A piece on Spurs’ new first year scholars:

A piece on Spurs’ new first year scholars:


The club recently announced their new intake of first year scholars for the 2018/19 season. There were ten players listed on the official site and apart from Rafferty Pedder who had spent the majority of last season on the sidelines, none of the names were a surprise to followers of the youth team. The new scholars were all involved with the under 16’s last season and all will be hoping to make their mark on Matt Wells under 18 side over the course of the coming season. As I do at this time every season I have written an informative piece detailing some information on our new first year scholars. There styles of play and footballing careers to date, etc. I have seen a fair amount of these lads over the course of the last year or so, some more so than others. Matt Wells under 18 side are currently on a week long training camp in Belgium.


Kacper Kurylowicz: A talented and well rounded goalkeeper who hails from County Bedfordshire but is of Polish origin. Kacper Kurylowicz is a highly thought of goalkeeper who has represented Poland at u15 level, Kurylowicz was the first choice goalkeeper for the under 16’s last season. Kurylowicz also made the bench for Parker’s under 18 side on two occasions, I have seen the 16 year old play on a couple of occasions and I have been mightily impressed. He is like De Bie in some respects as you can’t really see any weaknesses about his game. He is a terrific shot stopper who impressed during our under 17’s involvement in the Torneo Internazionale last April. Kurylowicz will be competing with Joshua Oluwayemi and Charlie Freeman (overage gk) for a starting berth in the under 18 side this season.


Dennis Cirkin: An attack minded left back, Dennis Cirkin was one of the under 16’s key players throughout the 2017/18 campaign. The tricky fullback who has previously represented England at under 16 level and Latvia, is a really exciting prospect who reminds of former Spur Nick Tsaroulla. I haven’t seen a great deal of Cirkin but every time I have seen him I’ve been impressed. Cirkin was one of our best players when Spurs u16’s took on Ipswich in a showcase game at the end of last season, the fullback was directly involved in three of Spurs’ goals that afternoon. With exceptional close ball control and skill like Tsaroulla, Cirkin has a good burst of pace which makes him particularly potent going forwards. Cirkin terrorised the Ipswich fullbacks with his surging runs down the left flank, the nimble footed teenager caused a great nuisance to the Ipswich defence with his fine balance and clever twists and turns. He is also a sound defender and it speaks volumes that he has represented a talented pool of England players at under 16 level, I have a feeling that Cirkin will adapt really well to under 18 football over the course of this season.

Luis Binks: An exciting ball playing centre half who loves to ping Alderweireld like long balls to the wide men. England under 17 international Luis Binks is another of Tottenham’s young centre halves who loves bringing the ball out from the back. Binks who has previously represented Scotland at youth level is the son of Chatham Town legend Tom Binks. A cool and composed defender Binks shows extraordinary maturity for such a young defender, like Lyons-Foster he has a great passing range and manages to adapt well to pressure. He made his one and only appearance for the under 18’s in a league game against Aston Villa in 2017. Binks travelled to Qatar last season with the u17’s for the ALKAAS tournament putting in a strong showing. He also impressed in the two academy showcase games that our u16’s were involved in. He reminds me a bit of Lyons-Foster in his style of play, rarely does he make a rash challenges that put his teammates under pressure. Whilst his defending and trademark passing our impressive qualities to his game, another impressive aspect of his game is his aerial qualities. I would expect Binks to cement his place in the under 18 side this season and I am particularly looking forward to seeing him partner up with Lyons-Foster at the heart of the Tottenham defence.

Malachi Walcott: signed by the club in October 2015 from Norsemen youth, Malachi Walcott is a tall and tenacious central defender who has represented his country (England) at youth level. Walcott made two appearances for the under 18 side last season whilst still a schoolboy. Like his teammate Luis Binks he like to play out from the back, a strikingly composed figure Walcott also reads the game well and is quick at snuffing out danger. I first saw Walcott play for Spurs in an under 15 game against Millwall back in 2016, he impressed greatly against the lions. He was so calm on the ball and he had good balance bringing it out from the back. Most importantly he read the game so very well and effectively kept Millwalls lone striker out of the game on that day. Walcott continued to impress for Spurs and last season he became a key player for the under 16’s whilst also featuring prominently for Spurs in mid season tournaments. He is a defender with great ability and I look forward to seeing how he adapts to u18 football over the course of this season.


Harvey White: An industrious almost Scott Parker like holding midfielder, Harvey White made the step up on two occasions last season to feature for Parker’s under 18 side. I really like the look of White, he is an effective player who like some of his older teammates such as Jamie Bowden has a calming influence on proceedings. White who has represented England at u16 level put in a really strong set of performances during our u17’s involvement in the Torneo Internazionale, towards the latter part of last season. He quickly found himself making his debut for the under 18’s and only a couple of weeks later he appeared in a league game against Norwich which he impressed in, he then made a further appearance for Spurs against Fulham. He breaks up play really well and is good both on and off the ball, he is also a deftly accurate passer. I am intrigued to see how he gets on this season.

Rafferty Pedder: An energetic CM/CAM who missed the majority of last season through injury. The former England youth international will be hoping to kick on after a difficult and frustrating season for the under 16’s. I must confess I haven’t seen a great deal of Pedder but from what I have seen he is very much a creative midfielder who initiates passages of play. Though he is small in stature Pedder has drawn comparisons with a certain Luka Modric for his style of play and passing ability. Having not seen him play since u15 level I won’t say much more but with the quality and depth of next seasons side I fear he may struggle for game time.


J’neill Bennett: A rapid Zaha-esque winger who is adept at playing on either wing, Camden lad J’neill Bennett was one of last seasons breakthrough stars into the under 18 side. Featuring on over 20 occasions for Parker’s side, Bennett chipped in with two goals and six assists after making his debut back in November 2017. Signed from fellow London club QPR in the summer of 2017, J’neil Bennett has been quite a hit for the young lilywhites. He put in an electric showing for our u16’s in a showcase game against Cambridge United back in October and from there he has seized his opportunity with both hands. After that impressive performance at the Abbey stadium the north Londoner quickly found himself in Scott Parker’s under 18 side, and it didn’t take long for him to make an impact. Bennett was superb for the 18’s last season he was often seen galavanting down the left wing with speed and craft, I often compared him to Zaha in my reports last season. Having already established himself in the u18 side Bennett now has an advantage over his fellow first years which will leave him in good stead. I would expect Bennett to become a key player for Matt Wells and he will be one of our main attacking outlets. I would also expect the former QPR teenager to feature for our u19’s in Europe at some point. He is a very exciting prospect indeed.

Chay Cooper: An intricate forward who primarily operates as a CAM, Chay Cooper was signed from Southend for a fee at the beginning of last season. Cooper featured heavily for the under 16’s last season and impressed me with his silky skills in the Torneo Internazionale last April. He is a clever almost Samuel Shashoua-esque forward with a fine eye for a pass, the former shrimper starred in our under 16’s end of season win against Ipswich at Portman road. Scoring a sublime goal after cutting inside on his left foot before burying the ball into the postage stamp of the goal. Whilst it was a massive loss to see Noni Madeuke sign for PSV it works both ways, as Spurs have been able to pick up both Chay and J’neill from lower league sides presumably for a small fee. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Cooper over the coming campaign.

Enoch Asante: A menacing and alert centre forward, Enoch Asante had a fine season for the under 16’s last term. Making his debut for the under 18’s as a substitute on their opening game of the 17/18 campaign, Asante cemented himself in the under 16 side scoring over 40 goals in all competitions. He is very much a ’ fox in the box ’ centre forward. He is always on the move, looking to slot into bits of space inside the danger zone. The former Riverhawks player is good in the air and is a clinical finisher, he is also good at holding up the ball. He stood out during our u16’s showcase games with Cambridge and Ipswich last season. The Londoner who is also eligible to represent Ghana also appeared in the ALKASS tournament, Asante will be competing with Troy Parrott and Rodel Richards for the centre forward role this season.

Troy Parrott: Just about every Spurs fan has heard of young Troy Parrott, the Dubliner made headlines when he joined Spurs as a 14 year old back in 2015. However, he had to wait until his 16th birthday last February before he could appear for our under 18 side. The Summerhill native appeared four times for our u18’s last season (featuring all across the frontline) finding the net on one occasion. The Ireland u17 international who won the player of the tournament at the Torneo Internazionale also featured for our u19’s during the annual post season tournament in Terborg. Parrott has the highest ceiling out of all the players in his age group. He has excelled for Ireland at youth level and was extremely impressive during the recent u17 Euros (where I travelled up to watch him play on two occasions). He has also impressed the coaches at Spurs who are lucky to have him on their books, as many top clubs were looking to secure the Irishman’s signature when he was banging goals in for fun, for Dublin side Belvedere. He trialled with Celtic and top clubs such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Southampton were all eager to sign him up.

He even played for the Saints in the Milk cup a couple of years ago. He is an excellent young centre forward who is able to adapt effortlessly to a whole range of situations. He has a sublime first touch, peels off defenders shoulders well and above all else he knows where the back of the net is. He is an extremely clinical finisher who scores all types of goals, from bullet headers to 30 yard free kicks, this lad is special! People have likened him to Kane and I would agree to an extent but he is more advanced then Kane was at the same age. He is stronger and better at holding up the ball, he is feisty and loves a sliding challenge. It is also worth mentioning that he doesn’t lack in confidence by any means. I reckon he’ll take like a duck to water to u18 football this season, making a couple of appearances for the u19’s in the process. And I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him clock up half a dozen appearances for the u23’s, watch this space! If I was to compare him to one single centre forward I would have to say Robert Lewandowski.

The five Spurs youngsters who I’m hoping to see make the pre-season tour of the USA later this month:

The five Spurs youngsters who I’m hoping to see make the pre-season tour of the USA later this month:


We may be in the midst of one of the most exhilarating World Cup campaigns in recent memory, but it’s easy to forget that our beloved Spurs are back in action in just a couple of weeks time. Our first team kick off their pre-season tour of the USA on the 25th of this month, whilst our development side and under 18’s (some of whom have already resumed full training at Hotspur way) will travel to France to take part in the annual three day tournament in Brittany. I am hoping to report on that tournament. On top of that a Spurs youth side (u16’s) will take on non league team Bury town around that very same period. There has been a few interesting stories regarding the Tottenham academy since the 17/18 season came to an end. One of the most significant ones was the departure of under 18’s head coach Scott Parker who joined Fulham as a first team coach last week, a real shame for all at Spurs. Parker’s departure has resulted in experienced academy coach and former youth player Matt Wells taking over the reigns for the coming season. You may have also missed the news regarding talented Tottenham schoolboy Noni Madeuke who snubbed the offer of a two year scholarship at Spurs to join Dutch giants PSV. Madeuke is the latest in a line of young English players who are trying there luck on mainland Europe. On top of that, 19 year old fullback Jaden Brown was recently on trial with Dutch Eerste divisie side NEC Nijmegen, Brown only signed a new contract with Spurs the previous month. However, but the Dutch club have decided not pursue matters and after a week of training, the fullback has since returned to Hotspur way.

Due to the FIFA World Cup a whole clutch of first team players could be rested for our tour of the states later on this month. This would free up more spaces for our academy players to take up. As many as eleven of our youngsters could make the trip across the pond. Last season saw players such as Anthony Georgiou, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Kyle Walker-Peters get pitch time over in the very same pre-season competition. Providing some invaluable experience with the first team in the process. In the following piece I have selected five of our academy hopefuls who I hope to see included in the squad which travels to America with the first team, in just over two weeks time. I haven’t listed youngsters who have already made numerous appearances for the first team. Players such as Onomah, Walker-Peters and Carter-Vickers.

Anthony Georgiou: It was at this time last year when Anthony Georgiou introduced himself to the Spurs faithful. The speedy young winger was brought on at half time by Pochettino during our chaotic ICC friendly with Roma in Minneapolis. After enduring an injury hit campaign the following season, Georgiou seized his chance with both hands, putting in an electric performance against Roma’s Bruno Peres out on the left wing. Direct and positive with a flare about his game, the young Georgiou won many plaudits off of fans for his bright performance. This resulted in him appearing in two more games for the first team before the start of the 17/18 campaign. Where he would go on to make his senior debut for Spurs in our UEFA champions league game against APOEL Nicosia. Anthony spent large chunks of the season training with the first team, whilst dividing his time playing matches for our development side. As you’ll all know from reading my reports over the last few seasons, I’m a massive fan of the Cypriot international. He is in my eyes the perfect winger. Strong, fast, incredibly hard working (tracks back) and to cap it all off he has a wand of a left boot. After enjoying a memorable 2017/18 season, Georgiou will be hoping to push on even more next season. With pre-season providing him with another brilliant opportunity to catch Pochettino’s eye, before he picks his squad for the forthcoming tour of the states. Georgiou who appeared 13 times for the under 23 side last season scoring once, was impressive throughout his time in the development side. That burning ambition and hunger to take players on from both LW and LWB, provided Burnetts side with an all too often creative spark down the left wing .

The oldest academy player that I have included on my list, I would be very surprised if the Lewisham born player doesn’t travel to the states once again this summer. Pochettino is a big fan, and I’m sure he’ll be keen to have another look at Anthony in a big game environment. The tour of the states will provide that perfect platform for Georgiou. Whether or not he will go out on loan this season is yet to be seen but I have seen a couple of rumours on twitter which have linked him with loans moves to both Leeds United and Millwall (I don’t know how reliable they are). Regardless, he thoroughly deserves his place in the squad.

Oliver Skipp: The domineering central midfielder (17) is one of our most exciting academy hopefuls. Skipp had a remarkable season during the 17/18 campaign, the then first year scholar cemented his place in the development side right from the offing. Putting in many a masterful performance against far older opposition. Skipp is the best (English) 17 year old midfielder in the country, with his wide ranging skill set and fine footballing brain, ‘ Skippy ‘ has the ability to dictate games from the centre of the park. He plays with eyes in the back of his head, he anticipates the game like nobody else in Burnetts side and he has an understanding which is light years ahead of anyone else in his age group. A key player for the under 23’s, Skipp also played starring roles in the Spurs u19 and u18 sides. Equally as adept at playing as a centre half (which he often filed in at for the 18’s) the teenager from Hertford made close to 40 appearances for the various youth sides last season. His calming and effective impact on the game is something which should all but guarantee him a place on the US tour. He is the complete midfielder who doesn’t play about with the ball. He is an accurate passer and a subtly creative midfielder, who likes to sit in front of the back four where he recycles possession and breaks up play. Skipp demonstrated his ability to perform consistently on the u23 stage last season and whilst it is unlikely that he will go onto break into the first team over the course of next season, he could still be blooded into the senior side our pre season tour. He would slot in seamlessly.

Samuel Shashoua: A tricky and astute forward who endured a frustrating, injury hit campaign last season. 19 year old Samuel Shashoua is another youngster who should be travelling with the first team squad to America. After a sparkling 16/17 season for the under 18’s, Shashoua initially struggled to get game time for Burnetts side during the early stages of last season. This, coupled in with a series of frustrating injuries throughout the season halted his progress. However, when Shashoua did play for the under 19’s and 23’s he played exceptionally well. Due to it being a more physical game Shashoua wasn’t able to run rings around opposing teams defenders as frequently as before. But I felt as if he had adapted his game. Hardworking and difficult to shrug off the ball, the highly intelligent forward reminded me more and more of Christian Eriksen as the season progressed. His weight of pass and off the ball and on the ball movements are all so similar to that of the Danish star. Samuel clocked up six goals and five assists at youth level last season despite his injury troubles, he also went onto win the player of the tournament at the Volksbank cup in Germany after the end of the domestic season. The immensely talented teenager who has already appeared on the bench for the first team (back in May of 2017 against Leicester) is more than ready to get his first real taste of first team football. If Marcus Edwards was able to adapt to it back in 2016 then Samuel is more then capable of following suit.

Tariq Hinds: A mainstay in Scott Parker’s under 18 side last season, Hinds was one of the teams most consistent performers, making more appearances than anybody else. The incredibly versatile right back played in a variety of positions throughout the campaign (LB, CDM and CB). Hinds is very much a defensive right back who rarely seems to stray past the halfway line despite his explosive pace and good close ball control. However, the 18 year old very rarely gets beaten by his man down the wing, two of his finest qualities are his positioning and concentration. Whilst I don’t expect Hinds to make a significant push for the first team next season, I do expect him to become an important player for the under 23 side. Hinds has only ever featured on two occasions for the development side. However, his impressive performances for the under 18’s and 19’s in a wide range of positions over the last couple of seasons will have caught the eye of Pochettino and his coaching staff. The former England u16 international is yet another exciting fullback and an accomplished centre half and central midfielder too. It would be great to see him involved in the ICC cup later this month. After all Kyle Walker-Peters made his first team debut around the same time.

Reo Griffiths: After a summer of speculation and many a cryptic instagram post, Tottenham’s prolific young forward appears to be staying at Spurs for another season at least. After signing a one year extension to his scholarship last month the 18 year old who scored a remarkable 34 goals last season, was strongly linked with a move to German club RB Leipzig. But with that now all behind him us Spurs fans can now look forward to seeing how he does for the under 23 side next season. Having only made a handful of appearances for them before. Will he translate that form into the development side? His physical prowess at u18 level allowed him to bully defenders and let him express himself as a centre forward. Take nothing away from the former Leyton Orient schoolboy though, who was exceptional for Parker’s side scoring a whole range of goals throughout the season. But despite being our most effective young forward his biggest test will be replicating that form at PL2 level next season. I hope that Griffiths travels with the first team to the states as not only will it be a great experience for him but it will also provide the young striker with a far more challenging platform to test his mettle. For somebody who used to be a centre half just over three years ago, Reo’s rapid development is extremely impressive.

My end of season player review of the Spurs under 18 side:

My end of season player review of the Spurs under 18 side:


All in all it has been an excellent season for Scott Parker’s under 18 side, over the course of the campaign they competed in three major competitions. The under 18 premier league south, in which they finished fourth in, the FA youth cup where they were knocked out to our old nemesis Chelsea in the fifth round. And the inaugural edition of the premier league under 18 cup, which was without a doubt their highlight of the season. After scraping through the group stages, Scott Parker’s side swept away Liverpool and Arsenal with excellent performances en route to the final, where they faced Chelsea at their Cobham training centre. Unfortunately Parker’s talented pool of players met their match, and they were comfortably beaten 2-0 by the blues, in what was a dominant performance from the home side. The philosophy at Spurs is not always to set our team up to try and win matches, it is instead about experimentation. It is essentially about testing our young players mettle, putting players in uncomfortable positions, etc. Given that Parker’s side consisted mainly of first year scholars (one of the most talented year groups in recent seasons!) I think his side have done incredibly well this season, they’ve played some sparkling attacking football (far better then then the U23’s) but most importantly of all, they have embedded Pochettino’s philosophy into their playing style. Parker and McDermott had an array of talent at their disposal for the 2017/18 campaign, the free scoring Reo Griffiths led the line excellently and only went onto score 34 goals. You had the creative talent of players such as Phoenix Patterson, Jamie Bowden and Rodel Richards. Parker also managed to blood in a fair few of next seasons first year scholars such as the excellent J’neil Bennett and more recently young Irish prodigy Troy Parrott.

We managed to score an impressive 58 league goals throughout the season and as far as the cup competitions were concerned, I thought we did really well to achieve what we did in both of those competitions. It’s been a fine first season for Scott Parker and his lads, and I feel that it has really aided the development of so many of the young Spurs boys, who I consider to have made great strides over the course of the campaign.

Goalkeepers: Jonathan De Bie: Tottenham’s skipper for the entirety of the domestic season, the young Belgian enjoyed an excellent campaign. Playing in all but one of our league games, De Bie also played every game in the run up to the league cup final and the youth cup fifth round. After suffering a severe injury during the previous season, De Bie has done a remarkably good job as both a leader and keeper for Parker’s side. Our most consistent player of the season, De Bie was solid throughout. The 18 year old is incredibly well rounded for a goalkeeper, excellent at shot stopping and dealing with corners/crosses. The former Mechelen schoolboy is also an effective leader who certainly knows how to marshal his defence. De Bie who can often be heard bellowing the phrase ”early, early, early” to his teammates, is cool and composed under pressure. His distribution is good and so is his reading of the game. I couldn’t pick a main criticism out of the Belgians game. De Bie’s excellent season was recognised by Spurs and the PL youth, and he was invited to the annual award ceremony for scholars in Wolverhampton, where he was awarded with Spurs’ scholar of the season award. The 18 year old will compete with Brandon Austin and Alfie Whiteman for a starting berth in the U23 squad next season. De Bie could also make the odd appearance for the under 18 side as an overage goalkeeper. He is such a bright prospect.

Joshua Oluwayemi: The first year scholar (17) made only three appearances for Parker’s side during the season just gone. Strikingly small for a goalkeeper Oluwayemi impressed when called upon. Known for his excellent shot stopping ability, Oluwayemi impressed during his second half debut against Leicester back in August. Another impressive performance came in our sides 5-0 thrashing of Aston Villa at the villains Bodymoor Heath training ground. The former England U15 international who has a younger brother at Spurs called Tobi, put in a fine display against Villa. His composure and distribution under pressure were both particularly impressive features during the game. The 17 year old goalkeeper who hails from Waltham Forest also featured prominently for the Spurs under 17 side, which competed in the ALKAAS tournament out in Qatar in February. As I’m writing this Oluwayemi is out in the Netherlands with the Tottenham U19 side that is competing in the annual Terborg tournament.

Charlie Freeman: The Goodmayes born goalkeeper has endured an extremely difficult two years as a scholar for Spurs. Freeman only featured once for the under 18’s during the 2016-17 season owing to the excellent form of both Brandon Austin and Alfie Whiteman. After featuring briefly for the development side during pre season, young Charlie picked up an unfortunate injury to his arm, right at the beginning of the league campaign. This significantly hampered his progress and Freeman had to wait until March before he could return to competitive action. His return to U18 league football came during our under 18’s unfortunate 5-3 away defeat to Norwich. Due to his rustiness, Freeman would have hoped that he could of done better to prevent some of Norwich’s goals. Yet people will often forget the fact that he made some excellent saves during the same game. Bearing a striking resemblance to a young Pat Jennings, the highly rated Freeman was called up to an England U16 training camp a couple of years ago. An excellent shot stopper and all round goalkeeper who had an excellent season for the under 16’s back in the 2015/16 campaign. Freeman is in my eyes one of our best goalkeeping prospects, and you’ll get to hear about him a lot more next season when he will play for the under 18’s as an overage goalkeeper. The teenager also appeared for our under 19’s during their recent involvement in the Volksbank cup, in Germany.

Defenders: Tariq Hinds: A mainstay within the under 18 side during the 17/18 campaign, industrious right back Tariq Hinds was a consistent performer for Parker’s side. A terrific defender whose versatility proved useful throughout the season, Hinds also put in some impressive performances as a left back, centre half and central defensive midfielder. Hinds defensive stance is at odds with the many attacking fullbacks that we have at the club, whilst he has shown on occasions that he poses a danger surging forwards. Hinds tends to stay deep, and rarely did he get beaten by his man during the season. The tenacious 18 year old made 29 appearances for the under 18 side during the season, proving to be a crucial member of the side which reached the league cup final. Hinds also featured prominently for the under 19’s in Europe, and also made his first under 23 start of the season during our 5-0 defeat against Manchester City. Hinds is more than ready to make the permanent step up to the development side.

Matt Lock: It’s been a strange old season for young Matt Lock, after seeming to make good progress towards the end of the previous campaign. The budding right back started the beginning of this season well and featured quite prominently in our first few games. However, he seemed to disappear for the rest of the season. Only reappearing for the odd under 18 game and under 23 game where he would occasionally come on as late substitute. The skilful right back who is very slight in build, is a player who has an excellent low centre of gravity and is particularly potent going forward. I have seen a couple of things on social media that have suggested that ’Locky’ will be released by the club, upon the expiration of his contract next month. If that is to be the case then I wish him the very best of luck for the future.

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: One of the most exciting academy players to emerge from Hotspur Way in recent seasons, young Brooklyn plays like he’s been schooled at Ajax’s youth academy. The Stones-esque ball playing centre half ranks as one of the finest young English defenders in the country. Throughout the season I couldn’t sing Lyons-Foster’s praises highly enough, he was exceptional for Parker’s side. He plays like a 27 year old not a 17 year old, his awareness and reading of the game is second to none. He snuffs out danger like a seasoned pro, he defends like a young Alderweireld. An exceptional passer of the ball, the Archway born defender can often be found darting forwards from deep, with the ball glued to his boot. Brooklyn who featured 21 times for Parker’s side during the season was without a shadow of a doubt our player of the season. Yes it may seem unthinkable that I haven’t chosen Griffiths however, Lyons-Foster’s remarkable first year as scholar is even more impressive. After impressing in both the run ups to the UEFA youth league quarterfinal and the league cup final where he unfortunately picked up a bad ligament injury. Brooklyn didn’t feature again for the under 18’s after hobbling off the pitch against Chelsea in the cup final. Without exaggerating Brooklyn is the most promising young defender at the club, he has all the attributes needed to make it at Spurs. He has it all pace, aerial quality, a good passing range and decision making, you name it he’s got the lot. Alongside his 21 appearances for the under 18’s this season Lyons-Foster made two appearances for the development side and also played a prominent role in the under 19 side that reached the quarter finals of the UEFA youth league. His injury came just after he had been called up to the England under 18 side which was a great shame. As he develops physically I’d expect him to feature a lot more for the under 23’s. In every other department he is light years ahead of his teammates!

Further reading: https://superhotspur.com/2018/02/28/brooklyn-lyons-foster-coolness-personified-the-latest-starlet-to-emerge-from-hotspur-way/amp/#click=https://t.co/WKo9bmVMsG

Jubril Okedina: Unfortunately it was a frustrating season for the centre back, who was ruled out for a large chunk of the campaign through injury. The talented and highly rated centre half only featured on two occasions for Parker’s side. A dominant defender, who impressed greatly for the under 16’s during the previous campaign, the teenager will feature a lot more for Parker’s side during the 2018/19 season.

Maxwell Statham: The son of former Spurs fullback Brian Statham, the centre back had a decent season as a first year scholar. Featuring 13 times for the under 18’s this season, Statham is a specialist at making blocks and sliding challenges. Good in the air but at times not best suited to our play it from the back philosophy, Statham put in a series of mixed performances for Parker’s side throughout the campaign. After impressing on his debut against Southampton, Statham struggled for game time owing to the form of Lyons-Foster, Dinzeyi and Eyoma. When he did play it was usually in games against teams near the bottom end of the table. Prone to making a fair few mistakes whilst playing it out from the back (our 5-3 defeat to Norwich comes to mind) Statham could at times show a lack of concentration. However, as previously mentioned he is a big strong centre half who is excellent in the air and strong in the challenge, he is particularly good at getting in the way of forwards and making last ditch blocks/challenges. Next season should see the teenager get a lot more game time.

Maximus Tainio: Teemu’s son signed for Spurs on scholarship terms at the beginning of the season from HJK Helsinki. A steady right back, the Finn made seven appearances for Parker’s side during the 17/18 season. The Finland under 18 international also made his debut for the under 23 side during our 2-2 draw with West Ham in February. Tainio started the season playing for the under 16’s and had to wait until November before he could make the step up in level. He has looked decent whenever he has played. He doesn’t strike me as much of an attacking fullback and he also lacks pace. However, he is a solid defender who is a good crosser of the ball. The Auxerre born defender put in some strong defensive performances against the likes of Aston Villa and Arsenal, I look forward to seeing more of him next season.

Jamie Reynolds: After struggling to get game time during the previous season, the Tottenham coaches quickly converted the central midfielder as a left back for the beginning of this season. Reynolds excelled in his new position, an energetic and hard working full back, the 18 year old was one of Spurs’ most consistent performers throughout the season. A very attacking and pretty speedy left back, Reynolds was a constant threat down the left wing. With his pace and dribbling ability, Reynolds was able to show off his excellent crossing ability. This resulted in him getting seven assists throughout the campaign, Reynolds who is also eligible to represent Ireland, is very much a modern day full back. After adapting incredibly well to his newfound position, Reynolds tricky runs and solid defending combined nicely. Featuring on 27 occasions for Parkers side throughout the season, Reynolds fine form was rewarded with a place in the sides that faced both Monaco and Porto in the UEFA youth league. I really like the look of Reynolds since he converted to left back, he has all the tools to make it. He is a tough tackling defender who loves to go on surging runs down the wing, with Tsaroulla and Brown likely to be released I would expect Reynolds to be the number one left back for the U23’s next season. It’s worth noting that Reynolds picked up a bad injury in our 5-3 defeat to Norwich, he subsequently underwent an operation but should return in time for pre season.

Midfielders: Jamie Bowden: Despite being the youngest off all our first year scholars, midfielder Jamie Bowden played a key role in Scott Parker’s U18 side. Featuring 20 times for the under 18’s during the 17/18 season, the former England U16 international was the creative jewel of the team. A tigerish central midfielder who filled in well at centre back on occasions, like Oliver Skipp Bowden mops up well in the centre of the park. But it’s his excellent passing range which has really impressed me, Bowden makes defence splitting passes for fun. Oozing in class and composure, the talented Bowden is not too dissimilar to Michael Carrick in his style of play. However, the Londoner has a touch of Pirlo about him. That composure on the ball, his impeccable passing range and his reading of the game is all very similar to that of the footballing legend. Bowden put in many dominant performances in the centre of the park, like Skipp he has the ability to dictate games from deep. He loves to spray the ball around the park, he creates openings out of nothing, and links up well with the forwards. Bowden picked up four assists this season and netted on one occasion. People will have heard a lot about the likes of Skipp and Oakley-Boothe, but this kid is just as promising. It was a complete mystery to me as to why he was left out of the England under 17 squad that played in the Euros this summer. However, the silky midfielder is also eligible to represent Ireland and I’m sure they’ll have been watching him closely over the course of the season. I would love to see him feeding balls over the top of the defence for Parrott to chase onto! Next season Bowden will play an even greater role in the under 18 side, it is also likely that he’ll make his debut for the under 23’s at some point. He is yet another player who is beyond his years.

Rayan Clarke: A direct and pacy left winger, Rayan Clarke picked up a knee injury during pre season which ruled him out until October of last year. It took Clarke less than five minutes to find the net on his first under 18 appearance of the season (a league cup tie against Fulham). The talented winger who has also filled in at fullback on the odd occasion, has had a good season. Playing 14 times for Parker’s side over the course of the campaign, Clarke netted on two occasions and laid off the same amount of goals for his teammates. Known for his lung bursting runs, Clarke is a strong and powerful winger who has a lot more to offer. He made his debut for the under 23’s during their 2-2 draw with West Ham back in February. Clarke will likely play a starring role in Parker’s side next season, I like him a lot and am curious to see how he gets on.

Paris Maghoma: An exciting attack minded midfielder, Paris Maghoma was one of the under 18’s most important players this season. Dividing his time as both a cam and cm, Maghoma put in a series of really impressive performances for both the under 18’s and 19’s. With his driving forward runs through the middle, exciting skill and fine shooting ability. Maghoma is part of a dying breed of central midfielders who aren’t afraid to run at the defence. During his 26 games for the under 18’s, Maghoma chipped in with three goals and five assists. Whilst Maghoma provides a great attacking threat, he also adds steel to the midfield. He has the ability to glide past players, he is agile and crafty. He is a crisp passer of the ball and an expert from dead ball situations. He has great technique and I’m convinced that Troy Parrott learnt to take his trademark free kicks from Maghoma! One of the younger members of the squad, Paris has made the transition from U16 football to the under 18’s with ease, he is physically very strong and agile. He played an important role in the side that reached the league cup final, he played a particularly big part in us beating Arsenal in the semis. His impressive performances also earned him a place in the under 19 side which impressed in Europe. Paris put in some eye catching Onomah-esque performances against the likes of Dortmund and Monaco. I’d expect Maghoma to make quite a few appearances for the under 23 side next season.

Dilan Markanday: Markanday’s mesmeric dribbling ability and high intensity performances out on the right wing, were a common theme throughout the season. The Barnet born wide man who is also comfortable at playing in the number 10 role, was one of our most influential players throughout the season. Chipping in with nine goals and four assists Markanday was one of Parker’s main creative outlets. A skilful player with an excellent low centre of gravity, Markanday terrorised fullbacks with his menacing weaving runs. Strong on the ball and forward thinking, Markanday loved to play perfectly weighted Lamela-esque through balls to the centre forwards. Putting in a series of strong performances throughout the campaign, Markanday really reminds me of both Samuel Shashoua and Marcus Edwards when they were the same age. He has got that bit of a magic about him, time and time again he was able to produce the spark which Spurs needed. A clinical finisher in and around the six yard box, Markanday is a lively player with a tremendously high work rate. He has excelled for the under 18’s this season, he was also given his under 23 debut during our 5-0 defeat to Man City. In doing so he became only the second first year scholar to feature for Wayne Burnetts side that season. Markanday is a frighteningly good player who I’m expecting to push on even further next season. I could easily see him having a season just like Samuel Shashoua had when he was a second year scholar, watch this space!

Moroyin Omolabi: After a fairly uninspiring first year as a scholar, Omolabi was converted into a centre half for the beginning of this season having previously played as a cdm. Omolabi put in some decent for Parker’s side during the eight matches that he did play this season however, Omolabi had his contract cancelled by mutual consent by the club back in January. He has since joined fellow category one academy side Reading, who he appears to be doing well at. I wish Moroyin all the best for the future. And I think that Reading will prove to be a great fit for him in the long run.

Elliot Thorpe: Thorpe was another player who suffered with injuries throughout the season. Initially playing for the under 16 side, Thorpe picked up an injury to his wrist which ruled him out for much of the early parts of the season. The highly thought of Wales U19 international had to wait until January before he could make his debut for Parker’s side, that came in our 6-3 win against Brighton. All of Elliot’s three appearances this season have come from the subs bench, when he was involved he looked neat and tidy in the centre of the park. Thorpe is by trade a cam but since his considerable growth spurt in the last year he is now just as suited to playing in the centre of the park. A player with great technique, it’s been a great shame that the 17 year old missed so much of the campaign. You guys will be hearing a lot more about Thorpe next season.

J’neil Bennett: A schoolboy who we picked up from QPR last season, rapid winger J’neil Bennett has excelled for Parkers side since making the step up from the under 16’s in November. With his blistering pace and good balance, Bennett first came to my attention during the annual academy showcase game against Cambridge United in October. That day he ran the Cambridge defence ragged, I couldn’t get over how fast he was with the ball at his feet. Bennett’s excellent start to the U16 season saw him quickly fast tracked in to the under 18 side. He made his debut away to Swansea in October and never looked back, featuring on 14 occasions for Parker’s side. Bennett became a useful creative outlet and managed to lay off six goals for his teammates. A Zaha-esque winger with skill and pace in abundance, Bennett put in some wonderful performances for Spurs. I can recall him totally embarrassing defenders down the left wing, a consistent performer Bennett looked at ease in the u18 side. Putting in some masterful performances against the likes of Aston Villa, Preston and Arsenal, Bennett was a real joy to watch. However his lack of strength and experience did show on a fair few occasions throughout the season. Bennett played predominantly for the under 16’s during the last two months of the season and he stole the limelight once again with his performance against Ipswich during a showcase game at Portman road, earlier in the month. The Camden born winger is an incredibly exciting talent who I’m sure will play a key role in the under 18 side next season.

Maurizio Pochettino: The gaffers son struggled for game time during his first year as a scholar at Spurs. Featuring only ten times for Parker’s side during the 2017/18 season, he looked decent whenever he played. Though his lack of pace and flair limited his impact on games. Scoring once for the club during our 5-2 away win at Swansea, Poch junior would have liked to have had more pitch time, but he is nowhere near the likes of Dilan Markanday and Rodel Richards at the moment. Pochettino who was highly thought of by the coaches at Southampton will hope for more starts next season.

Phoenix Patterson: An intelligent wide man who showed that he is more than capable of playing in the centre of the park. Having featured heavily for the under 18 side during the previous season, Patterson upped his game during the most recent campaign. After starting the season brightly out on the left wing, Patterson whose younger brother Kane was released by the club back in February, is a skilful and resourceful forward who uses the ball intelligently. Featuring on an impressive 29 occasions throughout the season, I think it’s fair to summarise Phoenix’s season as a good one. As previously mentioned, he was excellent during the first few league games but he then seemed to drift away a bit from the action. Parker and his coaching staff subsequently tried him out as a number 10 which he impressed at, and then as a central midfielder where he also gave a good account of himself. Patterson is a really silky craftsman who is on his day a younger version of Mesut Özil. Patterson has great vision and a proper footballing brain, his weight of pass is second to none, as too is his movement in and around the box. A free kick specialist, Patterson scored eight goals for Parkers side and assisted a further nine. Impressive statistics from a player who remains one of our hottest young talents. The 17 year old has impressed me throughout the season and has had some really good games, none more so than our 6-3 victory over Brighton, inwhich Phoenix scored a hat trick in. However, I get the impression that he still hasn’t found his perfect position, I personally could see him ending up as an advanced central midfielder, a bit like Jack Grealish. I would expect Patterson to feature for the development side a fair bit over the course of next season.

Armando Shashoua: When I tell you that the attacking midfielder was only directly involved in two of Spurs’ goals last season, you may be unimpressed, however, listen carefully. The younger brother of Samuel Shashoua, Armando has been one of our star performers throughout the season. The 17 year old featured on 23 occasions for Parker’s side, Armando is like a more advanced version of Harry Winks. He is a vital cog in Spurs’ attacking machine, he keeps things ticking, with crisp and accurate passes. He is great at creating space for himself in and around the six yard box, showing great awareness of his surroundings. He links up perfectly with the centre forward and the wide men, he was an integral part to much of Spurs’ attacking exploits over the season. Armando who can also play as a central midfielder, is like a terrier to play against, he is constantly hounding the opposition. Pressing them constantly he forces so many errors out of the defenders. Earlier on in the season I compared him to Renato Sanches which at this moment in time doesn’t sound like much of a compliment. But Harry Winks is the player who he most reminds me of most, he keeps things simple, he is good on the ball but never wasteful. He keeps his passes short and crisp, if anything he plays like a young Spanish player. Reluctant to shoot Armando prefers to create openings for his teammates, he is the ultimate grafter. He combines intricacy with hard work, I’m not joking when I compare him to someone like Kante, you literally have to drag him off the pitch at the end of matches, such is his stamina. It’s only when you take him out of the team that you realise how effective he is to Parker’s side. Like his older brother I couldn’t sing his praises highly enough.

As he is usually the smallest player on the pitch, opposition players will often try to bully him and outmuscle him. But to Armando’s credit he never reacts, he just gets straight back up and back into the thick of the action. The lad is a serious talent who is able to initiate attacking moves but at the same time graft like nobody else on the pitch, and get back to cover for the central midfielders who are higher up the pitch. It’s been a fantastic season for the Kensington born midfielder, and if I was one of the England youth team coaches I’d act fast to integrate him into the national side. Apart from England he is eligible to represent Venezuela, the USA and Spain and I’m sure scouts from all three footballing federations are tracking him closely. In my opinion he would thrive for the Spanish youth team and I for one hope that he would snub England if Spain did come calling. Next season Armando will play an even greater role in Parker’s side. He is such a joy to watch!

Jeremie Mukendi: After featuring prominently for the under 18’s during the first few games of the season. Mukendi seemed to disappear off the radar for much of the remainder of the season, with the exception of the odd appearance here and there. An incredible athlete who picked up many awards at his school, Mukendi is very much a direct winger. Of his 13 appearances for the under 18’s Mukendi put in a series of very mixed performances, he looked bright during his first few games and managed to pick up two assists. But for the rest of the campaign he was unable to really influence play, despite managing to create a lot of space for himself out on the right wing. His decision making isn’t the best nor is his end product, but what I like about Mukendi is his directness and willingness to run at his man. I hope he is able to show more of his quality next season.

Forwards: Reo Griffiths: What 17 year old centre forward Reo Griffiths achieved during the 2017/18 campaign was nothing short of sensational. A couple of years ago Griffiths was a marauding centre half, in the season just gone Reo has scored a remarkable 34 goals in all competitions. The former Leyton Orient schoolboy was our talisman throughout the campaign, he was a powerful and charismatic figure within the squad. He could often be found celebrating extravagantly by the corner flag, but what he did best was putting the ball into the back of the net. Reo really stepped up this season, on his day he was unplayable, his sheer strength proving too much for even the most physical of defenders. He led the line to perfection, he worked extremely hard and was constantly pressing the defenders, his hold up play was also of the highest standard. Reo is constantly on the move, peeling off his marker and looking to make runs into the box. His prowess in and around the danger zone took the U18 league by storm, the amount of times he would come off the pitch with the match ball in his arms was an absolute joke. He scored 26 league goals for Parker’s side, far more than anybody else in the league managed. Reo scored all types of goals, from tap ins to 30 yard screamers and unstoppable looping headers, Griffiths made a name for himself amongst the Spurs fan base. Whilst he was phenomenal throughout the season, it’s worth noting that Reo is by no means the finished article. He is similar to players such as Salah and Son, in the sense that for every one on one with the keeper he gets, he’ll only end up converting one in three of those chances. He has missed some absolute sitters this season but my word has he made up for them. He is by no means our most technically gifted young striker but he is without doubt our most effective.

However, success doesn’t come without speculation and since February time Reo has been the subject of numerous stories linking him with a move away from Spurs. He has been strongly linked with a move to German side RB Leipzig but he has also attracted the attention of other top clubs such as Juventus, Celtic, Roma and Barcelona. The young Griffiths has revelled in such attention and has retweeted many of these stories on his twitter account. He has also teased fans with numerous cryptic posts including a video which said ”I’ll be signing something soon”. You’d have thought that he’d have been promoted to the under 23 squad pretty early on in the season, but he only made three appearances for Burnetts side throughout the campaign. Griffiths is an excellent young player and I’d love to see how he would get on in the development side. He may well be leaving the club upon the end of his scholarship next month and whilst I wish him all the very best, I feel that it would be a real blow to lose him. Let’s wait and see what happens.

Rodel Richards: Due to Reo Griffiths’ excellent form throughout the season, centre forward and first year scholar Rodel Richards was forced into playing out on the left wing. The former Arsenal schoolboy made a great impact on the side during the course of the season. A pacy and tricky winger who was clinical in front of goal, Richards alleviated some of the pressure off of top scorer Reo Griffiths, he even hit the headlines after he scored two hat tricks in six days. A mesmeric dribbler with blistering pace and good balance, Richards excelled for the under 16 side the previous season. A hardworking player who loves a crunching challenge, the south Londoner is a natural goalscorer and is without a doubt a more clinical finisher than Griffiths. Scoring 15 goals for the under 18’s from out wide, a more than impressive feat for a first year scholar, Richards also impressed in Europe for the U19’s. Hopefully he’ll be able to play in his natural position of centre forward more next season. I like him a lot!

Troy Parrott: The Irish wonder kid had to wait until his 16th birthday before he could represent the under 18’s. Parrott who hails from Summerville in Dublin, has been described by many as the next Robbie Keane. Parrott is a remarkable young striker who has been rightfully touted to achieve great things. A star of the Ireland U17 side which competed in the Euros this summer, Parrott also impressed for Parker’s side during the four games which he featured in for the U18’s. Scoring on one occasion, Parrott put in a series of really mature performances. His strength, movement and ball control were all highly impressive. Parrott is a natural goalscorer who starred during an U17 tournament in Borgaro Nobis in Italy, back in March. Parrott is an extremely exciting prospect who I’m predicting to go onto play for the U23’s come the middle of next season!

Further reading: https://superhotspur.com/2018/05/19/some-notes-on-troy-parrotts-performance-against-the-netherlands-under-17s/

The Superhotspur goal of the season: After much thought, the award for the best goal of the season has to go to Phoenix Patterson for his sensational free kick against Brighton during our 6-3 win over them. It was the goal which sealed Patterson’s hat trick down on the south coast. Having already scored a free kick earlier in the game, Patterson would have fancied his chances when Spurs were awarded one from about 25 yards out from goal. Patterson curled the ball beautifully around the wall and into the top right corner of Brighton goalkeeper Tom McGill’s goal, it was a superb goal.

The Superhotspur game of the season: Whilst our 9-0 thrashing of Arsenal was an incredible game of football, I’ve decided to pick our 4-0 win over Liverpool as my game of the season. It was Liverpool head coach Steven Gerrard’s first taste of defeat, after the reds dominated much of the first half. Spurs showed great resilience to nick the lead through Griffiths on the stroke of half time. From then on they were superb, they sparkled all across the park and ended up totally outplaying the Merseyside club to progress to the semifinals of the competition.

The Superhotspur player of the season: For his outstanding goalscoring exploits I feel obliged to award it to Reo Griffiths for his exceptional season. However, I’m going to give it to Brooklyn Lyons-Foster for his terrific season as a first year scholar. The immensely talented ball playing centre half was for me Parker’s most consistent performer. His many masterful performances in the heart of the Tottenham defence and his reading of the game was just brilliant to watch. A player who is years ahead of his age, Lyons-Foster is the perfect modern cb. He can play it out from the back, he can pass well but most importantly of all he is an exceptional young defender. Congratulations and good luck for the new season Brooklyn!

Under 18 Goals scored during the 2017/18 season: Reo Griffiths-33
Phoenix Patterson-8
Dilan Markanday-9
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-3
Rodel Richards-15
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
TJ Eyoma-1
Armando Shashoua-1
Troy Parrott-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Jamie Bowden-4
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-6
Reo Griffiths-12
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-6
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-2
Dilan Markanday-4
Oliver Skipp-2
Tariq Hinds-4
Paris Maghoma-5
Armando Shashoua-1
Maurizio Pochettino -1
Jonathan Dinzeyi-1

Some notes on Troy Parrott’s performance against the Netherlands under 17’s:

Some notes on Troy Parrott’s performance against the Netherlands under 17’s:


It was an under 17 Euro quarterfinal unlike any other for Troy Parrott’s Ireland, who went out of the European championships in the most controversial of fashions in Chesterfield, on Monday evening. I was in Chesterfield solely to report on the performance of our young striking starlet but before I get going, I must explain what happened or what didn’t happen during the match. Ireland took on an extremely highly rated Netherlands side in the quarter finals of the European championships, in the warm evening sun at Chesterfields Proact stadium. The Dutch, who had won all three of their previous group games without conceding a goal, were heavy favourites for the tie. The first half was controlled from start to finish by Holland who kept onto the ball for fun, they knocked it about with ease and panache. And whilst Ireland stood resolute in defence they stood no chance of getting the ball off of them, it was to their credit that the Dutch had been unable to really test the Ireland goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran, such was the resolute defending from the Irish. In the second half the Irish opened up a bit more, but Parrott was still getting virtually no service from the wide men. It was only when the Dutch took the lead from a corner kick on 62 minutes, that the Ireland team were really sparked into like. Young Troy initiated a move only a couple of minutes later before clinically finishing it off on the edge of the area, to draw Ireland level. There was little between the two sides during the remaining 16 minutes, meaning that the tie would be decided by a penalty shootout. Despite Adam Idah having the first penalty of the shootout saved, both teams converted their remaining penalty kicks.

This ultimately meant that with the scores tied at 4-4, the Netherlands had the chance to win the shootout through Chelsea’s Daishawn Redan. This is how the controversy came about, Redan’s powerfully struck effort was excellent saved by the diving Corcoran. Irish players and myself were celebrating wildly, but only a couple of moments later that joy was turned to despair. The referee pulled out Corcoran’s second yellow card of the game and sent him off. In the most absurd set of circumstances the referee had deemed Corcoran to have come off his line as Redan took the penalty. Yet if you watch Ireland’s first penalty, you’ll see that the Dutch goalkeeper commits exactly the same ‘offence’. An outfield player (Oisin Mcentee) was forced to go in goal for the retake, but unsurprisingly Redan buried his effort this time round. The decision from the referee was utterly perplexing and infuriating from an Irish perspective, many of the Ireland players were in tears after the game, slumped to the floor and in total disbelief. Getting back to Troy Parrott’s performance, it was another excellent shift from the Tottenham youngster. Who made the most of his time as an attacking midfielder who was reliant on limited service. There was little to report of Parrott’s performance in the first half, he had been starved of service as the Dutch dominated possession. In fact Ireland had not even managed to have an attempt on goal. As Ireland opened up in the second half, so did Parrott. He embarked on a promising run through the middle shortly after the restart, before being involved in a meaty challenge which resulted in a minor scuffle between both sets of players. Parrott picked up a yellow card in the process.

After the Dutch had taken the lead through Van Gelderen in the 62nd minute, Colin O’Brien’s side were forced into changing their game plan. It took only a couple of minutes for the Irish to respond, due mainly to the intricacy of Parrott. After being picked out on the edge of the Dutch penalty area by Ledwidge’s cross, Parrott delicately poked the ball through to Barry Coffey inside the box. The young Celtic midfielder swivelled round before laying the ball back off to Parrott on the edge of the penalty area, the striker made no mistake as he clinically side footed the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, it was a brilliant finish from the Dubliner! There were to be no more meaningful chances for either side, and the game would eventually be decided by a penalty shootout. Parrott took Ireland’s second penalty of the shootout, he calmly slotted it into the far corner of the goal. It was another really impressive performance from the young centre forward. Despite not being played in his favoured position throughout the tournament, Parrott managed to score three goals in the four games that he played in. He has an attacking nous about his game which few schoolboys can rival. He shows great awareness to his surroundings, and one thing which is striking is his excellent ball control and movement. His fine scoring record for Ireland gives an indication as to what a clinical finisher he is. I’m already excited to see how he performs for the under 18’s next season, when he has players with the quality of J’neil Bennett and Rodel Richards out wide. Phoenix Patterson in behind him setting up chances, and the Winksesque Jamie Bowden sending precise passes over the defence for Parrott to chase onto.

I’m going to make a bold prediction about the Irishman, similar to one which I made about Oliver Skipp at the end of the 16/17 campaign. I think Parrott will excel at under 18 level during the first few months of the season, so much so that I think he’ll be a fully integrated member of the development side by January. I’ll end this piece by sharing an amusing story of Troy’s time spent on trial with Celtic, one which shows just how ridiculously talented the kid is. I was told up in Chesterfield, that Troy was on trial with Celtic a couple of seasons back. During the trial if you can call it that, Parrott scored five goals in the first half of a game. At halftime a coach (who I won’t name) decided to even things out a bit by putting Parrott in the other team, but young Troy only went and scored four more goals!

Some notes on Troy Parrott’s performance against Belgium under 17’s:

Some notes on Troy Parrott’s performance against Belgium under 17’s:


I was at the Loughborough University stadium on Saturday afternoon to watch Ireland under 17’s take on Belgium in their opening group game of the under 17 European Championships. I was there to watch our very own Troy Parrott represent his country, the 16 year old centre forward is the only Spurs player involved in the tournament. Parrott played the full 80 minutes of Ireland’s 2-0 defeat to Belgium in the warm evening sun on Saturday. Operating mainly as a wide man Parrott impressed me in what was a frustrating game for the boys in green. The following notes are from my observations of Parrott’s performance during the game, a game in which he was forced into playing out of position in tough and testing conditions against a very good Belgium team. Ireland played with one striker up top, their top scorer during the qualifying campaign Adam Idah. Meaning that Parrott was forced into playing in the unfamiliar role of left wing. Ireland started brightly and Parrott was involved in an early attacking foray, advancing on a surging run down the left flank in the opening 30 seconds showing good ball control and speed. Ireland saw more of the ball during the opening stages of the game, but despite being tigerish and finding himself in a fair amount of space on the left Parrott was being played quite deep by the Ireland coaches. Interestingly the Ireland head coach Colin O’Brien had him on corner and free kick duties. Ireland were marginally the better side during the first half despite going behind four minutes before the break to Sekou Sidibe’s tap in from close range. Parrott’s hard work and tracking back didn’t go unnoticed, the schoolboy making a vital last ditch block inside the box to prevent Vandermeulen from getting his curler on target during the dying stages of the half.

Parrott switched to right wing for the start of the second half and it didn’t take long before the Summerhill native was involved in a promising move for the Irish. Parrott provided the potent Adam Idah with a glorious chance inside the Belgium box, after whipping in a menacing low cross towards the Norwich striker. Idah’s jabbed effort towards goal forced Belgium goalkeeper Nick Shinton into making a vital reflex save at his near post to prevent Ireland from drawing level. Despite his obvious graft down the right flank Parrott was frustratedly being played very deep. Parrott was involved in another promising move for Ireland around the hour mark as they continued to push for an equaliser. However, Ireland’s chances of getting anything from the game were severely dented on 68 minutes, when the Belgians doubled their lead through Yorbe Vertessen. After falling further behind Ireland manager Colin O’Brien decided to play Parrott in a slightly more central role behind Idah. As Ireland tired so too did Parrott who pulled up twice with cramp during the latter stages of the game, and was clearly struggling to continue. Ireland came desperately close to pulling a goal back in stoppage time but the Belgians were able to comfortably see out the remaining minutes, to dent the chances of Troy Parrott’s country progressing to the knockout stages. Despite suffering defeat I was impressed with what I had seen from Troy and his teammates. I thought that the Tottenham schoolboy had played his part in the game. He was feisty, hardworking and powerful going forwards. He didn’t shy away from getting involved in defensive duties and once again he roamed all over the park. It was frustrating to see him play out of position as I felt that it restricted his impact in around the six yard box, especially during set pieces.

Despite his positional change I thought that Parrott did a fine job in a variety of positions, his quality and awareness was plain to see. He is a classy player who uses the ball resourcefully. Despite his inclination to be a natural centre forward tactics dictated where he played, e.g the wing. Hence less involvement in direct play. Up next for Parrott and Ireland is Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday, in what will now be regarded as a must win fixture for the boys in green. Unfortunately I will be unable to attend that game as it has already sold out. On a different note I was once again impressed with Ireland and Norwich centre forward Adam Idah’s performance. He was sharp and his physical and aerial presence really managed to unsettle the Belgium defence. Idah is a very intelligent and clinical goalscorer who has always impressed me for both club and country since I first saw him play as a 15 year old. If Reo Griffiths is to go at the end of the season then I know which young striker I’d like us to replace him with! I wish Troy and co all the very best for their remaining group games. COYS/COYBIG

A round up of recent Spurs games plus a youth update, and more:

A round up of recent Spurs games plus a youth update, and more:


Apologies for my lack of writing over the festive period, a dislocated knee amongst other reasons has given me little time to sit down and write pieces on recent games. Now it is the new year, all will return to normal and I’ll be writing about Spurs everyday. However, as I’m quite behind in my articles on recent games I thought I’d combine all my pieces in to this one blog post. Starting on those two sparkling performances against both Burnley and Southampton, the record breaking Harry Kane was at the heart of both of those wins. But it was the togetherness and sheer dominance of Pochettino’s players collectively as a team, which saw them overcome Burnley and Southampton so emphatically. The fluid attacking play and the sharpness and incisive movement overwhelmed the opposition, it looked just like the Spurs of last season. There’s a lot of talk about Liverpool’s ‘fab four’ and the attacking prowess of the leaders Manchester City. But when our four attacking players are all on form they are just as unstoppable as shown in our previous two games, the victory over the saints saw us play some of our best football this season. Tomorrow Pochettino’s side travel to South Wales for a tricky away game with relegation stricken Swansea, buoyed by a rare win against Watford in their last game. Newly appointed manager Carlos Carvalhal has a monumental task on his hands to keep the swans in the league, they’ve scored the fewest goals this season. Have the poorest home form and lack quality and depth, on paper it’s an inviting game for Spurs and one which they would want to achieve maximum points.

In other news our under 18’s and 23’s both return to action in the coming week starting with our under 23’s who face Leicester in the PL2 on Wednesday night. I will be making the trip to Leicester for that one to report on the game. Meanwhile our under 18’s return to league action on the Saturday with a home game against Leicester at the training centre. In other youth related news, I was at the valley earlier today to watch Spurs loanee Connor Ogilvie in the Charlton v Gillingham game. The 21 year old full back only came on for the last 20 or so minutes of the game, at which point the gills were leading 2-0. Ogilvie put in a typically assured and composed performance at left back. Ogilvie got involved and was dominant in the air, he is getting plenty of game time at the league one club. Watching today’s game (which ended 2-1 to the visitors) it got me thinking. A club like Charlton for example who are on a poor run of form (seemingly lacking a bit of creativity) with a manager with a good youth policy in Karl Robinson, would surely be a good place to send a couple of our young academy starlets on loan to, over the January transfer window. Players like Marcus Edwards (so lacking in senior game time) the brilliant Keanan Bennetts who has been exceptional at wing back for our under 23’s this season and the commanding centre half Japhet Tanganga are just some of the players who could in my eyes all benefit from a loan spell in the football league. We shall see if any of those players are loaned out over the course of the coming weeks.


Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Preston North End: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Preston North End: (match report)


Much to my delight I managed to attend today’s FA youth cup third round tie at the training centre despite there being no fans allowed in (due to the late change of venue). I was thankfully granted access by the press office, meaning that I could report on the game. And what a game it was, as a strong Spurs side managed to sweep aside last seasons surprise package Preston with a wonderful attacking performance. The visitors tried to contain us early on but it was never going to work, our lads were too strong and incisive in their play for the lilywhites. They dictated the tempo of the game and managed to break through their defence early on despite their defensive stance, it was in all truth a victory that Spurs coasted to. Due to the amounts of snow on other pitches, the game was played on a pitch which the seniors use to train on at the back of the main reception. Spurs kicked the game off in what would have been tough conditions for the youngsters owing to the bitterly cold weather. Spurs showed early signs of confidence, passing the ball around well. De Bie dealt well with a Preston cross early on, whilst the presence of centre backs Eyoma and Lyons-Foster would have put his mind at ease. The visitors were sitting deep, desperate to not let Spurs break forward. Spurs upped their pace on 15 minutes and it almost paid off. After Richards found Patterson inside the box, though Patterson could only shin the ball wide. Soon afterwards Spurs took the lead following a lovely passage of play.

The move started with the prominent Lloyd-Bennett who surged forward down the left flank beating his man in the process. The young winger delivered a low cross into the area which was met first time by the advancing Maghoma, to cooly pass the ball beyond Cottam, 1-0. Adam O’Reilly tested De Bie soon after the restart before O’Neil rounded Skipp on the edge of the area, before forcing another decent save out of De Bie. Preston appeared to be upping their game. But Spurs soon reestablished their dominance on the game, Reo Griffiths having a penalty shout waved away before Richards flashed an effort wide of goal. Spurs then came desperately close to extending their lead, when Paris Maghoma’s brilliant dipping long range effort, came crashing off the crossbar. The game had gathered at a frantic pace it had really opened up, Jamie Reynolds was forced into making an important interception back in the Spurs end, whilst Spurs looked to catch Preston on the counter, it was a recurring theme. The lively Rodel Richards showed good foot work inside the box before forcing Cottam into making a fine save, Richards was involved again moments later. The young forward cutting inside from the right before laying the ball off to Patterson whose goal bound effort was blocked.

Parker’s side knew that they had to get that second goal, and the warning signs were there. Most notably when Oscar O’Neils effort flew just wide for the visitors. Spurs were piling the pressure on to the championship club as the half neared an end, Patterson seeing his flying volley blocked by a Preston defender. Before a key moment in the game occurred, when Spurs deservedly doubled their lead at the perfect time. It was another well worked move which led to the goal, instigated by Paris Maghoma. Who slid the ball down the right channel to Griffiths, the striker looked up at goal before whipping a low cross into the danger area. Rodel Richards was alert to it, managing to get to the ball before his opposite number, the 16 year old prodded the ball home, 2-0. Spurs almost added to their lead on the stroke of halftime, after Skipp embarked on a brilliant forward run, the experienced development squad player played a pass through to Griffiths inside the box. Though the strikers low effort was saved by the feet of Cottam. The first chance of the second half came to the visitors, Jonathan De Bie being called into action to deal with a thumping effort from distance. Preston’s resurgence wasn’t to last long, Oliver Skipp embarked on another great forward run shortly before Phoenix Patterson’s low effort was saved by James Cottam.

Spurs’ dominance on the game was duly rewarded on 52 minutes as Scott Parker’s team grabbed their third of the game. It was yet another lovely attacking move, it started off with Reynolds who clipped a low cross into the box which resulted in Griffith’s receiving the ball, his close range effort being well blocked by Cottam. With the loose ball being picked up by Patterson on the edge of the area, the midfielder showed great composure to calmly curl the ball home despite being hounded by Preston defenders, Preston were unable to cope with the pace of the game. Preston were gifted a rare chance on the hour mark after Eyoma conceded a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box. Michael Howards excellent free kick flying narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. Spurs put the game to bed a couple of minutes later, the influential Lloyd-Bennett once again playing a big part in the goal. After some good build up play Lloyd-Bennett picked the ball up down the left before charging forward clipping in a nice cross to the far post, which was nodded home by Richards, 4-0. Parker’s side were being allowed time on the ball as the visitors tired it was all looking a bit too easy for his team. However they would have pulled a goal back through Adam O’Reilly were it not for the heroics of De Bie, who spectacularly saved the forwards dipping long range effort, which seemed certain to go inside the top corner.

Lloyd-Bennett forced a good stop out of Cottam soon after, before Spurs managed to put the icing on top of the cake with their fifth goal of the game. It was a goal to cherish from the hat trick hero, starting in midfield with Maghoma who produced a lovely pass to find substitute Markanday down the right. Markanday rolled the ball across to Richards inside the box, he then pulled of a series of Villaesque dribbles evading the defenders in the process. Before finally tucking the ball past Cottam and into the back of the net, 5-0! Markanday almost pulled off a late wonder goal after embarking on a jinking run, but Spurs would have just been happy with the five goals and a place in the fourth round. Where an away tie with Bournemouth awaits the lads. COYS


Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Not too involved, due to our dominance on the game, but he was sound throughout especially in dealing with corners and set pieces, made a world class save during the second half.
– Tariq Hinds: Solid and good going forward, didn’t put a foot wrong.
– Jamie Reynolds: Another excellent performance from Reynolds at left back, made some important interceptions/clearances. As well as producing some really good passes and crosses. Very tidy player.
– Oliver Skipp: What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this young man! Dropping back down to the 18’s, Skipp’s exposure to the development squad was plain to see. He was an engine in the midfield, he also done very well going forward.
– TJ Eyoma: Another who dropped down a level today, Eyoma didn’t give the Preston forwards a sniff throughout the game. He was rock solid and decisive when it mattered. Also dominant in the air.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Similarly excellent, Lyons-Foster was cool and composed throughout. Decisive and intelligent in his play I don’t remember him making a single mistake.
– Rodel Richards: My motm (see below).
– P.Maghoma: Terrific display from the exciting midfielder, played a big part in three of our goals including his own well taken finish. He was excellent on the ball, his weight of pass second to none.
– Reo Griffiths: The Preston defenders couldn’t handle the Spurs strikers power and pace. He gave them a torrid time all game, held the ball up really well, looked sharp and made good runs in between the defenders. Also laid off two goals.
– J’neil Lloyd Bennett: Another start for the schoolboy and yet another terrific performance by the winger. He just wanted to run at the fullbacks, and quite simply they couldn’t cope with him. Created two of our goals. Beginning to look like a special talent.
– Phoenix Patterson: Put in a great shift in midfield, nimble footed and creative. Patterson carried the ball well and capped off a fine display with a well taken goal.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Great to see him back following a lay off with injury, impressed during his cameo.
– Dilan Markanday: Another player whose returning from injury, Markanday made a brilliant impression on the game during his short time on the pitch, showed excellent ball control, went on many weaving runs and also managed to set up Richards for his hat-trick. His late solo effort was top class.

My man of the match: Rodel Richards was once again unstoppable down the right flank, quickly making a name for himself amongst Spurs fans. The 16 year old forward put in another motm performance this afternoon, sharp and creative down the flank. Richards provided plenty of flare down the wing with his excellent close ballcontrol and skill. Constantly tracked back, looked to make space and most importantly of all he was clinical in front of goal. Bagging his second hat trick of the season, his last goal was truly special!


Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-11
Phoenix Patterson-4
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-2
Rodel Richards-6
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 5
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-1
Reo Griffiths-5
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-4
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-1

Interesting stat: Schoolboy J’neil Lloyd Bennett has now featured 5 times for the under 18’s this campaign, playing a direct part in five goals!

Spurs: De Bie (c), Hinds (Dinzeyi 72), Reynolds, Skipp (Bowden 81), Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Richards, P Maghoma, Griffiths, Patterson (Markanday 66), Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, A Shashoua.

Preston North End: Cottam, Fensome (c), Campbell, Baxter, Stead, Lyons, Smart (Wood 56), O’Neil, Garstang (Walker 56), O’Reilly, Howard (Brannigan 81). Substitutes (not used): Lenton, Armer.

Goals: Spurs – Maghoma 19, Richards 39, 64, 84, Patterson 52.

Yellow cards: Preston – Lyons 63.

Referee: Ivan Gelov.

Attendance: 78

Spurs under 18’s versus Preston North End: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Preston North End: (match preview)


Whilst it’s by no means certain that Spurs’ 3rd Round FA youth cup tie will go ahead on Tuesday evening, owing to the adverse weather conditions, I’ll write my preview regardless and then update it if needs be. I phoned Stevenage this afternoon and they told me that they were unsure whether the game will go ahead, there’ll be a pitch inspection at 1 pm which will decide whether or not the game will go ahead. Focusing on the game, Scott Parker’s side will have been relishing the chance to play in the FA youth cup ever since they signed their scholarships, the most prestigious youth competition in the country, they’ll need no history lessons about the importance of this competition and what it means to the club. Being played at Stevenage’s Lamex stadium, Spurs will be hoping to replicate the successes of last seasons under 18 team, who enjoyed a good cup run before being knocked out in the semis by Chelsea. Tomorrows game will see the Lilywhites take on the Lilywhites. And one thing that Parker’s side can’t be going into this game is complacent, Preston may have an academy ranking much lower than ours, whilst the championship club will have nothing like the resources that our club possesses. But one thing they are sure to have is spirit, Preston were one of the surprise packages of last seasons campaign, managing to reach the quarter finals where they were only narrowly beaten by Stoke, they also managed to be Everton en route to the last 8.

I’m really excited for tomorrows game and I’m sure our lads are too, it’s a special opportunity and it will also provide the youngsters with a rare chance of playing in front of a crowd, who no doubt will all be behind them. I’m predicting Parker to field a very strong side, there may even be space for some of our younger development squad players, I’m confident Samuel Shashoua and some of the other youngsters are all still eligible. COYS

My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Hinds, Lyons-Foster, Statham, Reynolds, Bowden, P.Maghoma, Richards, A.Shashoua, P.Patterson, Griffiths.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Pochettino, Clarke, Markanday, Lloyd-Bennett.

Doubtful: Moroyin Omolabi, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Charlie Freeman, Elliot Thorpe and Matt Lock.

One to watch: Preston’s Liverpudlian forward, Darren Branigan.

My score prediction: 5-1 to Spurs.

An interesting read about a famous FA youth cup campaign that Spurs endured in the 1970’s : https://superhotspur.com/2017/11/19/the-forgotten-story-of-spurs-famous-fa-youth-cup-winning-side-of-1973-74/

Spurs u18’s 4-4 Chelsea: Thriller at Hotspur Way!

Spurs u18’s 4-4 Chelsea: Thriller at Hotspur Way!


Our under 18’s were involved in a thrilling London Derby at Hotspur way this morning with rivals Chelsea. Unfortunately I was unable to make the game in the end, but I heard first hand how enthralling a game it was, particularly in the first half where Spurs put in a lovely attacking display. Despite leading 4-2 Spurs were pegged back by Chelsea resulting in a slightly frustrating draw, our goals came from – Griffiths x2, Eyoma and an own goal, all of this seasons statistics have been updated below. COYS

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Skipp, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster (Clarke 70), Richards, P Maghoma, Griffiths (A Shashoua 75), Patterson (Bowden 88), Llyod-Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Asante.


Under 18’s Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-11
Phoenix Patterson -3
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-1
Rodel Richards-3
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 5
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-1
Reo Griffiths-3
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1

Spurs u18’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)

Spurs u18’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)


A busy week of youth football starts for our under 18’s on Saturday morning when they host high flying Chelsea at Hotspur Way, in the under 18 league. Although Parker’s side go into this game with some good recent form, his side will face no bigger challenge than to overcome the blues renowned youth team. Occupying top spot in the table, Chelsea have a lead of 7 points to second place Leicester. Having scored just the 31 goals from there opening 10 games, it’s fair to say that they know where the back of the net is. In addition to their goal scoring prowess including a 7-0 thrashing over West Ham last Saturday, Chelsea have conceded only 7 goals this season. With players such as Jonathan Panzo (u17 World Cup winner) the brilliant Dutchman Juan Castillo who was exceptional during last seasons youth cup, as well as the clinical Martell Taylor-Crossdsale it’s fair to say Chelsea have the best under 18 team in the country! That goes without mentioning a dozen or so other top class talents that could feature tomorrow. At the end of the day it will be a fantastic experience for Parker’s side and I wish them all the best. Due to attending the senior game at Stoke tomorrow, I will be unable to report on the whole of the game. Though I hope to be able to watch at least an hour of the game, before heading off to Wembley. COYS

Head2Heads:7-1 Chelsea
2-1 Chelsea
4-2 Chelsea

Doubtful: Omolabi, Lyons-Foster, Dinzeyi.

Some players could be rested owing to our important FA youth cup match with Preston in midweek.

My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Clarke, Hinds, Statham, Reynolds, Bowden, P.Maghoma, Richards, A.Shashoua, Lloyd Bennett, Griffiths.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Pochettino, P.Patterson, Markanday.

One to watch: Former Ajax Academy player Juan Castillo will likely cause problems down the wing with his blistering pace and skill.