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. 

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

In their second group of game of the Terborg Tournament, Spurs’ Under 19 side faced Brazilian side Fluminense. Wayne Burnett’s side lost the game 1-0, against a Fluminense side who were much the better team, during the match. Spurs lined-up with Aaron Maguire in goal, while a back four of Dermi Lusala, Alfie Dorrington, Matthew Craig and Jahziah Linton started in front of him. Rio Kyerematen and captain Nile John started in midfield, as Yago Santiago and Romaine Mundle started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jack Grieves. Jamie Donley would lead the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway. The Fluminense number nine hit an early effort into the side-netting of Aaron Maguire’s goal, from the left side of the Spurs box, before the Fluminense number 11 delivered a cross into the Spurs box, which was met by a forward, whose effort came off of the underside of Maguire’s crossbar before bouncing up. The ball then came to their number five, whose overhead kick went over the Spurs goal. Alfie Dorrington blocked an effort from the Fluminense number seven, and then at the other end of the pitch Romaine Mundle was brought down inside the Fluminense box, by their right-back, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. However, Mundle’s following effort was saved by the goalkeeper, who went the right way. 

A free-kick which was delivered into the Spurs penalty area by Fluminense’s number six, was headed wide of the Spurs goal. Dermi Lusala received a yellow card a couple of minutes before a quickly taken free-kick from the number seven of Fluminense, allowed their left winger space and time with the ball on the left side of the Spurs box. However, Aaron Maguire came rushing out to close down his angles, and he made a good save to stop his effort on goal. Maguire then saved an effort from Fluminense’s number ten inside the Spurs box, before Alfie Dorrington blocked an effort from the number ten, with the ball then going to Fluminense’s number six. His effort from the edge of the Spurs box was really well saved by Aaron Maguire. From a corner-kick late on in the first half, Fluminense’s number three headed the delivery into the box just over the Spurs goal, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. Fluminense got the second half underway, and then not long into the half Spurs made a double substitution, as Jack Grieves and Rio Kyerematen were replaced by Toby Adeyemo and Charlie Davis respectively. 

It was from a free-kick that Fluminense took a deserved second half lead, after the ball came to Fluminense’s number five inside the Spurs box, and his low effort found the bottom right hand corner of Aaron Maguire’s goal. Shortly after replacing Yago Santiago, Billy Heaps was shown a yellow card. Fluminense’s number 11 hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal, a couple of minutes before Jamie Donley and Toby Adeyemo both had efforts on goal blocked in quick succession. George Abbott replaced Dermi Lusala at right-back, before Toby Adeyemo hit an effort over on the volley from inside the Fluminense box. Fluminense’s number 17 hit a late effort wide of the Spurs goal, before the referee brought the match to an end.

My man of the match: Aaron Maguire. The Spurs goalkeeper made some really good saves against Fluminense. Maguire was commanding in goal, and Fluminense would have won the match by more goals, were it not for some great saves from the second year scholar.

Spurs Under 19’s 1-1 KRC Genk: (match report)

A Spurs Under 19 side played their first group stage match of the 2022 Terborg Tournament, when they faced talented Belgian side KRC Genk on Friday evening. Wayne Burnett’s side recorded a 1-1 draw in their opening group match of the tournament. It was a good performance from Spurs however, and in what was a very open second half, either side could have won the match. Adam Hayton started the match in goal, while George Abbott, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Dermi Lusala started in defence. Matthew Craig and captain Nile John started in midfield, with Romaine Mundle and Yago Santiago starting out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Jaden Williams would lead the line for Spurs. Genk got the game underway. Adam Hayton came rushing out of his goal to confidently get to a lofted forward pass, before then clearing number eight’s forward pass (unfortunately I couldn’t manage to find a team-sheet), fairly early on in the game. After Alfie Dorrington was unable to clear/control a forward pass, Genk’s centre-forward and number nine was able to get onto the ball and go forward with the ball down the right side of the Spurs box. Adam Hayton did really well to save the centre-forward’s effort, with Charlie Sayers then clearing the ball.

After receiving a pass from number five on the left side of the Spurs box, Genk’s number 11 hit Adam Hayton’s near post, with a fine effort. An effort from a Genk player was then deflected wide inside the Spurs box, before their number four had a headed effort saved by Hayton, from a Genk corner-kick. Jamie Donley had an effort blocked at the opposite end of the pitch, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time (each half is 25 minutes long). Spurs got the second hand underway. Wayne Burnett’s side got the second half off to a great start, as Spurs took an early lead. It was a good move, as Santiago passed the ball to Donley down the left side of the Genk penalty area, and his early low cross to Jaden Williams, was tapped past the Genk goalkeeper from close range, 1-0. Nile John hit an effort over from distance on the right flank, before Toby Adeyemo (a player from Watford FC) came on to replace Jaden Williams. After receiving the ball on the left flank and going inside onto his right foot, the Genk number 11 had an effort saved by Adam Hayton. George Abbott then blocked an effort on the edge of the Spurs box, before the Genk number 14 managed to find the bottom right hand corner of Hayton’s goal, 1-1.

After receiving a pass, the Genk number nine had a deflected effort on the turn saved by Hayton. Jack Grieves came on to replace George Abbott, a couple of minutes later. Charlie Sayers headed Yago Santiago’s cross into the Genk penalty area, just wide of the goal. Shortly after that chance for Spurs, Jamie Donley headed wide Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick. The Genk left-back then delivered a cross into the Spurs box, which was met by their number 11, whose headed effort on goal was excellently saved by Adam Hayton. The ball then came to another Genk player, but his effort from close range hit the post, before being cleared. After gettting on the ball on the edge of the Spurs box following a corner-kick, the Genk number 15 hit an effort over Adam Hayton’s goal. Romaine Mundle hit a free-kick from out on the right flank, into the side-netting of the Genk goal, before at the other end of the pitch, the Genk number seven came inside with the ball onto his right foot, before hitting an effort over the Spurs goal.

Spurs came very close to getting a late winner, after Jamie Donley brought the ball forward towards the edge of the Genk box, before hitting a powerful effort which hit the crossbar. Matthew Craig received a late yellow card, before the referee sounded his final whistle. Spurs’ next group match is against Brazilian side Fluminense, tomorrow afternoon.

Player reviews:

  • Adam Hayton: My man of the match, see below.
  • George Abbott: Starting the match at right-back, first year scholar George Abbott defended well, and often stayed deep to help the central defenders, during his time on the pitch. 
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half worked well alongside Charlie Sayers, and the defender from Enfield did some good defensive work, and was also good in the air.
  • Charlie Sayers: This was a very impressive performance from the left footed central defender, who was really assured in defence. Sayers made some really good decisions, was always alert and his positioning was also good. The second year scholar also went on one very good run with the ball, out from defence.
  • Dermi Lusala: Starting the match at left-back, full-back Dermi Lusala supported Yago Santiago well in forward areas.
  • Matthew Craig: The defensive-midfielder worked well in central midfield, before then going to right-back, during the second half. 
  • Nile John: The Spurs captain often got forward well, and like Matthew Craig he worked well in midfield.
  • Romaine Mundle: The winger went on some good forward runs with the ball during the game, and he started the match well. Romaine started the match out on the right flank. 
  • Jamie Donley: This was a good performance from the Spurs CAM, who set-up Jaden Williams’ goal, and also hit the crossbar late on in the game with a really good effort. Donley worked really hard, and his movement off the ball was good.
  • Yago Santiago: Starting the match out on the left flank as a winger, Yago Santiago went on some runs forward with the ball, and he was direct with it. He was also involved in Spurs’ goal.
  • Jaden Williams: The Spurs centre-forward led the line well, and was in a good position to score his goal, early on in the second half.
  • Toby Adeyemo: The Watford player went to centre-forward after replacing Jaden Williams.
  • Jack Grieves: The Watford player went into central midfield after replacing George Abbott during the second half.

My man of the match: Adam Hayton. The goalkeeper and second year scholar made two very good and important saves against Genk, on Friday evening. However, they weren’t the only saves that Adam made, and his all-round performance in goal was very good.

My preview of the Spurs Under 19 side’s participation in the 2022 Terborg Tournament:

On Friday a Spurs Under 19 side will play their first match of the 2022 Terborg Tournament, when they take on KRC Genk in Terborg, in The Netherlands. This is the first time that a Spurs Under 19 side has competed in a tournament outside of England since 2019. So this will be a great occasion for the players who travel to the 2022 Terborg Tournament. Spurs’ Under 19 side have been drawn in the Van Egmond Group (there is two groups in the tournament and group matches are 25 x 2 minutes long), alongside Fluminense, KRC Genk and De Graafschap. The format of the Terborg Tournament is slightly different to the Tournoi Europeen, which the Spurs Under 21 side have competed in regularly in recent years. The top two sides in the group at the Terborg Tournament progress to the semi-finals of the competition, while the remaining sides who finish in third and fourth place in their respective group, will play a one off play-off match to determine where they will finish in the tournament standings. The last time Spurs competed in this tournament, Wayne Burnett was the head-coach, and players such as Dilan Markanday, Luis Binks and Harvey White were all part of the Spurs squad that traveled to Terborg.

Spurs’ first game of the 2022 Terborg Tournament will be against very talented Belgian side KRC Genk. KRC Genk actually beat Chelsea 5-1 in the 2021/22 UEFA Youth League. Fluminense won the Terborg Tournament in 2015, and De Graafschap are a local Dutch side. It will be very difficult to finish in the top two of the Van Egmond Group, and it would be a very good achievement if we did manage to achieve that. Although it is an Under 19’s tournament, I believe that Spurs can select some older players to compete in the tournament. It will be interesting to see whether some of the older players who are officially part of the Spurs Under 23 side will travel along with the team to Terborg. This tournament is a great and prestigious competition (this is the 41st edition of the tournament), and it will be a great three days of football for the Spurs Under 19 side, as they get to play against some really good sides from across the world. I will be travelling to The Netherlands later in the week, to cover Spurs’ matches at the tournament. I’m really looking forward to it, and I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the tournament.

Spurs’ fixtures at the tournament:

Friday: Spurs versus KRC Genk (18:00pm Central European time).

Saturday: Spurs versus Fluminense (13:00pm Central European time).

Spurs versus De Graafschap (16:00pm Central European time).

Sunday: To be confirmed.

Some notes on Spurs’ highly skilful first year scholar Thomas Bloxham, and his 2021/22 season:

Thomas Bloxham is currently a first year scholar with Spurs. The winger from Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, has been at Spurs for a long time. He made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side as a late substitute in their opening Premier League South fixture of this season (2021/22), against Fulham. Bloxham made 26 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during the Academy season of 2021/22. Thomas didn’t always start matches during the season just gone, but he came off the bench as a substitute to make a good impression on matches. He actually started his first Premier League South match of the season for the Spurs Under 18 side, as a centre-forward in a home match against Leicester City, in the December of 2021. He scored five goals and provided one assist for Stuart Lewis’ side this season, but it was his performance against a good West Brom side in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup, when he scored two goals and was involved in other goals, in a 6-1 win, which was arguably his best performance of the season for Spurs.

Thomas Bloxham is such a skilful player who has a good low centre of gravity. With his clever twists and turns with the ball, he can be very difficult to defend against. I have also noticed that Thomas likes to try the Marseille turn with the ball in matches, and I have noticed that on occasions this season. A very clever player with the ball, the winger who has started matches on either flank this season, has an eye for goal. And the player with great balance often likes to go inside from the flank, with the ball to then find the goal (an example of this was in a recent league fixture against Norwich City, when he scored a goal). However, although Bloxham is a direct winger with the ball, he is also unpredictable, and really difficult to defend against. A really good striker of a football, Bloxham likes to try his luck from distance with the ball. His movement off the ball is very good (he works very hard off the ball as well) and he gets into some good positions in and around the penalty area.

During the last international break Thomas was called-up to represent the talented Republic of Ireland Under 17 side. This would have likely been a very proud and memorable moment for the 17 year old, and it shows just how highly rated he must be by the Football Association of Ireland. In some ways Thomas Bloxham reminds me a bit of Samuel Shashoua, when he was a first year scholar. Similar players who are both versatile, very skilful and who use the ball really well. Samuel of course would go onto become one of the finest players in the Premier League South during his second season of scholarship (2016/17). Unfortunately Thomas picked up an injury in the first half of Spurs’ Under 18’s last Premier League South fixture of the season, against Arsenal last Saturday, and he had to be substituted in the first half. I wish Thomas a good recovery and I look forward to seeing him again for Spurs next season, if not at the end of season Terborg Tournament.

Some notes on Spurs’ first year scholar and centre-forward – Jaden Williams:

In my latest article on the Spurs first year scholars of the 2021/22 season, I have written a piece on centre-forward Jaden Williams. The second top scorer for Spurs during the 2021/22 season at Under 18’s level, the player who was born at Northwick Park Hospital, but brought up in Edgware, has been at Spurs for a long time. Williams made 28 competitive appearances for Spurs’ Under 18 side during the 2021/22 season, plus an additional five appearances for Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side, in the Premier League 2. The versatile forward made his debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in a competitive fixture, in the first Premier League South fixture of the season, against Fulham (he scored in that game). Impressing not only with the goals that he has scored this season, but also in his all-round play, Jaden has shown that he can lead the line really well, but he is also capable of starting matches in different positions, such as out wide, as a winger.

Jaden Williams was in good goalscoring form during the early parts of the season, and would score in three consecutive Premier League South matches in the autumn of 2021. However, the player who scored 13 competitive goals for Stuart Lewis’ side during the season just gone, very impressively scored five goals against Birmingham City, in a Premier League South game at Hotspur Way, earlier this year, and he was unsurprisingly outstanding during that game. He has also shown the creative side to his game during the season just gone, and he provided eight assists during the 2021/22 season, for the Spurs Under 18 side. Williams has done really well this season, and he has linked up really well with the top scorer for the Spurs Under 18 side this season, Jamie Donley. Both players have a really good understanding with each other, and although when starting matches as a CAM, Jamie Donley often is the player who drops deep to make forward passes to Williams, both of their link up play is really good.

A very quick player, Jaden is a very good finisher inside the penalty area (he can strike a football well), and his movement off the ball and positioning inside the penalty area is also very good. In addition to being fast and having a good turn of pace, the first year scholar is a really skilful player, who likes to take defenders on with the ball. A good example of this was in Spurs’ Under 18’s 5-3 away win against West Ham United, earlier this year, when he showed great close ball control inside the West Ham box, before finishing well, following an excellent bit of skill to get past a West Ham defender. Even when leading the line, Williams likes to drift out wide to receive the ball on occasions, and he is also capable of making really good runs in behind the defence. The game which really stands out when you look through all of the matches that Jaden has been involved in this season, is the game against Birmingham City, when the forward scored five goals and provided two assists in a 7-0 win to Spurs.

In the game against Birmingham, Jaden Williams was absolutely outstanding. He made some excellent runs in behind the Birmingham defence, showed great skill on the ball, balance and also what a clinical finisher he is. Jaden has certainly impressed during his first year of scholarship at the club, and the season might not be over yet for Jaden, as it will be interesting to see if he is a part of the Spurs Under 19 side side that will participate in the Terborg Tournament, at the end of this month. However, the forward should be proud of all that he has achieved this season.

Spurs Under 18’s 0-5 Arsenal: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side welcomed Arsenal to Hotspur Way on Saturday morning, for their final Premier League South fixture of the 2021/22 season. Spurs lost the north London derby 5-0, in what was a disappointing end to the season, with Arsenal the much better side on the day. Spurs lined-up with Aaron Maguire in goal, while a back four of Maxwell McKnight, Will Andiyapan, Alfie Dorrington and Jahziah Linton started in front of him. George Abbott and Dante Cassanova started in midfield, as Thomas Bloxham and Billy Heaps started out on the flanks, either side of CAM and Spurs captain Jamie Donley. Jaden Williams would lead the line for Spurs. Arsenal got the match underway. Early on in the match Mauro Bandeira hit an effort which deflected just wide of the Spurs goal. Then from the following corner-kick which was delivered by Bandeira, Alfie Dorrington tried to clear the ball, but it came to James Sweet inside the Spurs box, and he was able to finish past Maguire, 0-1. Aaron Maguire saved a deflected effort soon after the goal, and then against the run of play Spurs were awarded a penalty kick, after Henry Jeffcott handled Maxwell McKnight’s cross inside the Arsenal penalty area. However, Jamie Donley’s resulting penalty kick was saved low down by Remy Mitchell.

Rio Kyerematen replaced the injured Thomas Bloxham in what was Spurs’ first change of the game, before Jamie Donley had an effort blocked inside the Arsenal box. Jack Henry-Francis volleyed over Mauro Bandeira’s cross, before Arsenal doubled their lead. As Jack Henry-Francis volleyed James Sweet’s cross into the bottom right corner of the Spurs goal, 0-2. Amario Cozier-Duberry hit an effort into the side-netting of Maguire’s goal, from the left side of the Spurs box. After that chance Alfie Dorrington made a really good challenge on James Sweet inside the Spurs box. Arsenal made it 3-0 on 31 minutes, after Mauro Bandeira received a pass from Jack Henry-Francis inside the Spurs box, the midfielder went past Jahziah Linton with the ball, before hitting the ball into the goal, via a deflection off of Alfie Dorrington, 0-3. Billy Heaps hit an effort into the side-netting of the Arsenal goal from the left side of their box, before Charles JR Sagoe saw his deflected effort go over Aaron Maguire’s goal. Dorrington then made an important block from Charles JR Sagoe’s effort inside the Spurs box.

Maguire saved Mauro Bandeira’s effort from distance, before Dorrington blocked an effort from the same player soon after. Mauro Bandeira had an effort from the right side of the Spurs box saved by Maguire, just before Charles JR Sagoe headed Mauro Bandeira’s cross wide of the Spurs goal, in what was the final chance of the half. Spurs got the second half underway, with Riley Owen replacing Dante Cassanova at half-time. Bradley Ibrahim curled an effort just over Aaron Maguire’s goal, just before Maguire had saved Jack Henry-Francis’ effort with his feet inside the Spurs box, before then saving Charles JR Sagoe’s resulting effort. Bradley Ibrahim hit a low effort wide of the Spurs goal, and a couple of minutes later Maxwell McKnight did well to block Jack Henry-Francis’ volleyed effort at the back post of Aaron Maguire’s goal. A clearance from the Spurs goalkeeper then rebounded off of Charles JR Sagoe, but Will Andiyapan was able to clear the ball on the line, just in time. After going inside with the ball from the left side of the pitch, Amario Cozier-Duberry had an effort saved by Aaron Maguire. Then at the other end of the pitch Jamie Donley had a headed effort saved from a Riley Owen cross. 

Arsenal extended their lead after Jack Henry-Francis met Mauro Bandeira’s low cross inside the Spurs box, and his effort was blocked on the line by George Abbott, with the ball then looping up, and Alfie Dorrington was unfortunate not to be able to clear it for a second time, as it crossed the line, 0-4. Archie Chaplin replaced Jahziah Linton, before George Abbott hit an effort from the edge of the Arsenal box.  Charles JR Sagoe’s low effort inside the Spurs box was saved by Maguire, just before Arsenal got their fifth goal of the game. Ismail M’Hand managed to win the ball off of Archie Chaplin, before bringing the ball into the Spurs box, and finishing well past Aaron Maguire, at his near post, 0-5. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time a couple of minutes later. The season may now have finished for the Spurs Under 18 side, but the end of season Terborg Tournament in The Netherlands starts on the 27th of May, and I imagine that a number of players from Stuart Lewis’ side will travel to that tournament.

My Spurs player of the match: Aaron Maguire. Although centre-half Alfie Dorrington  made some really good challenges and blocks, as well as bringing the ball out well from the back, I thought that Spurs’ goalkeeper Aaron Maguire was Spurs’ best player against Arsenal. The second year scholar made a number of impressive saves to keep the score down to 5-0. Maguire has impressed every time that I have seen him play for Spurs this season. 

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

Spurs’ Under 18 side will play their final competitive fixture of the 2021/22 season on Saturday, when they host Arsenal in a Premier League South north London derby at Hotspur Way (the match starts at 11:00am). Spurs recorded a 3-3 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion in their last league match, and especially during the second half of that match, Spurs played some very good football. Arsenal are 14 points above Spurs in the Premier League South table, with 45 points from 25 league matches, going into their final league fixture of the season. Arsenal won 3-2 against Spurs in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and they go into the match on Saturday in good form. Spurs will be hoping to end the season well, and there would be no better way to end the league season, than winning against Arsenal at Hotspur Way. This should be a great match, and I look forward to reporting on it, as always. Arsenal actually haven’t won at Hotspur Way against Spurs in the Premier League South, since the 2016/17 season, when a side including Eddie Nketiah, Donyell Malen and Joe Willock, won 4-2 against Spurs. I would like to wish the current Spurs Under 18 side all the very best of luck for the game on Saturday.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Maguire, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers, Hackett, Abbott, Kyerematen, McKnight, Donley (c), Heaps, Williams.

Subs from: Hayton, Linton, Andiyapan, Bloxham, Owen.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-3

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Khayon Edwards. The Arsenal player and second year scholar has scored an impressive total of 14 Premier League South goals and provided three assists, from 16 matches this season.

Some notes on Spurs’ first year scholar Billy Heaps, and his 2021/22 season:

Midfielder Billy Heaps has been really impressive for Spurs’ Under 18 side during the second half of the 2021/22 season. From Stevenage in Hertfordshire, Billy joined Spurs from League Two side Stevenage around three years ago, and has since worked his way up the various youth ranks at Spurs, before joining the club full-time in the summer of 2021. The first year scholar (16) who made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in an Under 18 Premier League Cup group-stage game against Leeds United last year, has also been called-up to represent England, at youth level in the past. Heaps had to wait until the November of 2021, to make his Premier League South debut, as a late substitute in a home game against Southampton. He has subsequently featured in every Spurs Under 18 league match apart from one, since making his league debut against Southampton, last year. A skilful midfield player, Billy Heaps has scored two goals and provided three assists from 17 appearances for Stuart Lewis’ side, so far this season.

Billy is a central-midfielder, who can also play as a defensive-midfielder, although he has also started matches out wide, on either flank so far this season. Heaps is a tenacious midfield player, has good pace, and is a really hard worker, who covers a lot of ground in midfield. Regardless of whether he has started matches out on the flanks or in central midfield, the first year scholar has shown his really good passing ability. He has great vision for a pass, is a creative player and one who is good with his long and short distance passing. Tidy in possession of the ball and clever in how he uses the ball, Billy Heaps is an efficient player, and one who has started to remind me quite a lot of Jamie Bowden, when he used to play for the Spurs Under 18 side. Both are very hardworking midfield players who also get forward well on the pitch, but they also have a good eye for goal, and are very good strikers of a football. 

Billy Heaps has made some terrific lofted passes in recent matches, and in Spurs’ second last Premier League South match of the season, yesterday against Brighton, the player who started the match out on the left flank, made two brilliant lofted forward passes to centre-forward Jamie Donley. From one of those passes, Donley scored a goal, but Heaps has made some similar passes, including one in the previous game against Norwich City (away), last Saturday. However, in that game against Brighton, Billy also scored a well taken goal from the left side of the Brighton penalty area. In another game, this time in a home Premier League South fixture against Norwich City, while starting in central midfield, Billy was quietly very effective in how he broke up play, used the ball and also in how composed he was in his overall play. Billy Heaps will be hoping to start the final Premier League South fixture of the 2021/22 season, against Arsenal on Saturday. 

Spurs Under 18’s 3-3 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Brighton & Hove Albion in a Premier League South fixture on Tuesday afternoon, at The Amex Elite Football Performance Centre, in Lancing. Stuart Lewis’ Spurs side recorded a 3-3 draw with Brighton, in what was a brilliant game of football. Spurs lined-up with Adam Hayton in goal, while Maxwell McKnight, Will Andiyapan, Alfie Dorrington and Jahziah Linton started in defence. George Abbott and Dante Cassanova started in midfield, as Jaden Williams and Billy Heaps started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Rio Kyerematen. Spurs’ captain Jamie Donley led the line. Brighton got the game underway. After going inside with the ball from the right flank, Benicio Baker-Boaitey hit an effort over the Spurs goal. Will Andiyapan then managed to block Jack Hinshelwood’s effort inside the Spurs box, before Marcus Ifill managed to latch onto a loose pass in midfield and then went forward with the ball, before giving it to Zak Emmerson inside the Spurs box. However, Adam Hayton came off his line to close down Emmerson’s angles, before making a good save.

Benicio Baker-Boaitey hit the post after volleying a cross on the edge of the Spurs box, before Brighton took the lead. Baker-Boaitey was able to make a through-ball pass to Emmerson in the centre of the Spurs box, and the former Oldham Athletic player was able to finish low past Hayton, who did manage to get a hand the ball, before it went in off one of the posts, 0-1. Dante Cassanova hit the Brighton wall from a free-kick effort, and then the alert Adam Hayton came rushing out of his goal to clear away Samy Chouchane’s forward pass. Hayton then managed to stop Marcus Ifill’s low effort from going into the goal, before then saving Zak Emmerson’s effort on the turn, inside the Spurs box. Benicio Baker-Boaitey hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal, after going inside with the ball. A couple of minutes later Leigh Kavanagh deflected Dante Cassanova’s effort from the edge of the Brighton box, onto the crossbar. Jamie Donley had an effort blocked, with Rio Kyerematen then hitting a low effort wide, after meeting George Abbott’s pass inside the Brighton box.

Zak Emmerson headed wide Casper Nilsson’s cross, with Spurs then going forward with the ball. Rio Kyerematen headed the ball to Donley, who had an effort saved by Hugo Fisher in the Brighton goal. Abbott hit an effort wide from a Spurs corner-kick, just before Spurs got an equaliser. A good Spurs move ended with Abbott passing the ball to Billy Heaps on the left side of the Brighton box, and the first year scholar curled a good effort into the goal off of Hugo Fisher’s left hand post, 1-1. Alfie Dorrington then received a yellow card, just before Jaden Williams had an effort blocked inside the Brighton box. The referee sounded his whistle for half-time shortly after. Spurs got the second half underway. The second half got of off to a brilliant start for Spurs, after Jamie Donley curled in a free-kick effort from the edge of the Brighton box, into the top right hand corner of Hugo Fisher’s goal, 2-1. However, Brighton soon equalised, after Maxwell McKnight lost the ball on the edge of the Spurs box to Marcus Ifill, who went down the left side of the Spurs box before hitting the ball into the goal, off of Hayton’s left hand post, 2-2.

After going inside with the ball from the left flank, Billy Heaps had an effort saved. Then Jamie Donley had an effort blocked on the edge of the Brighton box, before Marcus Ifill hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal from the left flank. Cassanova blocked Zak Emmerson’s effort, as the match continued to be lively. Donley curled over a free kick, just before Billy Heaps made a brilliant forward pass to Donley, inside the Brighton box. However, his low effort was saved by the feet of Hugo Fisher. George Abbott then had an effort blocked, before Thomas Bloxham came on to replace Dante Cassanova. Joshua Duffus had an effort saved by Adam Hayton, with Billy Heaps then having an effort blocked at the other end of the pitch. Jamie Donley received a yellow card, before Rio Kyerematen received a pass from Donley inside the centre of the Brighton box. However, his initial effort was saved by Hugo Fisher, with his second effort being blocked by a defender. Billy Heaps had a free-kick effort blocked, and then shortly after that chance, Brighton took the lead.

Zak Emmerson’s good effort from the left side of the Spurs box, deflected past Maxwell McKnight and past Adam Hayton in the Spurs goal, 2-3. However, in the 90th minute of the match Spurs were able to draw level once again. A really good lofted forward pass from Billy Heaps to Jamie Donley inside the centre of the Brighton box, saw Donley bring the ball down, before finishing well past Hugo Fisher, 3-3. Alfie Dorrington headed over Billy Heaps’ free-kick at the back post, inside the Brighton box, just before the referee sounded his final whistle to bring an end to a brilliant game of football. Spurs’ final Premier League South match of the season is a home north London derby against Arsenal at Hotspur Way, on Saturday.

Player reviews:

  • Adam Hayton: The Spurs goalkeeper had a good game today, against Brighton. The second year scholar made some very good and important saves, and he also read the game well, as well as communicating well with the defence throughout the match. 
  • Maxwell McKnight: The right-back had a lot of defending to do against Brighton, but he did get forward well when he could.
  • Will Andiyapan: Starting the match at centre-half, Will Andiyapan had a good game alongside Alfie Dorrington, in my opinion. He did have to defend a lot against the talented Zak Emmerson.
  • Alfie Dorrington: Starting the match on the left side of central defence, Alfie Dorrington made some good clearances, and he also supported the forwards whenever he could.
  • Jahziah Linton: The left-back had a solid and good game defensively, against Brighton on Tuesday.
  • George Abbott: The defensive-midfielder had a good all-round game, and the first year scholar provided an assist for Billy Heaps’ goal. He covered a lot of ground in midfield.
  • Dante Cassanova: The central midfielder read the game well and got on the ball quite a lot during the match.
  • Jaden Williams: Starting the match as a winger on the right flank, forward Jaden Williams was direct, but he also showed some good skill on the ball.
  • Rio Kyerematen: Starting the match in the CAM role, Rio Kyerematen went on some forward runs with the ball, and was unlucky not to score from his two chances that he had during the second half.
  • Billy Heaps: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jamie Donley: The Spurs captain led the line really well and his all-round performance today was very good. He scored two well taken goals, and was unlucky not to score a hat-trick. Donley worked so hard off the ball, as he tracked back to help out defensively.
  • Thomas Bloxham: The second half substitute was involved quite a lot in Spurs’ forward play during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Billy Heaps. Starting the match as a winger on the left flank, first year scholar Billy Heaps had a very good game against Brighton on Tuesday. The midfielder worked really hard off the ball as he helped out the defence, but it was his reading of the game as well as his excellent passing ability which impressed me the most today. The player from Stevenage created two really good chances for Jamie Donley, as he provided one assist, as well as scoring a well taken first half goal.