spanish LaLiga 2 side UD Ibiza last month, on a contract for the next three seasons with Ibiza. Ibiza finished in 15th place in LaLiga 2 last season, and I am sure that Armando will help to improve the side further, as he steps up to play second tier football in Spain, in a very competitive league. I still watch a lot of Armando’s matches, since he left Spurs, and it has been great to see him get better and better in his all-round game. Armando played for UD Ibiza yesterday, against his brother Samuel’s side CD Tenerife, although I don’t believe that Samuel featured in that game. However, hopefully both brothers will feature in the two fixtures involving Ibiza and Tenerife in LaLiga2, this season (2022/23).

I would like to wish the very consistent Armando Shashoua a very successful season, in 2022/23, with Ibiza. He should already be very proud of all that he has achieved in the game, so far.

My piece on Spurs’ talented and skilful Academy central defender Alfie Dorrington:

Alfie Dorrington signed his first professional contract with Spurs last season, and the 17 year old central defender is a player who has real quality. Now in his second year of scholarship with the club, the Enfield born Spurs player is a very tall defender (he is approximately 6ft 5 inches), but he has great ability on the ball. Dorrington made 29 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season (Alfie scored one goal and provided one assist), in 2021/22, having made three appearances during the season before that, in 2020/21. The defender also made the bench on one occasion for the Spurs Under 23 side last season. Alfie often started matches alongside Charlie Sayers, in central defence for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22, following the former Southend United player joining Spurs in late 2021. Alfie hardly missed a game for Stuart Lewis’ side last season, and he also represented England at Under 17 level last season. A real footballing centre-half, Dorrington is like a playmaker from defence. As he likes to go on surging and skilful forward runs out of defence, taking players on for skill as he brings the ball into midfield, or looks to make a long pass out to the flanks.

Alfie Dorrington is a good passer of a football, and he is very capable of making long and accurate cross field diagonal passes. A strong defender, Alfie is a brave central defender who keeps good defensive positioning on the pitch. He is very good at making blocks and is also strong and decisive in the challenge. A passionate player on the pitch, Dorrington makes it difficult for forwards to get good chances on goal, as he is clever in his defending. The 2021/22 season would have been a great learning experience for the second year scholar, as although results didn’t always go Spurs’ way at Under 18 level, Alfie got to experience playing in the very competitive Premier League South, on a week to week basis. He also got to represent Spurs at the end of season Terborg Tournament, in the Netherlands, where once again he was ever present for Spurs.

 There were a number of matches that Alfie Dorrington impressed me in last season for Spurs. A close and highly entertaining away Premier League South match against Chelsea ended in the home side winning the match, but Alfie Dorrington and Charlie Sayers impressed with their defensive positioning, the amount of headers that they won and also with how many blocks they made and challenges that they won. In an impressive win against Ipswich Town in the third round of the FA Youth Cup last season, Alfie showed his quality on the ball as well as his tenacity in defence, and also his fine reading of the game. He had another very good game in a 2-1 away league win against Reading in 2022, where he had a very solid game defensively. And also, in a loss to Arsenal in Spurs’ final Premier League South game of last season, Dorrington was the best outfield player for Spurs during that match, and he was the main reason why Spurs didn’t lose by more goals, such was his very good defending during the whole of that match. 

A player who I think has really good potential, Alfie Dorrington has been playing quite a lot for the Spurs Under 21 side during this pre-season. And he is currently with the Spurs Under 21 side in France, as they are competing in the prestigious Tournoi Européen. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Alfie make his Premier League 2 debut for Spurs during this season, and I think that he will also be a very important player for the Spurs Under 19 side in the 2022/23 edition of the UEFA Youth League. I would like to wish Alfie all the very best of luck for this season.

My piece on talented and versatile Spurs Academy player and second year scholar – George Abbott:

Second year scholar George Abbott (16) is a defensive-midfielder, who also played at right-back and as a box to box midfielder for the Spurs Under 18 side, during the 2021/22 season. Born in Islington but brought up in Muswell Hill, George Abbott made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side as a late substitute in an Under 18 Premier League Cup group game against Leeds United, last season. He made an additional 14 appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side, scoring two goals and providing one assist from those appearances. Abbott is a tenacious defensive-midfield player, who got better and better as the 2021/22 season went on. He has good pace and skill on the ball, and he had a number of impressive matches last season. As a defensive-midfielder George Abbott does well in front of the Spurs defence, and he is strong in the challenge and a player who covers a lot of ground in the central areas of the pitch.

The midfielder also likes to get forward to support the forwards, especially when he is playing as a box to box midfielder. Very capable of going on surging forward runs with the ball at pace, arguably Abbott’s best performance for the Spurs Under 18 side last season came in a 2-1 Under 18 Premier League South win over West Bromwich Albion. George started and completed that match in the defensive midfield role, in a 4-2-3-1 formation. He was excellent defensively, and he won a good number of challenges in midfield. He also scored a goal in that game, but it was the then first year scholar’s work off the ball, as well as on it, when he would bring the ball forward at pace, which impressed me the most. He didn’t stop running, and he helped the Spurs defence out a lot. Another impressive performance came in a 7-0 home Under 18  Premier League South win over Birmingham City, when George scored a really good goal. 

Also capable of playing at right-back, George Abbott played in that position on occasions during last season, and once again I thought that he did well while playing in that position. In an away 3-2 Premier League South loss to Chelsea the midfield player had a lot of work to do defensively, but he showed his good pace in that game. And he won quite a lot of challenges, and was good defensively. George Abbott also played at right-back at the end of season Under 19 Terborg Tournament, in The Netherlands. In Spurs’ final group game at that tournament, George was without doubt Spurs’ best player in a 2-0 loss to Dutch side De Graafschap, while playing at right-back. He made some important blocks during that game, in what was a good defensive performance on his side of the pitch. George made his debut for the Spurs Under 21 side as a late second half substitute in a pre-season friendly with Billericay Town, this pre-season. Which was great to see.

Just yesterday the midfielder came off the bench during the second half of the Spurs Under 18’s 7-0 win against Kerala Blasters, in the Premier League Next Generation Cup, at Hotspur Way. Abbott did well when he came on to the pitch during the second half, in midfield. He also scored a good goal after going forward with the ball at pace, before passing the ball to Damola Ajayi on the left side of the pitch, before then receiving the ball again in the centre of the penalty area, and then scoring a goal with a nice composed finish. I would like to wish George all the very best of luck for the 2022/23 season with Spurs, and I personally believe that he will be a very important player for the Spurs Under 18 side this season. 

My preview of the Spurs Under 21 sides’ participation in the 2022 Tournoi Européen:

Spurs’ Under 21 side will travel to Brittany, in France, this week to compete in the annual Tournoi Européen. The prestigious annual pre-season tournament which Spurs won in 2017, is a great and very competitive pre-season tournament. Unfortunately this pre-season I am unable to attend the tournament, despite my best efforts, as it is just too difficult to get there, this time. I have attended the previous two editions of the tournament that Spurs have been involved in, and it’s a really enjoyable tournament, which is just so competitive. Spurs did well in the last tournament that they entered a team into, but in this tournament you have to win your respective group (there are two groups of four teams) to get to the final. In Spurs’ group this time (Spurs are in group A) are AS Saint-Étienne, Paris FC and AS Monaco. In the other group are OGC Nice, Standard de Liège, Stade Rennais and En Avant Guingamp. The only other side that isn’t based in France that is competing in the 2022 edition of the pre-season tournament, is Belgian side Standard de Liège. In Spurs’ group are AS Monaco, who really impressed me in the 2018 edition of the tournament, and I’m sure that they will be a very difficult team to play against, in this edition of the tournament.

The tournament starts on Friday, but I haven’t been able to find a list of fixtures or a schedule for this edition of the tournament. Spurs usually include close to 20 players who travel as part of the squad, to European tournaments, at Academy level. It will be interesting to see who is part of the squad for this particular tournament. It will also be interesting to see whether or not Alfie Devine travels with the squad to France, as he hasn’t played for the Spurs first team this pre-season, as he would likely have returned late to pre-season, after being with the England Under 19 side at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship. Devine hasn’t been to a European tournament with any of the Spurs Academy sides, since joining the club in the summer of 2020. This will be a very interesting tournament involving eight very good under 21 sides. I will try my very best to keep people updated with how Spurs get on at the tournament. I would like to wish the Spurs Under 21 squad all the very best of luck for the 2022 edition of the Tournoi Européen.

Spurs’ group: 

AS Saint-Étienne

Paris FC

Spurs 

AS Monaco

My predicted Spurs Under 21 squad: Keeley, Gunter, Dorrington, Sayers, Muir, Paskotši, Fagan-Walcott, Cesay, Lavinier, Bowden, Lyons-Foster, John, Robson, Devine, Mundle, Santiago Mathurin, Donley. 

Spurs’ Youth team 7-0 Kerala Blasters’ Youth team: (match report)

In the semi-finals of the Premier League Next Generation Cup, at Hotspur Way, Spurs’ Youth team faced Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters’ Youth team. Spurs’ side was basically their Under 18 side, and Stuart Lewis’ side impressively won the match 7-0, to set-up a final match with West Ham United on Saturday. Spurs lined-up with Elliot Krasniqi in goal, while Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Archie Chaplin, Will Andiyapan and Jahziah Linton started in defence. Rio Kyerematen and Billy Heaps started in central midfield. Maxwell McKnight and Riley Owen started out wide on the flanks, either side of CAM Tyrese Hall, as Spurs’ captain Jaden Williams led the line. Spurs got the game underway in Enfield. After winning the ball midfielder Rio Kyerematen went forward with the ball, before having an effort blocked inside the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area. Spurs had started the game well, and they were unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty kick, after Tyrese Hall seemed to have been fouled inside the penalty area, by number 34 (unfortunately I couldn’t find a list with the names of the Kerala Blasters players). However, the referee didn’t award the penalty for Spurs. After winning the ball, Tyrese Hall passed the ball to Jaden Williams on the edge of the Kerala Blasters penalty area, but his effort was well saved by the goalkeeper.

Brandon Bryan-Waugh managed to deflect an effort over the Spurs goal, from the left side of the Spurs box. Archie Chaplin then did well to block an effort on the Spurs goal, before Stuart Lewis’ side almost took the lead. A good cross into the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area by Maxwell McKnight, was headed away by number four, but Williams managed to get on the ball. However, his effort was saved well by the goalkeeper. A low effort from distance at the other end of the pitch was saved well by Elliot Krasniqi. After receiving Tyrese Hall’s pass, Rio Kyerematen hit an effort over the goal, from the edge of the Kerala Blasters’ box, before Kerala Blasters’ number nine and centre-forward missed a good chance inside the centre of the Spurs box, but he ended up putting the ball wide of the goal. Number eight had an effort which went over Elliot Krasniqi’s goal, before Rio Kyerematen hit a free-kick effort over the goal, from the edge of the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area. Spurs took the lead soon after however, as a good move resulted in Williams receiving a pass from Kyerematen, and he then showed some excellent skill inside the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area, before passing the ball to Kyerematen, who had an effort on goal blocked on the line. However, the ball came to Jahziah Linton on the left side of the box, and he finished well into the goal, 1-0.

Spurs doubled their lead soon after taking the lead, as a clever lofted pass from Riley Owen to Rio Kyerematen inside the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area, resulted in the Spurs player passing the ball to Jaden Williams, who finished well into the goal, 2-0. Some great skill from Tyrese Hall on the left side of the penalty area to lift the ball over a defender, resulted in the first year scholar putting the ball over the goal, from a difficult angle. A pass out from the Spurs defence was met by Kerala Blasters’ number ten, who tried to score from distance, with Elliot Krasniqi out of his goal, but his effort went wide of the goal, with the referee sounding his whistle for half-time soon after. Kerala Blasters got the second half underway (Thomas Bloxam had replaced Tyrese Hall for the start of the second half). Kerala Blasters’ number 34 headed over a corner-kick, before Spurs went forward at the other end of the pitch, as Jahziah Linton hit an effort just over the goal, from the left side of the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area. Linton then did really well inside the Spurs box to make a great challenge on the Kerala Blasters’ number 17. After Thomas Bloxham had won the ball well, he passed it to Jaden Williams, who then passed it to Riley Owen on the left side of the penalty area, and he then delivered a low cross towards the back post, which Maxwell McKnight was able to guide into the goal, 3-0.

Kerala Blasters’ number nine headed over a cross from the left flank, just over the Spurs goal. Then a couple of minutes later number ten hit an effort just over Elliot Krasniqi’s goal, from the edge of the Spurs box. After winning the ball the impressive Thomas Bloxham passed the ball to Maxwell McKnight on the right flank, and the second year scholar delivered a really good low cross into the centre of the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area, which Bloxham was able to finish well from, into the goal, with a good first time effort, 4-0. Will Andiyapan did well to block number 11’s effort inside the Spurs box, before Spurs made three changes. Damola Ajayi, Yusuf Akhamrich and George Abbott all came on to replace Archie Chaplin, Riley Owen and Billy Heaps respectively. Williams had an effort blocked on the edge of the penalty area, just before Damola Ajayi passed the ball to Yusuf Akhamrich, on the left side of the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area, but the forwards’ effort went just wide of the near post. Spurs made it 5-0 soon after, as George Abbott went forward with the ball at pace, before passing the ball to Damola Ajayi on the left side of the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area, and the first year scholar passed the ball to Abbott in the centre of the box, and he calmly side-footed a low effort into the goal, 5-0.

James Roswell replaced Maxwell McKnight, before Kerala Blasters’ number 17 received the ball on the left side of the Spurs box, but Elliot Krasniqi saved his low effort well with his feet. After Kerala Blasters’ number 34 tripped Jaden Williams inside the penalty area, Spurs were awarded a penalty. Williams stepped up to put the ball into the centre of the goal, 6-0. Then shortly after the game got started again, Williams won the ball before taking it into the Kerala Blasters’ penalty area, and from the right side of the box he curled the ball into the left corner of the goal, 7-0. Kerala Blasters’ number 25 hit a lofted effort wide of the Spurs goal from distance, late on in the match, before the referee sounded his whistle for full-time. Spurs face West Ham United in the final of the Premier League Next Generation Cup, on Saturday.

Player reviews:

  • Elliot Krasniqi: The first year scholar and goalkeeper didn’t have many saves to make today, but he was good and reliable in goal.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: This was a good defensive performance from the right-back, and during the first half he did well defensively, before later moving into central defence later on during the second half. This was a good performance from Brandon.
  • Archie Chaplin: The central defender did well alongside Will Andiyapan, and he was good defensively. He also liked to pass the ball forward, out from defence.
  • Will Andiyapan: The versatile defender did well in defence, and like Archie Chaplin he was good defensively, as Spurs kept a clean-sheet.
  • Jahziah Linton: The left-back got forward really well and he deserved to get his goal, and he was unlucky not to get another goal later on in the match. 
  • Rio Kyerematen: Starting the match in defensive-midfield, Rio Kyerematen brought the ball forward well, and his link-up play and involvement in the forward areas of the pitch was impressive.
  • Billy Heaps: I thought that this was an excellent performance in midfield from Billy Heaps, who did everything so well in midfield, and he used the ball so well. The former Stevenage Academy player impressed greatly with his movement off the ball.
  • Maxwell McKnight: Starting the match on the right flank as a winger, second year scholar Maxwell McKnight got forward really well, both with and without the ball. He took his goal well, and he also got an assist during his time on the pitch in the second half.
  • Tyrese Hall: I thought that the midfielder did well in the CAM position during the first half of the match. He showed good skill on the ball, and he was unlucky not to score during his time on the pitch.
  • Riley Owen: The winger was involved in two of Spurs’ goals today, and he was very clever in his all-round play. And he used the ball well.
  • Jaden Williams: My man of the match, see below.
  • Thomas Bloxham: The skilful winger entered the pitch for the beginning of the second half, and the Republic of Ireland youth international started the second half in the CAM position. He showed some excellent skill on the ball, impressed with his hard work off the ball and he also took his goal well. 
  • Damola Ajayi: The forward did well with the ball after he came onto the pitch during the second half.
  • Yusuf Akhamrich: The first year scholar came very close to scoring a goal not too long after he was substituted on, during the second half.
  • George Abbott: This was a very good second half performance from second half substitute George Abbott, who did well in midfield and he impressed on the ball. George Abbott scored a well taken goal, after starting the move with the ball himself.
  • James Roswell: The defender and second half substitute went to right-back, late on it the game.

My man of the match – Jaden Williams. The centre-forward scored a hat-trick today, but his all-round performance was very good on the day. Impressing with his excellent movement off the ball, the second year scholar was always looking to receive the ball in and around the penalty area. Williams took all three of his goals really well. 

My preview of the Spurs Under 18 sides’ 2022/23 season:

The Spurs Under 18 sides’ 2022/23 season will be starting soon. Stuart Lewis’ side includes 27 full-time first and second year scholars, who will officially be part of the Spurs Under 18 side this season. This is a very talented squad of players, and while results didn’t always go Spurs’ way last season in the Under 18 Premier League South, a lot of the performances were good in my opinion, and they didn’t always reflect the scoreline. The Spurs Under 18 side reached the fifth round of the 2021/22 FA Youth Cup last season, and I think that they could definitely go further in that prestigious competition this season. In the league there are so many very good teams, such as Southampton, who won the Premier League South last season, Chelsea, West Ham, Fulham, Crystal Palace and Arsenal. But with the experience that the second year scholars have of playing in the Premier League South last season, as well as some of the new first year scholars who also played for the side last season, in my opinion they could do really well this season, in the league. In addition to the Under 18 Premier League South and the FA Youth Cup, there is also the Under 18 Premier League Cup, which Spurs’ Under 18 side usually compete in every season, since it’s first edition in 2017/18.

A really good number of the Spurs Under 18 side will also be competing in the UEFA Youth League, for the Spurs Under 19 side, this season. That competition will provide the players who do get the opportunity to compete in the UEFA Youth League, great experience of playing against some of Europe’s best sides at that level. Second year scholar and England youth international Luca Gunter, is a very good and promising goalkeeper who I personally think will be a very important player for the Spurs Under 18 and Under 19 side, during 2022/23. The Spurs Under 18 squad is so talented, and while I wouldn’t be surprised to see second year scholars Jaden Williams, Alfie Dorrington, Jamie Donley, Rio Kyerematen and Maxwell McKnight feature for the Spurs Under 21 side this season, I’m sure that they will still feature a lot for the Spurs Under 18 side during this season. Another second year scholar who I think will be a very important player this season for the Spurs Under 18 side, is talented and versatile midfield player Billy Heaps. The former Stevenage Academy player started to get a lot of opportunities in the Spurs Under 18 side, during the second part of the 2021/22 season. He is capable of making excellent passes, and he is a very creative player.

Archie Chaplin is a first year scholar who made a really good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. A very good central defender,  Archie really impressed last season. As did first year scholar and midfielder Han Willhoft-King, as well as versatile midfielder Tyrese Hall, when they played for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. Also, Spurs fans should look out for second year scholars Riley Owen, Brandon Bryan-Waugh and Thomas Bloxham this season. All second year scholars, Riley Owen is a highly skilful and creative winger, as is Republic of Ireland youth international Thomas Bloxham, while versatile defender Brandon Bryan-Waugh, was a player who really impressed me last season. I’m really looking forward to going to the matches again this season, and I would like to wish Stuart Lewis’ side all the very best of luck for the 2022/23 season. 

The Spurs Under 18 squad of 2022/23:

Goalkeepers: Luca Gunter, Elliot Krasniqi, Carey Bloedorn.

Defenders: Will Andiyapan, Jahziah Linton, Alfie Dorrington, Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Archie Chaplin, Pele Arganese-McDermott, Maeson King, James Roswell, Zach Simons.

Midfielders: George Abbott, Rio Kyerematen, Tyrese Hall, Billy Heaps, Kieran Morgan, Leo Black, Han Willhoft-King.

Wingers/forwards: Riley Owen, Oliver Irow, Thomas Bloxham, Maxwell McKnight, Jaden Williams, Jamie Donley, Yusuf Akhamrich, Damola Ajayi.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Luke O’Reilly:

Luke O’Reilly was a Spurs Academy goalkeeper, who was at the club for one season – 2017/18. The London born former professional footballer had previously represented West Ham United and Peterborough United, as a youth team player, before joining the Nike Academy. O’Reilly joined Cardiff City as an Academy player in 2015, from the Nike Academy. He would play for Cardiff at Academy level, before joining non-League side Redditch on loan, for a while during his time at Cardiff. Not long after returning to Cardiff from Redditch, Luke left Cardiff City. After some time without a club he joined Spurs on a one year contract, joining their then Under 23 side. Luke O’Reilly made the bench for Wayne Burnett’s side on occasions during that 2017/18 season, a season where he competed with Brandon Austin and Alfie Whiteman for a starting place in the side. However, Luke’s one and only competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 23 side, came in a quite remarkable Premier League 2 match at the Lamex Stadium, in Stevenage. He started in goal for Wayne Burnett’s side, up against a Liverpool Under 23 side that had Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings playing as the two centre-forwards in that game. Adam Lallana was also playing for Liverpool in that game.

O’Reilly had a really solid game in goal for the Spurs Under 23 side against Liverpool, as he kept a clean-sheet, in a 1-0 win for Spurs. The goalkeeper didn’t play for Spurs again at Under 23 level, during the remainder of that 2017/18 season. He left Spurs after his contract came to an end at the end of that season, but he joined Carlisle United during that summer. O’Reilly made the bench on six occasions for the Carlisle United first team, during his relatively short time at the club during the 2018/19 season. A commanding goalkeeper with good reflexes, Luke would later spend some time in the non-League, with Chelmsford City, Beaconsfield Town and Maldon & Tiptree, before calling time on his playing career, in the summer of 2020. The now 26 year old former professional footballer, has since started a really promising coaching career, as a goalkeeping coach. During and after his playing career, Luke has so far coached Academy goalkeepers at Colchester United, become the first team goalkeeping coach at Stevenage and later the head of Academy goalkeeping at the League Two club. 

Later becoming a goalkeeping coach at Ebbsfleet United, Luke is impressively now the first team goalkeeping coach at League Two side Crawley Town. He is clearly a talented and promising coach, and I wish him all the very best for the new season, and for his future in the game as a goalkeeping coach.