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.

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. 

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.

A piece on Spurs’ new Academy first year scholars for the 2022/23 season:

It was announced by Spurs on Friday, who the new Academy first year scholars will be at the club, for the 2022/23 season. Six of Spurs’ new first year scholars have already played for the Spurs Under 18 side, while an additional three players featured on the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. I saw six of the 14 Spurs Academy first year scholars play for Spurs’ Under 18 side last season. And although I didn’t see some of the new first year scholars last season, I will write a brief bit on each player, while writing more extensively on the players who I did see play for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. The goalkeepers in this seasons’ new group of Spurs Under 18 players, are Elliot Krasniqi and Carey Bloedorn. Elliot Krasniqi made the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side on 12 occasions last season, without featuring for the side, while Carey Bloedorn made the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion last season.

There will be six new defenders joining the Spurs Under 18 side next season, as first year scholars. Pele Arganese-McDermott, I believe had previously represented Luton Town, before joining Spurs, and he is a central defender. New first year scholar Archie Chaplin, is also a central defender. He made 12 Premier League South appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, before joining the club full-time this summer. I was very impressed with how Archie Chaplin did for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, and he stepped up to that level really well. I thought that he was on occasions the best player in matches last season, such was his excellent reading of the game, positioning and the quality and decisiveness of his challenges. Chaplin is a defender who also has really good pace, and I personally wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him feature for England at youth level next season. Other defenders in the group, are Maeson King, Zach Simons and James Roswell. James Roswell has represented England at youth level in the past, and he made the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side in their home Premier League South fixture with Aston Villa, in the March of 2022.

In midfield, there are four players who are joining the Spurs Academy full-time. Leo Black is a midfield player who made three competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season (all as a substitute). I believe that the first year scholar can play in the CAM position, as well as in central midfield. In the games that he was involved in for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, he showed some fine skill on the ball. Tyrese Hall is a versatile goalscoring midfield player, who can also play as a winger. Hall can also play as a defensive-midfielder and as a CAM, and he was another first year scholar who I thought did well for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. Tyrese looks like a very skilful player, and I also noticed that he seems to be  good with both feet. He made five competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, including one in the FA Youth Cup, and he provided one assist from those matches. He was excellent in a 2-1 Premier League South win away to Reading last season, while playing in central midfield. His skilful surging forward runs with the ball, as well as his good decision making on the ball impressed me a lot in that game against Reading. Hall scored a goal in Spurs’ Under 18’s 4-0 pre-season friendly win over Leyton Orient, earlier this month.

Kieran Morgan and Han Willhoft-King are also midfielders who are part of the new group of Spurs Under 18’s. I haven’t seen Kieran Morgan play for Spurs, yet, but I have seen quite a lot of Han Willhoft-King for the Spurs Under 18 side. The England youth international started all three of Spurs’ FA Youth Cup games last season, and he also started for a Spurs Under 17 side in the 2022 Premier League Under 17 Cup final, against Manchester City, last season. Willhoft-King made 13 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in all competitions, last season. Often starting matches in the defensive-midfield role, Han reminds me a bit of two Spurs Academy graduates, in Oliver Skipp and Armando Shashoua. He is always looking to receive the ball, and he uses it very well, and he is so composed on the ball. Willhoft-King is good defensively, but he is also a very creative player, whose passing is good, as is his skill on the ball and ability to skilfully get past players. He had some really good games for the Spurs Under 18 side during 2021/22.

There will be four forwards who will be joining the Spurs Under 18 side this season, as first year scholars. Damola Ajayi made two Premier League South appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, both as a substitute. Although he is a forward, Damola Ajayi can also play in midfield. He scored two goals in the Spurs Under 18’s recent 4-0 pre-season friendly win over Leyton Orient, earlier this month. The other forwards, who are part of the new group of first year scholars, are Yusuf Akhamrich, who scored a goal in the friendly win over Leyton Orient, and also Oliver Irow. Oliver Irow has also represented England at youth level, and although he only made one competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 18 side last season (as a substitute in a Premier League South fixture against Leicester City), the forward impressed with his movement off the ball in that game. He also almost scored a goal from a header in that match. Oliver Irow can play as a centre-forward or as a winger. I would like to wish the Spurs Academy first year scholars of the 2022/23 season, all the very best of luck for this season. 

My piece on Spurs’ Academy graduate Oliver Skipp – the continued rise of one of the most talented footballers that I have ever seen in Academy football:

Oliver Skipp’s rise to the Spurs first team has been excellent to see, having seen the midfielder and Spurs Academy graduate rise through the Academy ranks at the club that he has always supported. The player from Welwyn Garden City, who was brought up in Hertford, has so far made 51 competitive first team appearances for Spurs, and it surely would have been quite a lot more, but for the fact that he missed much of the second half of last season because of injury. The 21 year old is a central midfielder who can play as a defensive midfielder or in a more forward midfield role. He made 23 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in the 2016/17 season, before signing for the club full-time as a first year scholar in the summer of 2017. Yet even though he was one of the most inexperienced players of the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2016/17 season, he looked like he had been playing football at that level for years. An excellent reader of the game and someone whose confidence on the ball was wonderful to see, Skipp was already able to run games from midfield at that stage of his career, at that high Academy level.

Starting a decent number of matches for the Spurs Under 18 side during 2016/17 and 2017/18 in central defence, I never saw Skipp have a bad game in that position. In fact I thought that he was excellent and very assertive in defence, with his fantastic reading of the game very apparent. He has also shown good leadership qualities ever since I first saw him play for Spurs, and he would always point things out and give instructions to players, regardless if they were second year scholars, when he was still not a scholar himself. He even made his debut for the Spurs Under 23 side as a schoolboy footballer during the 2016/17 season, as a late substitute. No schoolboy footballer has since gone on to feature for the Spurs Under 23 side since Oliver Skipp made his competitive debut for the side. A good passer of a football who is always looking to pass the ball forward, Skipp made great strides during his first season of scholarship with Spurs, when he was mainly with the Spurs Under 23 side, who he made a really good number of appearances for.

In 2017/18 I saw Oliver boss matches in midfield against sides who had older first team players playing for their Under 23 side. Skipp was a regular for the Spurs Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League that season, and he would also feature for the Under 18 side on occasions, where his class and experience of already playing for the Under 23 side really showed. A brave player whose positioning has always been very good, he would always give more than 100% in every Academy game that I saw him play in for Spurs, and I was lucky enough to watch almost every game that he played for the Under 18’s, 19’s and 23’s, live. Providing that link between the defence and the forwards, Oliver’s surging forward runs at pace and with skill, that he would often go on at Academy level for Spurs were brilliant. He reminds me quite a bit of a player that he came up against at Under 18 level, in West Ham United’s Declan Rice. Both such assertive players in that midfield role, both are so good at carrying the ball forward from deep with skill and are also able to glide past players, while also being such tenacious defensive midfield players at the same time. I have often thought that there are a lot of similarities between both players, even though Declan Rice is older than Oliver Skipp.

The 2018/19 pre-season was a good one for Oliver, who impressed with the first team in pre-season friendlies. Skipp would make some appearances early on in the season for the Spurs Under 23 side, but it was a season that he would often train with the first team, and he did make a good number of competitive appearances for the Spurs first team, as a then second year scholar with the club. Then the following 2019/20 season saw the England youth international who has represented his country right up to Under 21 level, spend the whole of that season with the Spurs first team (he made 11 competitive appearances for them). On loan with Norwich City for the 2020/21 season, where he helped them to win the Championship, Oliver made 47 competitive appearances for Norwich, becoming such an important team player for them. And then we get to the 2021/22 season, the season just gone. Given a regular first team midfield role by the then Spurs head coach Nuno Espírito Santo, Skipp was impressive and he would keep his place in the side after Antonio Conte took over as the new head coach at the club.

Unfortunately Oliver missed much of the second half of the 2021/22 season because of injury, which was a real shame. However, I do hope that he is able to return to the first team for the upcoming pre-season, as I believe he has so much more to give, and so much potential for further improvement. This technical, energetic, tenacious and highly skilful midfielder, in my eyes has all the attributes to become a Spurs great, and a future England international too. And I’m hoping that Oliver can continue to progress really well, and I also do believe that he will be very important for Spurs over what will be a 2022/23 season which has so many games to play.

My end of season player reviews of the Spurs Under 18 side (2021/22): 

The Spurs Under 18 side of 2021/22 competed in the Under 18 Premier League South, the Under 18 Premier League Cup and the FA Youth Cup, as well as in the Under 17 Premier League Cup, which they reached the final of. Stuart Lewis’ side finished in ninth place in the Under 18 Premier League South, while they reached the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup, but were knocked out of the Under 18 Premier League Cup at the group stages. Spurs had quite an inexperienced side for much of the season, many of whom were playing their first full season at Under 18 level, hence the Spurs Under 18 side was mainly made up of first year scholars and schoolboy footballers. However, when you consider this, and also the fact that Spurs still managed to record some impressive results over the course of the season, I think that the whole experience of this season will be invaluable for the first year scholars, going in to next season. Stuart Lewis’ side started the season away at Fulham in the Premier League South, a game that they lost 4-2. However, they recorded some good results during the season, with arguably their best performance coming in the FA Youth Cup, when they won 6-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion, at Hotspur Way.

Other good performances/results include the Spurs Under 18 side impressively winning 5-3 away to West Ham United in the league, a game in which Spurs showed great character in as they were losing 2-0 early on in that match. There was also a 5-1 win for the Spurs Under 18 side in the third round of the FA Youth Cup, against an impressive Ipswich Town side. There were some difficult matches last season, but this is a very talented group of players and the schoolboy footballers who stepped-up, like midfielder Han Willhoft-King, Archie Chaplin, Sam Amo-Ameyaw and Tyrese Hall showed real quality and promise. Then there were the first and second year scholars. Forward/CAM Jamie Donley was in excellent form for the Spurs Under 18 side over the course of the season, scoring and assisting a really good number of goals, despite missing two months of the season because of injury. And the whole squad has real quality, and I’m sure that they’ll improve even more during 2022/23. A number of Spurs’ first and second year scholars (it was a Spurs Under 19 side) traveled to the Netherlands, to compete in the end of season Terborg Tournament, in the May of 2022, officially bringing the 2021/22 season to a close. It was a real pleasure to watch the matches that the Spurs Under 18 side were involved in during the season just gone, and I’m already looking forward to the start of the 2022/23 Spurs Academy season.

The squad:

Goalkeepers:

Luca Gunter: England youth international Luca Gunter made 11 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side over the course of 2021/22. A tall and commanding goalkeeper with really good reflexes, the England youth international who previously played for Queens Park Rangers, started a good number of matches for Stuart Lewis’ side in succession. He also made the bench for Spurs’ Under 23 side on occasions throughout the season. Luca Gunter was an ever present for the Spurs Under 18 side in the FA Youth Cup last season, and he was very good for Spurs in that competition, especially in the matches against Ipswich Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Gunter also had a really good game for the Spurs Under 18 side in an Under 18 Premier League Cup game against Stoke City, at Hotspur Way last year, when he kept a clean-sheet. Next season the Enfield born goalkeeper will be in his second year of scholarship with the club (he signed a professional contract with Spurs during the season just gone), and I would imagine that he will start a lot of games for the Spurs Under 18 side, the Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League and maybe even make some appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side, as well.

Adam Hayton: Luton born goalkeeper and second year scholar Adam Hayton made some tremendous saves over the course of the 2021/22 season. He made 12 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, he also made the bench for the Under 23 side on occasions, and he was also part of the Spurs Under 19 side that competed at the Terborg Tournament. The 18 year old who had made some competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during 2020/21, was a regular starter for Stuart Lewis’ side during the first part of the season, before Luca Gunter and Aaron Maguire returned to the squad. The vocal goalkeeper had two brilliant matches against Reading in the Premier League South, and he also had two very good games against Chelsea. While part of the Spurs Under 19 side that competed at the Terborg Tournament, Adam did well again, and he would have one very good game against Belgian side KRC Genk. Adam will officially be part of the Spurs Under 23 side next season, but he will also still be eligible to represent the Under 18 side, and also the Spurs Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League.

Aaron Maguire: From Leytonstone in London, goalkeeper and second year scholar Aaron Maguire (17) is a Republic of Ireland Under 19 international, who has also represented England at youth international level in the past. Maguire is always alert inside his penalty area and he is very capable of making spectacular saves. Aaron made seven competitive appearances (all in the Premier League South) for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, keeping one clean-sheet from those matches. Aaron also started for a Spurs Under 17 side in the final of the 2021/22 Under 17 Premier League Cup against Manchester City, a match that he made a number of impressive saves in. At the end of season Terborg Tournament Maguire started two of the matches for a Spurs Under 19 side, and he had one excellent match for them against Brazilian side Fluminense. Maguire was then called-up for the Republic of Ireland Under 19 side, for two friendly matches with Iceland, in early June. Maguire will officially be part of the Spurs Under 23 squad next season, in 2021/22, but will still be eligible to play for the Under 18 side, and also the Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League.

Defenders:

Will Andiyapan: Wales Under 17 international Will Andiyapan made 17 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22. The versatile defender who can play in central defence or at full-back, was a first year scholar for Spurs during the season just gone. Born in Watford, and previously with Arsenal, Will Andiyapan made the vast majority of his appearances for Stuart Lewis’ side in the Premier League South, where I was impressed with how he defended. Andiyapan reads the game well, has good pace and is a good tackler. He had a very good game in a heavy defeat to Chelsea in the Premier League South early on in the season, and the player who would provide two assists last season, started a lot of matches during the start of the season. Will also made seven appearances for the Wales Under 17 side in 2021/22. He also started the final two Premier League South matches of the season for the Spurs Under 18 side. The 17 year old defender will be a second year scholar with Spurs next season, in 2022/23.

Alfie Dorrington: Enfield born England Under 17 international Alfie Dorrington is a skilful centre-half with real ability on the ball, and he likes to go on surging forward forward runs out of defence. A first year scholar during 2021/22, Alfie Dorrington made an impressive total of 29 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. Dorrington is very good at making blocks, keeps good positioning during matches and is also good in the air. He scored one goal and provided one assist last season as a first year scholar, and he also played for the Spurs Under 19 side at the end of season Terborg Tournament. Alfie is a footballing centre-half and he showed this over the course of the 2021/22 season. Dorrington made the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion in 2021/22, in a Premier League South game against Crystal Palace. Some of the impressive performances that Alfie had last season, includes the two league appearances and wins over West Ham United, the FA Youth Cup third round tie win against Ipswich Town and also an away Premier League South win against Reading. I’m a big fan of Alfie Dorrington, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him make his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side next season.

Jordan Hackett: England Under 18 international Jordan Hackett made 14 competitive appearances (he also featured for the Spurs Under 23 side in pre-season) for the Spurs Under 18 side in the 2021/22 season, as well as making the bench for the Spurs Under 23 side on one occasion last season. The Hammersmith born left-back is a very good passer/crosser of a ball, and he started the season well by starting the first three Premier League South matches of the season for the Spurs Under 18 side. However, Jordan picked up an injury playing for the England Under 18 side in a match against Wales, and he wouldn’t return to playing for Spurs until the November of 2021. The versatile defender who can also play at centre-half, started both of Spurs’ wins in the FA Youth Cup last season. Jordan was a second year scholar in 2021/22. It was announced by Spurs on the 2nd of June that Jordan had left the club after his scholarship had come to an end.

Charlie Sayers: Left footed centre-half Charlie Sayers has good distribution, is assertive in his defending and is also a fine reader of the game. After joining Spurs on trial in the November of 2021 from National League side Southend United, Charlie signed for Spurs on a permanent basis during the following month from the Essex club. The Southend born defender who is also capable of playing at left-back, actually made all his competitive appearances for Spurs at Academy level at centre-half last season. The 18 year old second year scholar signed his first professional contract with Spurs last season, and in my opinion he had some really impressive games for Spurs at Academy level. Sayers made 14 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in all competitions, scoring two goals. He also made two Premier League 2 appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22, impressing greatly in a home 1-1 draw with Leeds United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Charlie Sayers also traveled with a Spurs Under 19 side to the Terborg Tournament, and he did really well for them in the opening game against Belgian side KRC Genk. However, he appeared to have picked up an injury in that game, and unfortunately he didn’t make any further appearances for Spurs at that tournament.

In 2022/23 Charlie Sayers will officially be part of the Spurs Under 23 squad, and he will also likely be eligible to play for the Spurs Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League.

Brandon Bryan-Waugh: Right-back Brandon Bryan-Waugh (17) was a player who I was really impressed with last season. Also capable of playing in central defence and at left-back, the Goodmayes born defender who has represented England at youth international level in the past, is a really good tackler who defends his side of the pitch really well, but he can also bring the ball forward well. Bryan-Waugh made 20 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, and he also made the bench for the Spurs Under 23 side on one occasion. One game that really stands out for me was Spurs’ 5-3 Premier League South win against West Ham United, when Brandon defended so well at right-back during that match, as well as bringing the ball up the pitch really well also. He started all of Spurs’ FA Youth Cup matches last season, and hopefully next season the player who is the second cousin of former Spurs player Aaron Lennon, will make even more appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side as he enters his second season of scholarship.

Jahziah Linton: Left-back Jahziah Linton (17) was in his first year of scholarship with the club in 2021/22, and the London born footballer made 19 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side. Linton also made some appearances for a Spurs Under 19 side at the end of season Terborg Tournament. A left-back who really likes to get forward down the left flank and who also links up well with the winger who is playing on the left flank, is a hardworking and solid defender. Jahziah got regular minutes for the Spurs Under 18 side in the Under 18 Premier League South last season, and he will be hoping to get even more minutes for them in 2022/23. I could also see Jahziah making his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side next season, as there aren’t a lot of players who play at left-back at that level for the Spurs Under 23 side.

Maxwell McKnight: Right-back Maxwell McKnight often played as a winger on the right flank for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22, but he did also start matches at right-back as well. The first year scholar is a player who I really thought did very well for Stuart Lewis’ side last season, and at both right-back and as a winger Maxwell really likes to get forward, both with and without the ball. He is very fast and technical, and in some ways he reminds me of former Spurs Academy winger Anthony Georgiou, as he is also a very good crosser of a football, and also a very hardworking player. The Colchester born former West Ham United Academy player provided the joint most assists (nine) in the Spurs Under 18 side last season, and he also scored two goals from 31 competitive appearances at Under 18 level. Maxwell is a player who I personally think could become a very important player for the Spurs Under 18 side in the UEFA Youth League next season, as he enters his second season of scholarship with the club. He is very direct with the ball, and I am sure that the Spurs fans will really enjoy watching him play in matches next season, at Academy level. 

Midfielders:

Dante Cassanova: Captaining the Spurs Under 18 side on a good number of occasions early on in the season, versatile second year scholar and defensive-midfielder Dante Cassanova made 14 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22. The London born footballer who can also play at full-back, is a very good set-piece taker and he would provide two assists last season for the Spurs Under 18 side. Cassanova also made two competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side, providing an assist in a match against West Ham United. Dante also played some Under 18 Premier League North matches for Derby County in 2021/22.

Jez Davies: Formerly of Leyton Orient, midfielder Jez Davies is a midfield player who likes to go on skilful surging forward runs with the ball, from midfield. As a second year scholar in 2021/22, Jez Davies made eight competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season (he also featured for the Spurs Under 23 side in pre-season), scoring two goals and providing two assists. The 17 year old also made one appearance for the Spurs Under 23 side, scoring an equalising goal for them in a 1-1 draw with Leeds United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the February of this year. Davies came off the bench in the second half of the Spurs Under 18 side’s 5-1 FA Youth Cup third round tie with Ipswich Town last year, to impressively score two goals. I thought that the footballer from Hackney, who is also capable of playing in central defence, impressed when he played during the second half of the season. It was announced by Spurs on the 2nd of June that Jez had left the club after his scholarship had come to an end.

Rio Kyerematen: Contributing with seven goals and six assists for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22, midfielder Rio Kyerematen (16) had a very good first season of scholarship with Spurs. Highly skilful and with a real eye for goal, the London born footballer is versatile and he can also play matches as a CAM. Rio made his debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2020/21, but during the season just gone he made a total of 27 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side. Always looking to go forward with the ball, the England Under 17 international (he provided two assists for England last season) also made his debut for the Spurs Under 23 side last season, as a second half substitute against Crystal Palace in the Premier League 2. Kyerematen had some very good games for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, and the player who also traveled with a Spurs Under 19 side to compete in the end of season Terborg Tournament, also captained the Under 18 side on occasions. Rio likes to take players on for skill with the ball, and he is a very good striker of a football, who is clinical in and around the penalty area. It was a definitely a season for the first year scholar to be proud of, and I look forward to seeing him play for Spurs again next season.

Oliver Turner: The Welwyn Garden City born midfielder and second year scholar didn’t actually make any competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22. Turner did however, start for the Spurs Under 18 side in a pre-season friendly with Ipswich Town before the start of the 2021/22 season. It was announced by Spurs on the 2nd of June that Oliver had left the club after his scholarship had come to an end.

Khalon Haysman: Former England youth international Khalon Haysman (18) is a versatile and technical midfield player who also started matches on the left flank as a winger, last season. Khalon impressed with the Spurs Under 23 side in pre-season, and he had a really fine game against non-League side Ramsgate last July, a game that he scored a well taken goal in. The Enfield born second year scholar made 12 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22, scoring two goals and providing one assist. Khalon is a skilful player who likes to get forward with the ball, and he also has an eye for goal. He last featured for the Spurs Under 18 side in an FA Youth Cup third round tie with Ipswich Town, in the December of 2021. It was announced by Spurs on the 2nd of June that Khalon had left the club after his scholarship had come to an end.

Axel Piesold: The first year scholar who missed most of the 2020/21 season because of injury, didn’t make any match-day squads for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22. The Finsbury Park born midfielder was playing some matches for non-League side Dunstable Town, towards the end of last season.

George Abbott: A tenacious, hardworking and skilful midfield player, first year scholar George Abbott (16) is a player who can strike a football really well. Born in Islington and brought up in Muswell Hill, George primarily plays as a defensive-midfielder, but he can also play at right-back, a role which I thought that he did well at last season, when he played there on occasions. He made 15 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, scoring two goals and providing one assist. George also featured for a Spurs Under 19 side at the end of season Terborg Tournament. I personally thought that the first year scholar had a fine debut full-time season with the Spurs Under 18 side, and some games that really standout to me, was the home league game against West Bromwich Albion, when George Abbott had an excellent game, also the away league game against Chelsea, when he played at right-back, also stands out. As does his performance against De Graafschap at the Terborg Tournament. George will be a second year scholar with Spurs next season, in 2021/22. 

Billy Heaps: An excellent striker of a football, versatile midfielder Billy Heaps has good pace, and he carries the ball forward well with good skill, whether he is playing in midfield or out wide. Called-up for England at youth international level in the past, the Stevenage born first year scholar made 19 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22, scoring two goals and providing three assists. Heaps didn’t make his Premier League South debut for the Spurs Under 18 side until the November of 2021, but during the second half of last season the former Stevenage Academy player made a lot of appearances for Stuart Lewis’ side, and he had some really good games, both in central midfield and out wide on the flanks. Billy also traveled with a Spurs Under 19 side to the end of season Terborg Tournament in late May, and he even started one of the matches at right-back. In addition to his skill and eye for goal, Billy Heaps has also shown in games in 2021/22, that he is a really good passer of a football, with fine vision for a forward pass. 

Forwards:

Renaldo Torraj: With great balance and low centre of gravity, Albania Under 19 international Renaldo Torraj scored two goals from 15 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22. The London born winger, who can play on either flank, or as a right-back, is a very direct player who likes to go forward with the ball at pace. Renaldo also likes to try to beat the goalkeeper from distance, and he scored an excellent goal from distance last season. The second year scholar didn’t make any additional appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side after March of this year, but the talented winger has since been called-up to represent the Albania Under 19 side in June of 2022. It was announced by Spurs on the 2nd of June that Renaldo had left the club after his scholarship had come to an end.

Riley Owen: Winger Riley Owen made 20 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22, scoring three goals and providing two assists. Born in London, and brought up in Bromley, Riley was one of the youngest first year scholars in 2021/22, having his birthday in August. However, he still made a really good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during the season just gone. Owen has a good turn of pace and has great skill and creativity on the ball, and he also has an eye for goal. He scored a brace in a 3-2 Premier League South loss to Birmingham City (away) early on in 2021/22, and he also scored a good headed goal against West Bromwich Albion later on in the season. Often starting matches on the left flank during last season, Riley also started matches as a CAM on occasions. The former Arsenal Academy player will be hoping to make even more appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2022/23.

Roshaun Mathurin: Second year scholar Roshaun Mathurin featured as a substitute in the first two Premier League South matches of the season for the Spurs Under 18 side, after featuring in some matches for the Spurs Under 23 side in pre-season. A very skilful winger who is more than capable of beating players with great skill, Roshaun scored a goal in a 7-2 home Premier League South loss to Chelsea in the August of 2021, but very unfortunately he picked up a season ending injury, not long after that match. Hopefully Roshaun will be able to get some minutes for the Spurs Under 23 side, next pre-season (2022/23).

Thomas Bloxham: With his clever twists and turns and excellent balance, it was a season of good strides for first year scholar Thomas Bloxham, in 2021/22. The Republic of Ireland Under 17 international who was called-up to represent Ireland last season for the first time, would make 27 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, scoring five goals and providing one assist. A winger who is capable of playing on either flank, as a CAM and as a centre-forward, Bloxham enjoyed a really good bit of form in early 2022, and he had an excellent game against West Bromwich Albion in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup. A very technical player, Thomas is always looking to go forward with the ball, and he does like to try and work the goalkeeper, as well. Unfortunately Thomas picked up an injury towards the end of the 2021/22 season, in Spurs’ Under 18 side’s last Premier 

League South match of the season. However, hopefully he will be back soon, for the start of pre-season.

Jaden Williams: This was a first season of scholarship that forward Jaden Williams should be proud of. The Harrow born centre-forward impressed greatly with his off the ball movement, as well as his goals and assists. Jaden scored 13 goals and provided eight assists from 28 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side. Jaden also made five appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side, in the Premier League 2. The first year scholar scored five goals and provided two assists in a  brilliant 7-0 home Premier League South win over Birmingham City last season. Williams likes to make runs in behind in the defence, is very good inside the penalty area and is also a clinical finisher. This was a very good debut full-time season for Jaden, who also showed his versatility by starting matches out wide on the flanks. The player who captained the Spurs Under 18 side on two occasions in the Premier League South last season, had some very good games, including in the FA Youth Cup. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jaden starts a good number of games for the Spurs Under 23 side next season, alongside Jamie Donley.

Jamie Donley: The top scorer for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22 with 17 competitive goals (he missed two months of the season because of injury), forward and first year scholar Jamie Donley also provided nine assists for the team, from 24 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side. Born in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Jamie has grown up in England, and has been at Spurs for almost ten years. A tall and physical forward, who is also a good athlete. Donley often started matches as a CAM for Stuart Lewis’ side during the season just gone, and this was where he was able to showcase his excellent vision for a pass and passing ability, in a very Harry Kane-esque way. In good form for England Under 17’s in 2021/22, Jamie Donley was also very good in front of goal, of course. He did also start a good number of games at centre-forward, and he is a very clinical finisher who scores a real variety of goals, including some really spectacular goals. Donley’s work rate is outstanding, and in some ways he does remind me of Troy Parrott when he was a first year scholar. Jamie also made three competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22, providing one assist. He would also feature for a Spurs Under 19 side at the end of season Terborg Tournament.

My goal of the season: Jamie Donley’s excellent bicycle kick goal against West Bromwich Albion in the October of 2021. A corner-kick which was delivered from Dante Cassanova into the West Brom penalty area was met by Donley, whose excellent overhead kick went into the top right hand corner of goalkeeper Ronnie Hollingshead’s goal. It was a truly special goal. 

My save of the season: Adam Hayton’s excellent save to stop Reading Under 18’s player Harry Murphy’s effort in a 3-2 Premier League South home win for Spurs, in the September of 2021. After receiving a pass on the right side of the Spurs penalty area, the Reading player hit a really good effort across the goal, which was excellently saved by Adam Hayton at full stretch, as he made the save.

My game of the season: Spurs Under 18’s 5-3 West Ham United. It was a performance of great character from the Spurs Under 18 side that saw them respond to West Ham going 2-0 up early on in the first half of this Premier League South match at Little Heath, in the April of 2022. The Spurs side would respond excellently, and a brace from Jamie Donley, and goals from Jaden Williams, Billy Heaps and Maxwell McKnight would make sure of the win for Spurs. In my opinion it was Spurs’ best of the season at this level.

The Superhotspur Spurs Under 18’s player of the season (2021/22): Jamie Donley. Often starting matches as a CAM, the England Under 17 international was in my opinion excellent throughout the 2021/22 season. Donley’s excellent Harry Kane-esque passing ability and goalscoring, as well as his link-up play and superb off the ball work made him one of the best players in the Premier League South in 2021/22, and this was made even more impressive by the fact that he missed two months of the season with an injury. This was a season that the first year scholar should be very proud of. Scoring 17 goals and assisting nine goals in your first season full-time with a club for an Under 18 side, is very impressive.

Spurs Under 19’s 0-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 19 side contested the seventh/eighth place play-off match at the 2022 Terborg Tournament on Sunday morning, when they faced German side Borussia Mönchengladbach in their final match of the tournament. Wayne Burnett’s side lost the game 1-0, meaning that they finish the tournament in eighth place. However, they did deserve more from the game with Borussia Mönchengladbach. Aaron Maguire started in goal for Spurs, while a back four of Billy Heaps, Alfie Dorrington, Matthew Craig and Jahziah Linton started in defence. Charlie Davis and Jack Grieves started in midfield, with Jaden Williams and Yago Santiago starting out wide on the flanks, either side of CAM Nile John. Toby Adeyemo would lead the line for Spurs. Borussia Mönchengladbach got the game underway. Toby Adeyemo volleyed an effort from Nile John’s cross into the Borussia Mönchengladbach box, wide of the goal, from close range. Then Billy Heaps hit an effort wide from distance, before Toby Adeyemo volleyed wide a cross from Jaden Williams. After receiving a pass from Adeyemo on the left side of the Borussia Mönchengladbach box, Jack Grieves had an effort saved by the Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper. 

Some good work from Yago Santiago on the left flank resulted in him entering the Borussia Mönchengladbach penalty area. He had an effort saved by their goalkeeper, with the ball then going to Toby Adeyemo, who also had an effort saved. The Borussia Mönchengladbach number eight saw his effort deflect off of Alfie Dorrington, before going wide of the Spurs goal. Santiago had an effort saved from the left side of the Borussia Mönchengladbach box, and then a couple of minutes later Borussia Mönchengladbach took the lead. A good move resulted in number eight passing the ball to number 15 on the left side of the Spurs box, and his low effort went into the goal, although Aaron Maguire did manage to get a hand on the ball, 0-1. Alfie Dorrington headed over Nile John’s cross into the Borussia Mönchengladbach box, before Jack Grieves’ low effort from distance deflected wide of the goal. Jaden Williams headed behind Yago Santiago’s resulting corner-kick, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time.

Spurs got the second half underway. After Yago Santiago passed the ball to Nile John inside the Borussia Mönchengladbach box, John hit an effort wide of the goal. The Borussia Mönchengladbach number eight curled an effort over from distance, before Spurs made a double substitution as George Abbott and Romaine Mundle replaced Jaden Williams and Charlie Davis respectively. A cross from Jahziah Linton ended up going just wide of the Borussia Mönchengladbach goal, and then after going past number 16, Nile John passed the ball to Romaine Mundle on the right side of the Borussia Mönchengladbach box, but his resulting low effort was saved well by the goalkeeper. Nile John showed good skill to go past two players shortly after, before having an effort saved by the Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper. Santiago hit an effort towards goal which was deflected wide off of a defender, and a couple of minutes after that chance George Abbott hit an effort wide from a Romaine Mundle corner-kick, which came to him on the edge of the penalty area. The Borussia Mönchengladbach number 11 then hit an effort across Aaron Maguire’s goal at the other end of the pitch.

Maguire did well to save number five’s effort from distance, and with the game almost over Spurs made one last change, as Rio Kyerematen replaced Jack Grieves in central midfield. After winning a late free-kick on the edge of the Borussia Mönchengladbach penalty area, Romaine Mundle hit a powerful effort against the crossbar, before the referee sounded his whistle for full-time. 

My man of the match: Yago Santiago. The 19 year old started the match out on the left flank as a winger, and he was by far Spurs’ most inventive player on the day. Santiago was direct, and he showed some really good skill and pace with the ball, and he was unlucky not to score a goal against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Spurs Under 19’s 0-2 De Graafschap: (match report)

In their final group game of the Terborg Tournament, Spurs’ Under 19 side faced Dutch side De Graafschap. Wayne Burnett’s side lost the game 2-0. Adam Hayton started in goal for Spurs, while a back four of George Abbott, Alfie Dorrington, Matthew Craig and Jahziah Linton started in front of him. Rio Kyerematen and Nile John started in midfield, as Romaine Mundle and Jaden Williams started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Toby Adeyemo would lead the line for Spurs. De Graafschap got the match underway. However, the game didn’t get off to a good start for Spurs, who conceded an early goal. Goalkeeper Adam Hayton’s pass out from his penalty area was met by De Graafschap’s number 12, who quickly passed the ball to the number nine in the centre of the Spurs box, and he was able to finish low past Hayton, 0-1. Hayton saved an effort from De Graafschap’s number ten shortly after the game resumed, before De Graafschap doubled their lead. The De Graafschap number seven’s cross from the left was met by the De Graafschap number ten, who calmly finished past Adam Hayton and into the goal, 0-2.

George Abbott blocked a volley from the De Graafschap number seven, before he then did really well to block an effort from the same player inside the Spurs box, before the De Graafschap number ten hit a deflected effort wide of the goal. Alfie Dorrington blocked an effort from the number seven late on in the half, and just before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. Spurs got the second half underway. Charlie Davis and Yago Santiago came on to replace Toby Adeyemo and Jamie Donley respectively. De Graafschap’s number 12 hit an effort just over from the edge of the Spurs box, before Yago Santiago headed over Romaine Mundle’s cross, at the other end of the pitch. Billy Heaps came on to replace Rio Kyerematen, and then Jack Grieves came on to replace Nile John. After meeting number 22’s cross, De Graafschap’s number ten had an effort saved by Adam Hayton, who a couple of minutes later saved an effort from the same player inside the Spurs box. De Graafschap’s number seven hit an effort into the side-netting of Adam Hayton’s goal, from the left side of the Spurs box, before George Abbott blocked De Graafschap’s number 22’s effort inside the Spurs box, with the referee then sounding his whistle for full-time.

Unfortunately this result means that Spurs finish the Van Egmond group in fourth place. They face Borussia Monchengladbach tomorrow morning, in a seventh/eighth place play-off match.

My Spurs player of the match: George Abbott. Starting the match at right-back first year scholar George Abbott defended solidly during the 2-0 loss to De Graafschap, and he often stayed deep. Abbott made some good blocks, including one very good one to stop what seemed a certain goal during the first half.