A piece on three of the Spurs Academy players who have been called-up to their first pre-season tour with the club:

There were three Spurs Academy players who were called-up (it was announced by Spurs on Saturday) to Spurs’ (first team) two match trip to South Korea, who are going on their first pre-season tour with the club. The three Academy players are Josh Keeley, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Charlie Sayers. Spurs’ first team will play their first match of the trip, against Team K League on Wednesday, before then facing Spanish side Sevilla, next Saturday. Spurs still have two remaining pre-season matches to play after they return to England, but the trip to South Korea will provide all of the Spurs Academy players who are part of Antonio Conte’s squad, an incredible experience of being around a team of great players. The following short piece is an informative piece about the following three Spurs Academy players, and one where I will mostly be talking about the players’ style of play, and what positions they play in. Regardless of how many minutes they get in the two upcoming friendly matches, the experience of travelling with the squad and being with the first team, will be so good for them at this stage of their career.

Josh Keeley: A new signing for the Spurs Academy, from Irish League of Ireland Premier Division side St Patrick’s Athletic. 19 year old goalkeeper Josh Keeley is from Dunboyne, County Meath, in the Republic of Ireland. A goalkeeper with good reflexes, Keeley joined the Spurs Academy earlier this month, and he will likely be the fourth choice goalkeeper for Spurs, during their two matches in South Korea. Josh has been called-up to represent his country in the past at Under 19 level, and he made two senior competitive appearances for his old club St Patrick’s Athletic, during his time there. Keeley started his one competitive match for St Patrick’s Athletic in a 2-2 league draw with Finn Harps in the November of 2021. And the player who also played for the St Patrick’s Athletic Under 19 side, before his involvement with the first team, was coached by former Spurs youth team player and goalkeeping coach at St.Patrick’s Athletic – Pat Jennings Jr. (the son of Spurs legend Pat Jennings). I would imagine that Josh will make a really good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side during the 2022/23 season and possibly also for the Spurs Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League. However, for now he will be enjoying the experience of being with the Spurs first team.

Malachi Fagan-Walcott: Central defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott ended last season really well with the Spurs Under 23 side. The 20 year old who primarily plays on the right side of central defence, is a very good reader of the game, and he is also very good on the ball. Born in Edmonton, and brought up in Waltham Abbey, Malachi has represented England at youth level in the past, and he has already featured once in a competitive match for the Spurs first team. After he came on as a late substitute in a UEFA Champions League round of 16 match, against RB Leipzig, in 2020. The defender who is good in the air, has shown over the years for Spurs at Academy level that he is a really good passer of the ball, and he likes to make forward passes out from defence. Fagan-Walcott also has really good pace, and while he has missed quite a bit of Academy football in the past because of injuries, he did make 20 competitive appearances for the then Spurs Under 23 side last season, scoring two goals from those matches. He formed a very strong central defensive partnership with former Spurs Academy player Luis Binks, for Spurs at Academy level in the past, and he has already been out on loan from Spurs, during the 2020/21 season. He joined Scottish side Dundee, but an injury ended his time there, having made only two league appearances for them.

I really hope that Malachi gets some game time in South Korea, for Spurs. He is a very talented defender, and I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see him go out on another loan move before the end of the summer transfer window.

Charlie Sayers: A left footed central defender, who is also capable of playing at left-back (he has yet to play in that position for Spurs at Academy level). Former Southend United player Charlie Sayers made some really good strides last season, in my opinion. Prior to signing for Spurs, Sayers had made six competitive first team appearances during the first half of the 2021/22 season for Southend, before joining Spurs in late 2021, after spending some time with the club on trial. A tall defender, he is a player who has shown for Spurs at Academy level since joining, that he can bring the ball out well from defence, and at a good pace. The 18 year old is also a good passer of the ball off of his left foot, and his distribution and composure with the ball reminds me a bit of Luis Binks, while he was at Spurs as an Academy player. Both left footed central defenders, Sayers and Binks are around the same height, and are also similar in how they bring the ball out from defence, and look to pass it forward. Sayers made a good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, as well as making two competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side as a second year scholar. Good in the air and also impressing with his positioning, and at making blocks. Charlie Sayers will be an important player for the Spurs Under 23 side during 2022/23, and he had some really good games last season for Spurs at Academy level.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jamie Bowden – A piece on the Spurs Academy midfielder, the season just gone and my hopes for him during the 2022/23 season:

Jamie Bowden made 25 competitive appearances on loan at Oldham Athletic in League Two during the first half of the 2021/22 season. A local lad to Tottenham, the skilful Spurs midfielder scored one goal and provided five assists for Oldham, during his time in Lancashire. A Republic of Ireland youth international, who has represented them at Under 19 level, the 20 year old central midfielder who turns 21 next month, is a player who has always impressed me at Academy level for Spurs. Signing scholarship forms with the club that he supports, in the summer of 2017, Bowden had already made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2016/17 season. He made a really good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in his first year of scholarship with Spurs in 2017/18, and he had some excellent games. Bowden continued to improve during the following 2018/19 season, when he provided a really good number of assists over the course of the season, as well as stepping up to play for the Spurs Under 23 side on occasions, although he did miss quite a bit of that season because of injury.

During the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons Jamie was with the Spurs Under 23 side full-time, and he would become an important player for Wayne Burnett’s side, who he would often captain. Bowden also played for and captained the Spurs Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League, during 2019/20. Going out on his first loan move during the season just gone, the midfielder who can play in a defensive-midfield role, or further forward in midfield, in my opinion did well at Oldham in the games that I saw him start. He was a regular starter for them, and he showed the creative side of his game, as well as the hardworking side to his game and also what a team player he is. Bowden’s passing range is excellent, and this stood out to me ever since I first saw him play for Spurs at Academy level. The player who has been at Spurs for many years, is a very intelligent midfield player, with really fine reading of the game and also that ability, similar to Harvey White, to be able to control the tempo of matches with his ability on the ball. Jamie has shown at Academy level that he is a really classy midfield player, who is more than capable of making that decisive forward pass, to unlock the defence of the opposing team.

Although he can play both the defensive midfield role as well as a more forward role in midfield, Bowden has the pace and also the footballing maturity to his game to play both roles really well. Tactically speaking I’ve always really appreciated his fine decision making on the field, and also the way that he conducts himself during matches. He carries the ball forward well from midfield, and his weight of pass and ability to find a teammate in space, is very good in my opinion. From the matches that I was able to watch him start for Oldham Athletic, he was always looking to receive the ball and get on it, in order to try and create chances or to get the ball forward to support the forwards, which I thought that he did well at in certain matches. He also showed good tenacity, as he played the game at at good intensity. The style of play in League Two for many teams is quite different to the way that Spurs play at Academy level, so appreciating that I thought that the midfielder adapted well in that sense. He did return to Spurs in the January of 2022, and Jamie would make seven appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side during the second half of the Premier League 2 season, scoring one goal and providing two assists.

The player who went on to make the bench once for Spurs’ first team in the Premier League during the second half of the 2021/22 season, showed in one Premier League 2 fixture away to Liverpool Under 23’s, how talented and how influential a player he is. In this particular game Spurs lost 7-1 to a good Liverpool side, but following Jamie Bowden’s introduction for the start of the second half, he demonstrated his quality on the ball, excellent vision for a forward pass and also the defensive side of his game. It was a very good all-round performance in the second half from the Londoner, who was undoubtedly Spurs’ best player from a disappointing game overall. Having traveled with Spurs’ first team on tour before, and having also featured for them in some pre-season friendlies, Bowden has first team experience. This pre-season, Spurs’ first team are scheduled to play four pre-season friendlies. As a Spurs fan who has seen Jamie progress up through the Academy ranks at the club, I really hope that he gets a chance to impress Antonio Conte and the first team coaching staff in pre-season, and hopefully in some of the matches. As impressing in pre-season in matches against good sides, can lead to great things for players who are still at an early stage in their footballing career.

I would like to wish Jamie all the very best of luck for pre-season and the upcoming 2022/23 season. He is a player who I really think has a very good future in the game, and one who I also feel is capable of achieving great things in football.

Farewell and good luck Joshua Oluwayemi:

Spurs’ Academy goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi left the club on the 2nd of June, following the end of his professional contract with the club. Oluwayemi had been at the Spurs Academy for around 12 years. During that time the talented goalkeeper would feature regularly for Spurs’ Academy sides, and since 2017 Joshua has featured for both the Spurs Under 18 side and Under 23 side regularly. Born in London, the 21 year old made the most competitive appearances as a goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 23 side during 2021/22, when he made 18 appearances. Oluwayemi is a goalkeeper with great reflexes, and someone who commands his penalty area really well, in addition to constantly providing encouragement to his defence. Also, Joshua’s distribution and composure on the ball has always been good, and he is also good at rushing out of his box to clear the ball. The former England youth international made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in the August of the 2017/18 season, as a substitute in a Premier League South game with Leicester City. He would make one more appearance for the Spurs Under 18 side during the remainder of that season, as Joshua kept a clean-sheet in a 5-0 league win over Aston Villa.

It was during the following 2018/19 season when Joshua became the first choice goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 18 side. He was such an important player for Matt Wells’ very talented side, who came so close to winning the 2018/19 Premier League South. Oluwayemi made some incredible and very important saves during that season, and he also saved a really good number of penalties. I’ll always remember a brilliant save that Joshua made in the away league fixture with Arsenal, during that season, when he was able to tip an effort which seemed destined to be going into the top left hand corner of the goal, onto one of his posts. It was an outstanding save. In the seasons that followed and after he signed professional forms with Spurs, Joshua Oluwayemi would after time become the first choice goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 23 side, for almost two seasons. He also went out on a loan to non-League side Maidenhead United, for a short time, before returning to Spurs during the 2020/21 season. 

I also remember well when Joshua really impressed at the prestigious pre-season Tournoi Europeen, in France, when he had three very good matches. Very good at saving efforts from close range, Oluwayemi has in my opinion been very consistent for Spurs at Under 18 and Under 23 level over the years, and it has been great to watch him get better and better since he signed scholarship forms with the club. The goalkeeper who was called-up to the senior Nigeria national team, for an international friendly with Mexico in the July of 2021, is in my opinion someone who will have a very good career in football. Academy goalkeepers at Spurs have always been very good, ever since I first starting watching Spurs’ Academy games. And Joshua Oluwayemi is someone who I’ve always thought very highly of, and I’d like to wish him all the very best of luck for the future. Farewell and good luck, Joshua.

My end of season player reviews of the Spurs Under 23 side (2021/22):

After being unable to write an end of season review for the Spurs Under 23 side for last season (2020/21) because of being unable to go to matches, this season my end of season review of the Spurs Under 23 side returns. During the 2021/22 season Spurs’ Under 23 side finished in seventh place in the Premier League 2 Division One, with 37 points from 26 matches. Wayne Burnett’s side started the season well, but it was an eight game unbeaten run which started in October, which in my opinion was when they were at their very best. Dilan Markanday was scoring regularly, and Harvey White was so creative in midfield, but then there was also Nile John and Alfie Devine, who were both scoring and assisting goals. While the Spurs defence put in some really good performances, against the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United. A number of players left the side during the January transfer window however, (including Jack Clarke, who joined Sunderland on loan) with Dilan Markanday leaving the club to join Blackburn Rovers on a permanent transfer. In addition to Dilan Markanday leaving the club, Nile John left to join Charlton Athletic on loan, while Harvey White was promoted to the first team on an almost permanent basis, and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster missed much of the second half of the season because of injury.

When you consider that the side which started the first half of the season was quite significantly different to the side that complete the second half of the season, I thought once again that this was another good season for Wayne Burnett’s side, who did well throughout the season. Spurs recorded some memorable wins over the  course of the season, such as winning twice against Manchester City in the Premier League 2. They also competed in the Papa Johns Trophy during the season just gone, and they finished in third place in group 16, and they won 4-3 in a brilliant game against Stevenage’s first team, at the Lamex Stadium, earlier on in the season. The team made good strides during the season and although they had some difficult matches during the second half of the season, such as the one when they lost 7-1 away to Liverpool, I really think that this was a good season overall. During the following long piece I will be writing on all of the players who were a part of the Spurs Under 23 side/development side during the 2021/22 season. I will also be including some highlights of the season, at the bottom of the article. It’s been a real pleasure to follow the team again, home and away during the season just gone.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: 

Joshua Oluwayemi: The 21 year old goalkeeper made 18 competitive appearances for Spurs’ Under 23 side during the 2021/22 season. The third year professional who made the bench for the Spurs first team in a pre-season friendly against Colchester United last summer, made the most appearances as a goalkeeper for Wayne Burnett’s side this season. Oluwayemi, who was only last year called-up to represent the senior Nigeria national team, was consistent for Spurs throughout the 2021/22 season, in my opinion. The London born goalkeeper who is very composed on the ball as well as being a very good goalkeeper, impressed a lot in Premier League 2 games against the likes of Arsenal (away) and Blackburn Rovers (at home), this season. Joshua is a very good goalkeeper, who I have always been impressed with, and he is capable of making spectacular saves, but the penalty saving specialist is also good with his distribution as well. He spent some of the previous 2020/21 season out on loan with non-League side Maidenhead United, and it will be interesting to see whether or not he goes out on loan again next season, in 2022/23. 

Thimothée Lo-Tutala: The France Under 19 international wasn’t always the first choice goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 23 side, in 2021/22. However, when he was selected to start matches, he did really well in my opinion. Lo-Tutala made 11 appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side during 2021/22, keeping four clean-sheets and saving one penalty kick this season. The Paris born goalkeeper also made two Premier League South appearances for Spurs’ Under 18 side, keeping one clean-sheet from those two appearances. The 19 year old goalkeeper also became a regular for France’s Under 19 side during the season just gone, and he will be hoping to be selected for France at the UEFA European Under 19 Championship, this summer. I didn’t see Thimothée not do well whenever he started matches this season, and I was really impressed with how well he did in his first full season with the Spurs Under 23 side. The former Brentford Academy player had probably his best two games against Leicester City Under 23’s (away) when he saved a penalty in a 4-1 win, and then in a 3-0 home win over a very good Manchester City side, at Hotspur Way.

Thimothée commands his penalty area so well, and he is a very confident goalkeeper who is reliable in goal, and capable of making really good saves. His positioning is also consistently very good. Lo-Tutala certainly did well during 2021/22, for club and country. 

Isak Solberg: Norway Under 19 international Isak Solberg made the bench on four occasions for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22, but he didn’t actually make any appearances for the side. He did make one competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, while in his second year of scholarship with the club. Isak was formerly with Byrne FK, in Norway, prior to joining Spurs on a two year scholarship for the start of the 2019/20 season.

Kacper Kurylowicz: The 20 year old goalkeeper didn’t actually feature for the Spurs Under 23 side during the 2021/22 season. Kurylowicz did however, join Isthmian Premier Division side Potters Bar Town on loan for the second half of the season, where he made seven starts for Potters Bar Town (I watched their league game against Bishop’s Stortford, which he impressed in). A goalkeeper who I’ve always thought very highly of, Kacper is a former Poland youth international, and as a goalkeeper I’ve always had, and continue to have high hopes for him in the game. Very good at closing down the angles inside his penalty area, and at rushing out of his goal, the Luton born footballer was selected as the third choice goalkeeper for the Spurs senior team, in their 2-2 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League, in December of 2021. A very confident goalkeeper who is really good at organising his defenders, he is also very encouraging to his outfield teammates during matches. It was announced by Kacper on Twitter that he had left the club, on the 23rd of May.

Defenders:

Marcel Lavinier: The former Chelsea Academy player made 21 competitive appearances for Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22. The London born full-back who often started matches as a right-back this season (he also started matches at left-back, and also one in midfield), has previously represented England and Portugal at youth international level. Lavinier (21) is a skilful player who has good pace, and who likes to go forward with the ball down the flanks. He provided five assists for his teammates in 2021/22, as he showed how good he is at getting forward, both with and without the ball. After initially trialling with Spurs at the beginning of last season (2020/21), Marcel signed for Spurs on a permanent basis shortly after. He has once again been a mainstay of the Spurs Under 23 side during this season, and it will be interesting to see if the player who made the bench for the Spurs first team on one occasion this season, will go out on loan for the first time in his career, next season. Lavinier arguably had his best game of the season while starting at right-back in a 4-0 home Premier League 2 win over Everton, in November of 2021. He captained the Spurs Under 23 side on two occasions in 2021/22.

Kallum Cesay: This was a season of good strides for full-back Kallum Cesay, who in addition to making 25 competitive appearances (he scored one goal) for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22, also made two first team appearances in pre-season friendlies last summer. The East London born former West Ham United Academy player also made the bench for the Spurs first team in competitive competitions in 2021/22. A versatile player who likes going on long and skilful runs with the ball down the flanks, in addition to playing at full-back, Cesay can also play out wide as a winger, and in central midfield. He is strong in the challenge and good at breaking up play when starting matches in midfield, and Kallum had a good and solid debut season with the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22. However, probably the highlight of Kallum Cesay’s season was making his international debut for Sierra Leone, in a 2-1 international friendly win over Congo, in the March of 2022. The full-back scored both of Sierra Leone’s goals in that game. 

Dermi Lusala: The highly skilful full-back who was excellent during his first season of scholarship in 2019/20, missed most of the first half of the 2021/22 season because of injury, as he didn’t make any squads for Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side until the January of 2022. The Edmonton born right-back made his first competitive appearance of the season for the Spurs Under 23 side in a 1-0 away Premier League 2 loss to Everton in late January. Lusala appeared in the remaining nine Premier League 2 fixtures of that season, getting some good minutes of football. A full-back who is capable of playing on either flank and in central defence, Dermi is so skilful on the ball, and very capable of going past players with the ball. He is also very good at making challenges, and he has a good balance to his game. Dermi also featured for a Spurs Under 19 side at the end of season Terborg Tournament, but he picked up an injury in one of the matches towards the end of the tournament. The former England youth international will be hoping to become a regular starter for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2022/23. 

Jeremy Kyezu: The left-back didn’t actually feature for the Spurs Under 23 side during the 2021/22 season, in competitive competition. Jeremy (he was a third year scholar during 2021/22) did make the bench for the Spurs Development side in their Papa Johns Trophy group game with Stevenage, early on in the season. Kyezu later left the club to join Millwall on a permanent transfer. He would go on to play for their Under 23 side during the remainder of the 2021/22 season.

Maksim Paskotši: The Estonia international wasn’t always a regular for the Spurs Under 23 side during the season just gone. However, in his second season with the club, Maksim impressed with the Spurs first team during pre-season (he has also impressed for his country, Estonia), and he even made his competitive first team debut for the club as a late substitute in the UEFA Conference League play-off round first leg tie against Paços Ferreira. The 19 year old central defender made ten competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side during the season just gone, with two of his best performances (in my opinion) coming in Premier League 2 wins over Manchester City (away) and against Leicester City respectively (at home). Maksim is good on the ball and also fast, with good reading of the game. He is also capable of playing at full-back, as well. He captained the Spurs Under 23 side on one occasion in 2021/22. 

Malachi Fagan-Walcott: Central defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott was a regular for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22, after missing much of the previous season because of injury. The Edmonton born defender made 20 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side this season, as well as featuring for the Spurs first team in pre-season, and also making the bench for them on two occasions. The 20 year old formed a very good central defensive partnership with former Spurs Academy player Luis Binks during much of his time as a scholar with Spurs. Fagan-Walcott’s positioning, passing ability, tackling and braveness in defence makes him in my opinion a really good prospect. He did well again this season after having some injuries last season, and the former district 200m sprint champion got better and better as the 2021/22 season went on. He finished the season well for Wayne Burnett’s side, by putting in some really good defensive performances against Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea respectively. And the defender who scored two goals during the season, would form a good central defensive partnership alongside the more experienced defender Tobi Omole.

Malachi captained the Spurs Under 23 side on one occasion during the season just gone, and it will be very interesting to see whether he goes out on loan again (he joined Dundee on loan for some of the 2020/21 season) during the 2022/23 season.

Tobi Omole: Central defender Tobi Omole (22) joined Spurs after his contract with Arsenal came to an end in 2020, after initially trialing with the Spurs Under 23 side. The Brockley born defender is a versatile player who is also a footballing central defender, with good distribution. Good in the air and commanding in defence, Tobi made 18 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side last season, and he scored two goals and provided one assist from those games. He also featured for the Spurs first team in pre-season, and made the bench for the Spurs first team on three occasions during the early stages of the season. I like how composed Omole is in his defending, and as one of the most experienced members of the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22, I thought that he did well once again this season. Tobi was outstanding for the Spurs Under 23 side in a very impressive 3-0 Premier League 2 win over the champions Manchester City towards the end of last year, in what was a really good defensive performance from him, and one of his best of the season. However, it will be interesting to see whether he stays next season with Spurs, and if he does, whether or not he goes out on the first loan move of his career so far.

Marqes Muir: The skilful central defender who likes to go on skilful forward runs with the ball out from defence, is a defender who from watching him regularly at Under 18 and 23 level for Spurs, is quite clear to me that he is a central defender who just loves defending. The Lambeth born first year professional wasn’t always a regular starter for the Spurs Under 23 side throughout the season, but I thought that as one of the younger full-time members of the side, that he got better and better as the season went on. Marqes is a very skilful player with really fine reading of the game, but he is also very brave and is consistently well positioned to make blocks, challenges and clearances. Strong in the air and quick on the ground, Muir made 15 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22, and during the second half of the season he had some really good games against the likes of Everton, Derby County and Chelsea respectively. He also did well in pre-season for the Spurs Under 23 side. I personally reckon that Marqes Muir will become a very important member of the Spurs Under 23 side next season, as he continues to get even better.

Midfielders: 

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: After establishing himself as one of the most important players and leaders in the Spurs Under 23 side during the first half of the 2021/22 season, the player who featured for the first team in pre-season, would very unfortunately suffer a season ending injury in a Premier League 2 fixture against Blackburn Rovers in the January of this year. Lyons-Foster continued to play as a defensive-midfielder during the first half of the 2021/22 season, having previously played regularly in central defence and at full-back. The Islington born third year professional who signed a new contract with the club towards the end of the season, would make 17 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22, scoring one goal. Brooklyn captained the side quite a bit during the early stage of the season, and as you’ll all know from reading my many reports over the years, I’ve long been a big fan of the versatile midfielder. He was quietly very efficient in midfield during games that he played in, and when he was starting matches alongside Harvey White in midfield, I personally thought that that was one of the very best midfield partnerships in the Premier League 2 last season.

The player who made the bench on two occasions for the Spurs first team during the 2021/22 season, is an excellent reader of the game. He was impressive in fixtures against Arsenal (at home), Manchester United (at home) and Stevenage (away) respectively, and his defensive responsibilities in midfield, which I thought that he did very well at, allowed Harvey White to get forward to create and to score goals. Lyons-Foster is a player with tremendous ability on the ball, and his versatility and talent makes me really hope that he will get a chance for the Spurs first team again this pre-season. And it will be interesting to see if the 21 year old does go out on loan for the first time in his career, next season.

Harvey White: Creative central midfielder Harvey White didn’t go out on on loan again during the 2021/22 season, after spending the second half of the previous 2020/21 season on loan in League One with Portsmouth. The Maidstone born second year professional was a real standout player during the first half of the 2021/22 season, for Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side. He scored a good number of goals (seven) and also provided seven assists from 21 competitive appearances for the Spurs Development side. The left footed midfielder and set-piece specialist is always good creating space to receive the ball, and his vision for a forward pass is very, very good. Harvey White captained the Spurs Under 23 side on many occasions during the 2021/22 season, before being promoted to Antonio Conte’s first team (he did play for the first team during pre-season) for the majority of the second half of the season, when he was almost always making match day squads for the Spurs first team. I thought that the 20 year old really impressed for the Spurs Under 23 side during the first half of the season, and he made great runs into the penalty area, was creating plenty of chances each match for the forwards, as well as demonstrating good leadership qualities on a regular basis.

It must have been really good for Harvey to get to train on a very regular basis with the Spurs first team during the second half of the season, and it will surely have made him a better player. He is more than capable of running games from midfield, and he did show this once again during the season just gone, with games against Leeds United (away) and Everton (at home) really standing out. It will be really interesting to see whether or not Harvey does go out on loan again next season, as I personally think that he is now too good to be regularly playing Under 23’s football.

Matthew Craig: Barnet born defensive-midfielder Matthew Craig made 20 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22. He provided one assist for the Spurs Under 23 side last season. A Scotland Under 19 international, Matthew was a regular starter for Wayne Burnett’s side, and he would also fill in at full-back and at centre-half over the course of the season. Craig is a hardworking, solid and reliable midfield player, who is a good passer of the ball. He would make the bench for the Spurs first team on seven occasions in 2021/22. He impressed while playing at right-back in a Papa Johns Trophy match against Cambridge United last year, and other notable performances over the course of the season included a 4-2 win over Leeds United, early on in the season, and also a 3-1 home win over Leicester City in 2022. Matthew Craig was also part of the Spurs Under 19 side that went to the Netherlands, to compete at the end of season Terborg Tournament. It will be interesting to see if the 19 year old does go out on the first loan move of his career, in 2022/23. Also, it will be interesting to see whether he makes his first team debut for Spurs during pre-season.

Michael Craig: Midfielder Michael Craig (19), twin brother of Matthew Craig, started the season with the Spurs Under 23 side during pre-season. He also made the bench for the Spurs first team alongside his twin brother on two occasions in European competition, making club history in the process. However, Michael would make 11 competitive appearances (he provided one assist) for the Spurs Under 23 side during his time at the club during the 2021/22 season, before leaving them in early 2022. Michael, who is a midfield player with good passing ability and who is also assertive in midfield, would join Southampton’s Under 23 side on trial, before then joining Reading’s Under 23 side on trial towards the end of the season just gone. It will be very interesting to see where the Scotland Under 19 international goes next season.

Jamie Bowden: Republic of Ireland youth international Jamie Bowden (20) spent pre-season of 2021/22 with both the Spurs first team and also the Under 23 side, before going out on loan to then League Two side Oldham Athletic. The central midfielder would make 25 competitive appearances for Oldham on his first ever loan move, during the first half of the season. Jamie scored one goal and provided five assists during his time with Oldham, and from the matches that I saw him in, I thought that he did well, especially as you consider that this was his first ever loan move. Bowden would return to Spurs in the January of 2022, and he would go on to make seven appearances for Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side in the Premier League 2. He would captain the side on all but three occasions when he played this season, and the boyhood Spurs supporter made a good impression on the side. With his excellent passing range, composure on the ball and fine reading of the game, he did well as one of the more experienced members of the side, during the second half of the season. Bowden scored one goal and provided two assists for the Spurs Under 23 side during the second half of the season. He also made the bench for the Spurs first team on one occasion.

Hopefully Jamie will get a chance to impress for the Spurs first team during pre-season, and it will then be interesting to see whether he goes out on loan again next season.

Rafferty Pedder: Rafferty Pedder started the season with the Spurs Under 23 side and he featured for them during pre-season. Rafferty then made four competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side during the first half of the season, before leaving the club in January to move to Queens Park Rangers. He would make eight appearances for QPR’s Under 23 side (he captained the team on one occasion) during the second half of the season, scoring three goals and providing two assists. The Maidstone born midfielder was always a player who I thought highly of at Spurs. Very skilful on the ball and really clever in his movement off it, Rafferty is a very good athlete, and he is a player who likes to go on long surging runs with the ball. In my opinion it is a shame that he left the club midway through the season, but I reckon that just like with Chay Cooper at Colchester United, that Rafferty will do really well at QPR, the club that he recently signed a new contract with.

Nile John: The midfielder would score an impressive number of goals in 2021/22 for the Spurs Under 23 side (seven) as well as providing four assists, from 19 competitive appearances. The player who captained Spurs at the end of season Terborg Tournament, and who also started a UEFA Europa Conference League play-off match for the Spurs first team, is an England Under 19 international. John excelled at Under 23 level for Spurs during the season just gone, and he scored some really good goals. The West London born footballer is a very skilful midfielder (he often started matches as a CAM for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22) and his impressive goalscoring form resulted in him joining League One side Charlton Athletic on loan until the end of the 2021/22 season, but he didn’t play any matches for them. He returned to Spurs to play the final Under 23’s matches of that season, and Nile John showed how good he is at bringing the ball forward with great skill, on occasions during those matches. Like with many players who are with the Spurs Under 23 side, it will be interesting to see whether he does go out on another League One loan next season, and also whether he makes any appearances for the Spurs first team in pre-season, again.

Max Robson: Midfielder Max Robson (19) missed much of the first half of the season, because of injury. However, the skilful first year professional featured on nine occasions for the Spurs Under 23 side during the second half of the season, scoring one goal from those appearances. The attacking midfielder was very, very good at Under 18 level for Spurs, and he is a midfield player (he often starts matches as a CAM) who likes to go past players with the ball with skill. He often led the line for Spurs’ Under 23 side when he featured during the second half of the season, and he had fine matches in games against West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Derby County respectively. Max is a very talented player, and one who I believe can become a very important player for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2022/23. He is a real goalscorer and a player who is very capable of getting a good number of assists as well. 

Alfie Devine: The skilful and creative midfielder who often started matches for the Spurs Under 23 side as a CAM in 2021/22, would be one of the standout players for Spurs over the course of the season at that level (he featured for both the Under 23 side and first team during pre-season). The former Wigan Athletic player spent the vast majority of the 2021/22 season with the Spurs Under 23 side, although he did make four competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side (three of those appearances came in the FA Youth Cup), scoring two goals. The England Under 19 international made 18 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side, scoring nine goals and providing four assists. For a second year scholar he was consistently superb for the Spurs Under 23 side in the Premier League 2, and when he was in the side he was so creative, and he also always looked as if he was going to score whenever he received the ball in and around the penalty area. Devine is a very good finisher who has good skill on the ball, but he is also very quick, and I have been able to appreciate that even more over the course of this season. He likes to go on surging forward runs with the ball, and his movement off the ball and ability to create space for himself shows just how good he is for a player who is still in his second year of scholarship.

The Warrington born midfielder (17) also represented his country, England (at Under 19 level), during 2021/22. He will be hoping to be selected to represent the England Under 19 side at the UEFA European Under 19 Championship, this summer. Devine showed his versatility over the course of the season, and he was excellent in big games against the likes of Liverpool (at home), Arsenal (away) and also against West Bromwich Albion at Under 18 level in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup. It will certainly be interesting to see if the player who made the bench for the Spurs first team as recently as the final day of the season against Norwich City, will stay with Spurs next season, or go out on the first loan move of his career as a first year professional. However, in 2021/22 he did very well.

Forwards/wingers:

J’Neil Bennett: Highly skilful two footed winger J’Neil Bennett made ten competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22. After starting pre-season really well with the Spurs Under 23 side, the London born second year professional (20) made his first team debut for Spurs as a late substitute in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League play-off tie against Paços Ferreira. After starting and scoring for the Spurs Under 23 side in their opening Premier League 2 fixture of the season against Chelsea, he soon joined then League One side Crewe Alexandra on loan. Bennett started well after signing for Crewe, and in his second league game for them he scored a goal and provided an assist in a 2-0 win over Burton Albion. In total he made 11 competitive appearances for Crewe, before an injury meant that he had to return to Spurs. He spent the second half of the season with the Spurs Under 23 side, and over the course of the season Bennett made ten competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side, scoring two goals. 

Yago Santiago: Former Celta Vigo Academy player Yago Santiago made the most competitive appearances (27) of anyone in the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22. Santiago showed his versatility throughout the season, as he played as a centre-forward on occasions, as a CAM and also as a winger. Yago scored two goals and provided two assists for Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side last season, and he impressed a lot in games against Stevenage and also against Liverpool Under 23’s, during the early stages of the season. However, he was consistent throughout the season, hardworking on the pitch and skilful and creative with the ball. Santiago could well get even more minutes for Spurs’ Academy sides next season, as along with the Spurs Under 23 matches, Yago is also eligible to be selected to represent the Spurs Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League. Yago was another member of the Spurs Under 23 side who traveled to the end of season Under 19 Terborg Tournament, and he had one impressive game as a winger in Spurs’ final game, which was against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Romaine Mundle: Skilful winger Romaine Mundle made his first team debut for Spurs in a friendly with Leyton Orient in July 2021. He would subsequently spend much of the remainder of the season with the Spurs Under 23 side. The first year professional also made the bench for the Spurs first team on one occasion in competitive competition, last season. A direct, skilful and unpredictable winger with the ball, Romaine also has a good amount of pace. He got better and better as the season went on with the Spurs Under 23 side, and he was consistently very good towards the end of the season. The creative winger provided one assist from 18 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side, and he played matches with great confidence. Romaine was also a member of the Spurs Under 19 side that competed in the end of season Terborg Tournament, in the May of 2022.

Jeremie Mukendi: Only making one competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 23 side during 2021/22, as a late substitute in a Premier League 2 fixture with Everton at the Lamex Stadium in the November of 2021, forward Jeremie Mukendi has missed a lot of football because of injury, since the 2018/19 season. The Hackney born player who can play as a winger, as a full-back and as a centre-forward, has just been so unlucky because of injuries over the past three or so seasons, which is why he has hardly featured for Spurs at Academy level in recent seasons.

Dane Scarlett: This would have been a season of good development for centre-forward Dane Scarlett, who despite not playing a lot of games at Academy level, he was part of the first team set-up for much of the season. Scarlett (18) spent pre-season of 2021/22 with the first team (he scored a goal in a friendly against Leyton Orient), and during the season he would make seven competitive first team appearances for Spurs. The England Under 19 international who was in really good form for his country over the course of the season, would make nine appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side last season, as a second year scholar. Scarlett scored one goal and provided one assist from those matches. The Hillingdon born footballer has very good movement off the ball and is a clinical finisher, and as with many of the players who played for the Spurs Under 23 side this season, it will be interesting to see if Dane does go out on loan next season, as a first year professional. He will surely be part of the England Under 19 side that competes in the UEFA European Under 19 Championship this summer.

Troy Parrott: Forward and Republic of Ireland international Troy Parrott spent the early parts of pre-season with the Spurs first team, before joining League One side MK Dons on a season long loan in the summer of 2021. The Dublin born second year professional had some really good moments during the season with MK Dons, and overall it would have been a great learning curve for Troy. He played in a number of positions, and scored ten goals and provided seven assists from 47 competitive appearances for MK Dons. He helped them to reach the semi-finals of the League One play-offs, and towards the end of the season when MK Dons were in great form, Parrott was one of their most influential players. He did really well during the final stages of the season, which coincided with MK Dons doing really well in League One. Parrottt’s hard work off the ball was so important to the side, and he scored a good number of goals during the last stage of the season, and he was also one of MK Dons’ best players in the second leg of their League One play-off semi-final with Wycombe Wanderers. I’m a big fan of Troy and I do believe that the ever improving forward could become an important player for the Spurs first team in the future.

Kion Etete: Tall and skilful centre-forward Kion Etete made some appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side in pre-season (he also scored for them in the final Premier League 2 match of the season), before then going out on loan to League Two side Northampton Town, last summer. Etete would do well for the League Two side, and he joined League One side Cheltenham Town for the second half of the season. Overall from 36 competitive appearances for Northampton and Cheltenham combined, the impressive centre-forward scored nine goals and provided five goals, which is good for a 20 year old centre-forward. The former Notts County player didn’t just impress with his goals and assists as he made the step-up from League Two football to League One football well, and Kion did well with his link-up play and movement off the ball. It will be interesting to see whether he makes another step-up next season, this time to Championship football, on loan.

Dilan Markanday: The incredibly skilful winger/forward was in outstanding form during pre-season with the Spurs Under 23 side, when he scored a really good number of goals. He would continue his excellent goalscoring form into the regular season, when he scored 12 competitive goals and provided eight assists from 16 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side. The Barnet born footballer has got even better and even stronger on the ball, during the last 18 months. He would start some matches at centre-forward during the first half of the 2021/22 season, as well as starting matches out on either flank, and as a CAM. Markanday made his competitive first team debut for the Spurs first team last season in a UEFA Europa Conference League group game against Vitesse Arnhem, but for the Spurs Under 23 side he was superb during the first half of the season. Dilan was really creative and his goals and assists aside, he was just so good and skilful on the ball. He was deservedly nominated for the 2021/22 Premier League 2 player of the season award. Dilan joined Championship side Blackburn Rovers in the January of this year, on a permanent transfer. However, he very unfortunately picked up a bad hamstring injury in his Championship debut for Blackburn, which ruled him out for much of the remainder of the season. 

Dilan Markanday returned as a substitute for the final Championship game of the season, which was against Birmingham City. And I really hope that he has a great 2021/22 season for Blackburn Rovers next season. 

My goal of the season: Dilan Markanday’s clinical finish against Leeds United (away), in Spurs’ 4-2 Premier League 2 away win in the August of 2021. Markanday latched onto a header from Harvey White, with his back to goal. He then worked his way around Charlie Cresswell and Jack Jenkins with some spectacular skill, before then entering the left side of the Leeds penalty area and hitting an unstoppable effort into the roof of the Leeds goal. It was a brilliant goal, and Dilan scored a hat-trick during that game.

My save of the season: I can’t recall there being a really outstanding save made by a goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 23 side in 2021/22, that really stands out. However, there were plenty of very good saves that were made by Joshua Oluwayemi and one of those saves was against Leeds United, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in the February of 2022. A long ball forward reached Leeds United player Max Dean, who was through on goal inside the Spurs box. However, Oluwayemi was alert and showed good reactions to save his fine effort on goal with his legs.

My game of the season: Spurs Under 23’s 3-0 Manchester City. It was one of the most impressive performances of the season, as Spurs’ Under 23 side won 3-0 against the reigning Premier League 2 Division One champions Manchester City, at Hotspur Way in the December of 2021, in the Premier League 2. The team played really well, and they were very intelligent in how they approached the game, using the ball well and making some good runs in behind the Manchester City defence. Spurs defended really well throughout the match, but it was a clinical goal from Jack Clarke and two really good finishes from Nile John which won Spurs the match. It was a really good team performance from Spurs.

The Superhotspur Spurs Under 23’s player of the season (2021/22): Dilan Markanday. He may have left Spurs halfway through the 2021/22 season, but Dilan Markanday finished the season as Spurs’ top scorer at Under 23 level, with 12 goals, as well as providing the most assists (eight). He was absolutely brilliant during the first half of the season, and with his excellent surging forward runs, balance and skill on the ball, he wowed the crowds who were in attendance at many of the games that he was involved in. Markanday deservedly made his first team debut for the Spurs first team during the same season, before joining Championship side Blackburn Rovers in the January of this year. Confident and composed on the ball, Dilan’s pace, outstanding skill and agility, as well as his excellent work off the ball, will take him very far in the game. It was wonderful to see the very talented 20 year old winger do so well for Spurs during the first half of the 2021/22 season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.