Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player David Ajiboye:

Former Spurs teammate Samuel Shashoua on David Ajiboye: “ David always had huge potential. He was incredibly fast and a good dribbler. I’m really happy to see that it’s going well for him now. ”

On Tuesday evening David Ibukun Ajiboye helped Sutton United to make history, as they beat League One side Wigan Athletic on penalties, to reach the final of this seasons Papa John’s Trophy, for the first time in their history. The Londoner who was with Spurs as an Academy player, up until the age of 16, when the club would announce who their scholars were for the upcoming season, has been a key player for Sutton since he joined them. Ajiboye was part of a very talented Spurs Academy age group, one which included the likes of Marcus Edwards, Samuel Shashoua, Brandon Austin and Keanan Bennetts. David Ajiboye, who is a skilful winger who can also play as a centre-forward, signed scholarship forms with fellow Category One Academy side Brighton & Hove Albion, for the start of the 2015/16 season. Ajiboye made a number of competitive appearances for Brighton’s Under 18 side during his first season at the club and during his second season, but his best memory from those two seasons would surely have been scoring the winner against Arsenal, in a 2-1 away Under 18 Premier League South win.

The forward made seven competitive appearances for Brighton’s Under 23 side during the following 2017/18 season. He went out on loan during that 2017/18 season on two occasions, the first one being with non-League side Worthing. Then later on in the season David joined Millwall’s Under 23 side on loan. However, David Ajiboye was released by Brighton at the end of the 2017/18 season. He signed for previous side Worthing, who he had previously been on loan with during the season before. The 2018/19 season went really well for Ajiboye, who really showed his potential with the Isthmian Premier Division side, and he scored 16 league goals for them during that season, as well as more goals in the cup competitions. After his impressive debut season in senior football, the forward would have attracted the interest of a number of higher league clubs. However, for the start of the following 2019/20 season, he joined then National League side Sutton United. Ajiboye made a really good number of appearances for Sutton, during his first season with the club. In 2019/20 he made 37 league appearances for them, scoring four goals.

Sutton United made history during the following 2020/21 season, when they were promoted to the Football League, after winning the National League during that season. And Ajiboye played 39 league games for Sutton during that season, scoring five goals from out wide. And since the start of this season (2021/22) he has improved further, adapting really well to life in League Two. He has scored seven league goals from 31 appearances, and has provided three assists in the league, plus an additional one in the Carabao Cup. Ajiboye has made a really good impression on League Two football so far this season, and in addition to helping Sutton reach the final of the Papa John’s Trophy, they currently sit in fourth place in League Two, which is such a big achievement for Matt Gray’s side. There is quite a bit of a Spurs connection at Sutton as well, with defender Ben Goodliffe an old Spurs Academy teammate of David’s, while midfielder and former Chelsea youth team player Kenny Davis is a Spurs supporter. However, it is really good to see David Ajiboye doing so well for himself in the Football League.

The former Spurs Academy player, who now predominantly plays out on the right flank as a winger, is a very fast player with a lot of pace and skill to his game (I have seen David play on three occasions since he joined Sutton). He is very direct and inventive with the ball at his feet, and he showed this directness during his most recent Sutton appearance, against Wigan Athletic. While he is a player who is creative and who has a real eye for goal, as he has shown, he is also a real team player who works hard for the team, and his statistics have been impressive this season for someone who before this season had never played in the Football League before. Sutton’s top league scorer this season should be very proud of all that he has achieved in the game already as a 23 year old, and David Ajiboye has good potential to improve further as a player, and hopefully he will help Sutton win promotion to League One this season.

Where are they now? Former Spurs player John Bostock:

Former Spurs player and Crystal Palace Academy coach Micky Hazard on John Bostock: “ As a youngster John was exceptional and he was one of the very best around. I think that every club in the country wanted him, as well as clubs from abroad. I know that John went to play for Barcelona at one point and scored two goals in one of their youth team games. But he was a brilliant player, although I’m not sure that he ended up getting the guidance that he should have got, as I look at him and I know that there was so much more to achieve. He had a great background and a lovely family, and so he had the right grounding and was very well educated. From the age of 15/16 he never sort of fulfilled what he had shown as a youngster, in the way that he should have, even though he’s still playing in the Football League now, but it’s not a level that he should have been playing at, for the talent that he had. But ultimately he’s a lovely, lovely human being and his family is amazing, and so I genuinely believe that if he’s happy then that’s the be-all and end-all, and over and above success. 

John never struck me as somebody who would let things get him down and he would accept that what ever came his way was what was due to him. Therefore as he was very religious, he would accept whatever came his way. And that was what was so lovely about him, and that no matter how great or poor he got he would always be that nice human being. He had a nice level outlook. ”

John Joseph Bostock was born in Lambeth, South London, in 1992. Starting his footballing career with Crystal Palace, a club with a very good youth set-up, John Bostock was very highly rated as a youth player, and a great number of top clubs wanted to sign him. Clubs such as Barcelona, who even offered him a ten year contract to join them, at an early stage in his career. However, Bostock, who attended the Nautical School as a youngster, would continue to progress really well at Crystal Palace, as a youth player. He progressed so well at the South London club that the midfielder rose up the ranks faster than anyone else in Crystal Palace’s history, to make his senior competitive debut for their first team as a 15 year old, in the Championship. Bostock, who was part of the same Crystal Palace youth team as Nathaniel Clyne and Victor Moses, and who was coached as a youth player by Spurs legend Micky Hazard, made an additional four competitive first team appearances for Crystal Palace’s first team during the remainder of his time at the club. However, John Bostock made the move across London, to sign for Spurs on a permanent transfer in the May of 2008, when he signed scholarship forms with Spurs.

Bostock made his non-competitive first team debut for Spurs during his first pre-season at the club, when he came on as a substitute in a friendly against Spanish side Hercules. During that first season at the club, and in the subsequent season John Bostock became a regular and important player for a very talented Spurs Under 18 side. He did however, also make appearances for the Spurs reserves as well. But once again he made history, this time at Spurs, when he came on as a substitute in a UEFA Cup game against Dinamo Zagreb, in the autumn of 2008. He became the youngest player in Spurs’ history, at 16 years and 295 days, to appear for their first team in a competitive match, when he came on in that game at White Hart Lane. Bostock would make an additional three competitive appearances during his time at the club, plus some appearances in friendly matches. He also went out on various loan moves to other clubs, during his time at Spurs.

John Bostock went out on his first loan move in 2009, when he joined Brentford. The midfielder scored two goals on his Brentford debut, in a 2-2 League One draw with Millwall. A midfielder with great ability, Bostock has always been a classy player, and one who has expressed himself on the pitch with the ball at his feet. A very technically gifted player, who has always been quick, skilful and assertive in midfield, Bostock has demonstrated his good vision for a pass and eye for goal, and also his quality left foot (he can pass the ball well off of either foot). After returning from his loan move at Brentford, John went on several more loan moves away from Spurs. Loan moves that would see him play for Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday, Swindon Town and MLS side Toronto, via a trial with LA Galaxy. However, after Bostock’s contract came to an end with Spurs in the summer of 2013, five years after he made the move across London, the footballer who was still relatively early on in his career at that stage, made the decision to try a different footballing culture. He joined Belgian side Royal Antwerp in the July of 2013. 

After a season of getting a lot of minutes and a lot of games for Royal Antwerp, John Bostock made a really good impression in the second tier of Belgian football, during that 2013/14 season. The former England youth international left Royal Antwerp to join another Belgian side, in Oud-Heverlee Leuven in the summer of 2014. He spent two very fine seasons with Oud-Heverlee Leuven, scoring and providing a really good number of assists from midfield. Bostock also played a big part in helping Oud-Heverlee Leuven get promoted to the top tier of Belgian football, during his second season with the club. His influence on the team was recognised a lot by Oud-Heverlee Leuven fans and in the second tier of Belgian football itself, during his time at the club. A successful time in the French Ligue 2 followed for John, who made the move to France in 2016, to sign for RC Lens. Scoring five league goals and providing five assists for Lens during an impressive first season at Lens, John Bostock won the player of the year award for Ligue 2, during his first season playing in that league.

After leaving RC Lens in the January of 2018, the talented midfield player signed for Turkish side Bursaspor. He later moved back to France to play for Toulouse, before returning to England to sign for Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan, during the 2019/20 season. He later left Toulouse during the following 2020/21 season, and ended up signing for League One side Doncaster Rovers in the January of 2021. Bostock has so far made 32 league appearances in the time that he has been in Yorkshire. And the player who was once called up to represent Trinidad & Tobago, is currently still out after picking up an ankle injury last year. Although he should hopefully be back playing again for Doncaster, who he will be very much hoping to help avoid relegation to League Two (they are currently in 23rd place in League One). Last season I saw John Bostock play twice for Doncaster, in League One games against Ipswich Town and Portsmouth (I was watching those two games to watch Spurs loanees Troy Parrott and Harvey White). Providing an assist in the 2-1 win over Portsmouth and having a really strong game in midfield that day, Bostock also impressed in the game against Ipswich Town.

In both of those games that I watched last season I thought that the former Spurs player stood out very much on a technical level. He was always composed on the ball and used it very well. But it was that very obvious class that he has had since he first came onto the footballing scene all those years ago, which was still very much at his feet. Still only 30 years of age, John should be very proud of all that he has achieved in the game so far, and his career still has quite a long way to go. But right now he’ll be very focused and eager to return to help Doncaster Rovers avoid relegation to League Two. He may not have made a lot of appearances during his time at Spurs, but he has been very well traveled in the game and experienced different footballing cultures. The player who was thought of so highly by his old Spurs youth team teammates and also by so many others in the game, has achieved an awful lot more than most would ever dream of achieving in the game, and at 30 years of age he still has a lot more to achieve in football. I would like to wish John Bostock all the very best of luck for the remainder of the 2021/22 season with Doncaster Rovers.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Maximus Tainio:

Maximus Tainio predominantly played for Spurs’ Under 18 side as a right-back, during his time at the club. The son of former Spurs player Teemu Tainio, Auxerre born footballer Maximus joined the Spurs Academy full-time in the summer of 2017, having previously been with Finnish side HJK Helsinki. He made his league debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in a Premier League South game against West Ham United, which Spurs won 3-1, back in the October of 2017. Tainio would make an additional five league appearances for Scott Parker’s side, during the rest of that season. Also capable of playing in midfield, as a central-midfielder, Maximus made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side during the same season, when he came on as a late substitute in an away Premier League 2 game with West Ham United. During the following season, and during the early parts of it, then second year scholar Maximus made a good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side. He played really well and really made that right-back position his own, during the first part of the season. Really good at making forward runs off the ball, the Finland youth international put in some excellent defensive performances.

Always playing the game at a really good intensity, and having a good balance to his game as well, Tainio captained the Spurs Under 18 side to a highly impressive 9-0 league win over West Ham United during the first half of 2018/19. In total Maximus made 14 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during 2018/19, and it would have been a lot more had he not been unfortunate enough to miss the second half of the season because of injury. He also made two competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side before missing much of the second half of the season, and he even went in goal during the latter stages of a Premier League International Cup game with Norwich City, making two good and important saves during his time in goal. Maximus left Spurs at the end of the 2018/19 season, after his contract came to an end. He joined Finnish Veikkausliiga side FC Haka, soon after leaving Spurs. His dad Teemu is the manager of FC Haka. Maximus then joined then Finnish second division side AC Kajaani, on a short loan. He made two competitive appearances for them, before returning to FC Haka, where he made 14 Finnish Veikkausliiga appearances, during the 2020 season.

The former Spurs Academy player enjoyed another good season of development at FC Haka, during the recent 2021 Finnish Veikkausliiga season. The now 20 year old footballer made 24 Finnish Veikkausliiga appearances for FC Haka during the 2021 season, scoring two goals and providing four assists, as he helped them to achieve an eighth placed league finish. Maximus seemed to be playing in a good variety of positions during his time at FC Haka. Last month he signed for fellow Finnish Veikkausliiga side HIFK on a permanent transfer. Maximus made his competitive debut for HIFK in the Liigacup, on the 28th of January, when he completed 77 minutes in central-midfield, as they won 1-0 against FC Inter. It’s great to see Maximus doing well for himself in the game, and I wish him a very successful 2022 season with his new club.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Moroyin Omolabi:

A versatile player, former Spurs Academy player Moroyin Omolabi, was capable of playing in defence, at centre-half or in a midfield role, during his time at Spurs. Omolabi joined Spurs full-time in the summer of 2016, and over the next season and a half (2016/17 and the first half of 2017/18) he would make a total of 22 league appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side, scoring one goal and providing one assist. Moroyin played at centre-half and in central-midfield, during his season and a half as a scholar at the club. At the start of the 2017/18 season (while still a second year scholar) the former Spurs Academy player teamed up on some occasions with Brooklyn Lyons-Foster at centre-half, where he did well. I remember Moroyin being very good in the air, composed on the ball and good in the challenge. I also remember Omolabi being good at reading defensive situations, as well. Around halfway through the 2017/18 season, Moroyin Omolabi left Spurs as a second year scholar, and joined Reading, where he started playing some matches for their Under 18 side. 

The defender made some competitive appearances for Reading’s Under 18 side during the remainder of the season, and in one Premier League South game against Norwich City, he scored two goals from midfield, in a 4-1 win. Then during the following 2018/19 season, Moroyin made two Premier League 2 appearances for Reading’s Under 23 side. The former Spurs player left Reading at the end of the 2018/19 season, and then he joined non-League side Berkhamsted, in November of 2019. After some time spent there, Moroyin joined another non-League side in Grays Athletic, who he was with for a while. And most recently Moroyin had been playing in the third tier of Swedish football, with Ljungskile, who he made 19 league appearances for during last season. Omolabi last made a squad for Ljungskile, who finished in sixth place in their league, last season, back in November of last year, when he came on as a late second half substitute against Lindome. Ljungskile’s new league season starts in April of this year, but I have been unable to find out whether or not Moroyin will still be playing for them during the new season. However, I wish him all the very best of luck for his future in the game.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Reo Griffiths:

Centre-forward Reo Griffiths (21) was at Spurs for a number of years as an Academy player, after making the move from his first club Leyton Orient. A very versatile player, who could play in defence, out-wide, in midfield and up-front as a centre-forward, prior to signing scholarship forms with Spurs, when Reo would often lead the line for the Spurs Under 18 side. After signing scholarship forms in the summer of 2016, the former England youth international became a regular for the Spurs Under 18 side, and although he didn’t always play up-front as a centre-forward during that 2016/17 season. He still scored a good number of goals. Griffiths was also an important member of the Spurs Under 18 side that reached the semi-final’s of that seasons FA Youth Cup, and he scored one goal in the quarter-final 5-3 win over Newcastle United, that season. In 2017/18 Reo had an outstanding season with then Head Coach Scott Parker’s Spurs Under 18 side, when he was honestly unplayable in nearly every game that season. The then second year scholar scored a combined total of 34 goals for the Spurs Under 18 side, and the Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League, and also provided 12 assists for his teammates.

During 2017/18 Reo, who hadn’t really long started playing up-front by that stage in his career, was really adding a lot more to his game. He was holding the ball up really well, bringing others into play, and most importantly of all scoring a real variety of goals. The centre-forward finished the 2017/18 season as top scorer in the Under 18 Premier League South, with 27 goals. Griffiths also made four competitive appearances for the Spurs Development side during 2017/18. In recent years however, Reo’s outstanding goalscoring total will probably not be bettered or even matched for a very long time, by a Spurs Academy player. However, at the start of the following 2018/19 season Reo departed Spurs, as he moved to France to join French side Olympique Lyon, on a contract until the summer of 2022. The former Spurs player made his competitive debut for Olympique Lyon B, in the fourth tier of French football, as a substitute in a league game with FC Martigues, in December of 2018. He made a further seven competitive appearances for Olympique Lyon B, during the remainder of that season. 

Strong in the air and a clinical finisher, who likes to try his luck on goal from distance. Griffiths scored six goals and provided one assist from 16 competitive appearances for Olympique Lyon B, during 2019/20. He then scored six goals from nine league appearances during the following 2020/21 season, when he captained Lyon’s B team on three occasions. However, during the current 2021/22 season Reo has only made one appearance for Olympique Lyon B. With that coming in a 4-0 league defeat to Marignane G. FC, in October of last year. That was his first competitive game of football for a long time. He last made a squad for Olympique Lyon B in November of 2021, and with Reo’s contract running out at the end of this season, it will be interesting to see if he does stay with Lyon, in France, or if he even comes back to England at some stage. I always enjoyed watching Reo play for Spurs at Academy level, and in particular during that 2017/18 season he was just so consistently good. I wish him all the very best for the rest of the 2021/22 season, and also for his future in the game.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Tariq Hinds:

Full-back Tariq Hinds was at Spurs as an Academy player for a number of years, up until leaving them at the end of his contract in the summer of 2020. The Goodmayes born footballer who is capable of playing at full-back on either flank, or in central-midfield, was a player who was consistent in my opinion, and also very reliable during his time as a Spurs Academy player. Hinds signed scholarship forms with Spurs during the summer of 2016, and he would make his first competitive appearance of the season for the Spurs Under 18 side in a 5-1 home league win over Aston Villa in the August of 2016. Making good progress during that 2016/17 season, Tariq also stepped up to play for the Spurs Under 23 side on occasions during that season. The then first year scholar had a memorable game against Swansea City at Under 18 level during 2016/17, when he scored a brace against them, while playing in central-midfield. Tariq helped Spurs’ Under 18 side reach the final of the Under 18 Premier League Cup, during the following 2017/18 season, when he was a regular and important player for the Spurs Under 18 side for the second consecutive season.

Hinds stepped up permanently to the Spurs Under 23 side during the 2018/19 season, when once again I thought that he did well on a consistent basis. A good all-round full-back, who reads the game well and is tenacious, but who also is a really good and skilful footballer who has good pace and who likes to take players on. Tariq is a real team player and one who will always give his all for the team. He reads situations really well, and is always alert. And his versatility and ability to comfortably play at full-back on either flank, or in midfield, is something which is really impressive. During his final season at Spurs (2019/20), Tariq played almost every game for the Spurs Development side, and he often filled in at left-back because Dennis Cirkin was injured for quite a bit of that season. A really determined player, Hinds provided two assists for Wayne Burnett’s side during that season, and he put in very good performances for the Under 23 side against the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton. However, he was released by the club at the end of the 2019/20 season, and he would then unfortunately spend some time without a club.

Tariq decided to try a new footballing culture and he joined Portuguese side Lusitano Évora, and he played there for a while during the 2020/21 season, in what must have been a really good experience for him. He returned to England for the beginning of this season, and he joined National League South side Billericay Town, in October of 2021. The now 21 year old has made 11 league appearances for Billericay since joining them, and he seems to be doing well for them. His most recent appearance for them came as recently as Tuesday, when he played for them against Slough Town, in the National League South, in a game which ended 1-1. Teammates of Tariq’s at Billericay, are former Spurs players Shaq Coulthirst and Jack Munns. Tariq also plays in the same league as former Spurs Academy player Maxwell Statham. Billericay are currently in bottom place in the National League South, but hopefully they can stay up. I wish Tariq all the very best of luck for the remainder of the season, and for his future in the game.

The three Maghoma brothers (former Spurs Academy graduates): Where are they now?

It’s quite rare for two players who are brothers, to progress up the ranks at Academy level at the same club and play for them at the very highest level of Academy football. However, for three brothers (all at different times) to feature for the same club at Academy level, is very rare. In the following piece from my series following the former Spurs Academy players and where they are now, I will be looking at the three Maghoma brothers – Jacques, Christian and Paris. And I will be looking at their footballing journey so far, post Spurs. While Jacques played at Academy level before my time of watching Spurs at Academy level, I have seen quite a lot of him play in more recent years. While his younger brothers – Christian and Paris, were players who I saw a lot of for Spurs at Academy level. All three brothers are still playing the game.

Jacques Maghoma: Born in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, now 34 year old winger Jacques Maghoma progressed up the youth ranks at Spurs during the 2000s, and would progress up to the reserve side. A very skilful and reliable player, who did have injury troubles during the early parts of his footballing career, Jacques would end up featuring for the Spurs first team in some friendly matches during his time at the club. Jacques later signed for Burton Albion, after being released by Spurs at the end of the 2008/09 season. By the time that he had left Spurs, he had played a really good number of games for the Spurs reserve side. Jacques had a successful time at Burton, scoring a good number of goals, and would end up staying at the club until 2013, when he transferred to Sheffield Wednesday. He spent two seasons with Sheffield Wednesday, before leaving at the end of the 2014/15 season, after his contract came to an end. He joined Championship side Birmingham City, when Gary Rowett (previous Burton Albion manager) was the manager, and his time at Birmingham was probably the most successful of his career, so far. 

A regular for Birmingham City, during the majority of his time at the club, Jacques spent five seasons with Birmingham, and he enjoyed some really good times with them (he won two club end of season awards at the end of the 2017/18 season). Direct and expressive with the ball at his feet, but always working hard without it, Maghoma became an important player for the side. He left the club from the English Midlands in the summer of 2020. He joined Indian Super League side East Bengal in the October of 2020. He scored three goals and provided one assist from 19 competitive appearances for them, during his season with the club. In the October of the following year, and after sometime without a club, Jacques joined National League South side Hemel Hempstead, during the current 2021/22 season. He has so far made six competitive appearances for them, providing one assist from those appearances. During his career so far, Jacques has also won 25 international caps for his country DR Congo, in what has been a very good footballing career so far. 

Christian Maghoma: Centre-half Christian Maghoma was born in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, but brought up in north London. Christian Maghoma joined Spurs as a schoolboy footballer, was an important player for the Spurs Under 18 side that won the Southern Division, before then signing scholarship forms with the club in summer of 2014. A mainstay in the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2014/15 season, Christian stepped up to make his competitive debut for the then Under 21 side during the same season. A tall centre-half, who is excellent in the air, but strong in the challenge, Christian established himself as an important player for the Spurs Development side during the 2015/16 (he spent some time with Yeovil on loan during that season), 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, and he would captain the side on numerous occasions. He made his one appearance to date for DR Congo, in 2017, in a friendly. Christian joined Polish side Arka Gdynia at the end of the 2017/18 season, and early on in his time with them he won his first senior competitive trophy – the Superpuchar Polski. Christian made a total of 39 competitive first team appearances for Arka Gdynia.

Christian returned to England and signed for League One side Gillingham, in the summer of 2020. He has so far made 12 competitive appearances for Gillingham, but joined National League side Eastleigh on a loan during this season, where he has so far been doing well, playing a number of matches for them. Christian has made 18 competitive appearances for Eastleigh, so far this season, scoring two goals. They are currently in 14th place in the National League. A leader on the pitch, the now 24 year old defender has been making good strides this season, and I hope that he continues to do well from now until the end of the season.

Paris Maghoma: Londoner Paris Maghoma was at Spurs as an Academy player as recently as 2020. The central-midfielder/CAM, who was also capable of playing out wide, was a player who I was a big fan of during his time at the club. Paris made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2016/17 season, and would sign scholarship forms with the club before the start of the 2017/18 season. Always looking to take players on for skill, pass the ball forward and look for create chances for teammates, Paris became an important player for both the Spurs Under 18 side and Under 23 side, during the 2018/19 season, and he scored a good number of goals and provided a good number of assists during that season. During the pre-season of the 2018/19 season, the midfielder made his one and only appearance for the Spurs first team, in a friendly match with Spanish side Girona. Paris spent the first half of the following 2019/20 season with the Spurs Under 23 side, before moving to then Championship side Brentford, who he joined on a permanent transfer in the January of 2020.

The now 20 year old footballer has made many appearances for Brentford’s B team, since signing for them. He has also made the bench for their first team in competitive games on six occasions so far. The England youth international is definitely a player with a very promising future in the game, and I personally reckon that it’s only a matter of time before he makes his competitive debut for now Premier League club Brentford. He was an absolute pleasure to watch play for Spurs at Academy level, and his ability to go past players from the opposing team at ease, open up defences with a well weighted forward pass, and also score goals made him such an influential player for the Spurs Under 18 and 23 side. Paris recently signed a new contract with Brentford, which runs until 2025.

Where are they now? (The Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of the 2020/21 season):

At the end of last season there were 11 Spurs Academy players who left the club, after their contracts came to an end. There were also other Spurs Academy players who have left the club since last season came to an end, such as Dennis Cirkin and Jubril Okedina. However, in this short informative piece I will be writing a short update on each of the eleven former Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of the 2020/21 season. I continue to wish them all the very best of luck for the future.

Enock Asante: The talented 20 year old centre-forward is currently a freshman at the University of Texas Rio Grande, where he plays football for UTRGV Vaqueros, who he joined in July of this year. A good finisher inside the penalty area, Enock last made the squad for Spurs’ Under 23 side back in the February of 2021, when he was an unused substitute in a Premier League 2 match against Blackburn Rovers. Unfortunately Asante often had quite a lot of injuries while at Spurs, meaning that he didn’t get to feature a lot for either the Under 18 or 23 sides, since joining the club full-time in the summer of 2018. He did however, have a very impressive goalscoring record prior to joining Spurs full-time. During the 2021 season for UTRGV Vaqueros, Enock has made ten appearances, scoring one goal.

Eddie Carrington: A skilful winger, who also has a good amount of pace – Eddie Carrington normally operated out on the right flank for Spurs, at Academy level. However, he also featured at right-back on occasions. The 19 year old didn’t feature a lot for Spurs’ Under 18 side during his two seasons full-time at the club, and in his final season (2020/21) the player who was previously with Brentford, prior to joining Spurs, made six competitive appearances for the Under 18 side. Carrington left Spurs after his contract with the club came to an end last summer. Since then he has signed for Isthmian Premier Division side Leatherhead, who he is currently playing for. The winger has scored one goal so far this season for Leatherhead, who are currently in bottom place in the league. However, Eddie unfortunately got injured in Leatherhead’s last competitive game, which was against Bowers & Pitsea.

Chay Cooper: After doing really well in his second season as a scholar at Spurs (2019/20) highly skilful and creative winger/CAM Chay Cooper featured in some pre-season friendlies for Spurs’ Development side at the beginning of last season. However, the Harlow born former Southend United youth player didn’t make any competitive appearances for Spurs at any levels during 2020/21. Cooper trialled for League Two club Colchester United during this pre-season, and did well enough to earn a contract with the Essex based club. Chay has done well so far during the competitive season for Colchester, scoring two goals for their Under 23 side to date, and also making four first team appearance for them. The 20 year old got an assist on his competitive first team debut for Colchester, in a Papa John’s Trophy group game against West Ham United’s Under 21 side, earlier in the season. Chay is a player who I believe has a very bright future in the game. His skill on the ball and ability to go past players is superb.

Keenan Ferguson: Right-back Keenan Ferguson impressed (while trialling for Spurs) during the inaugural JE3 Cup game back in the summer of 2020, when a Spurs Development side took on Leyton Orient. Ferguson had previously been with Sheffield United, and he signed for Spurs soon after that game. He started the first two Premier League 2 games for Spurs’ Under 23 side at the beginning of the 2020/21 season, but soon after that second game Ferguson picked up an injury and didn’t feature again for Spurs at any levels that season. He left Spurs when his contract came to an end last summer, and soon signed for National League North side Boston United. The 21 year old seems to be doing well for Boston, who are currently in seventh place in the National League North. Ferguson has made 16 league appearances for them so far this season.

George Marsh: A defensive minded midfield player who is a real leader on a football pitch. 23 year old professional footballer George Marsh progressed up the youth ranks at Spurs, during his time at the club and he would go onto become the captain of the Under 23 side, while also making one competitive appearance for the Spurs first team. Marsh had previous Football League experience with Leyton Orient, who he was on loan at during the 2019/20 season, but he stayed at Spurs last season, and he was a regular for the Under 23 side. After leaving Spurs in the summer he joined League One side AFC Wimbledon, and so far the midfielder has made 12 competitive appearances for them in all competitions. Hopefully Marsh will play a lot more games for Wimbledon during the second half of this season.

Rodel Richards: The 21 year old forward, who can play up-front, out-wide or in midfield, is unfortunately still without a club following his contract coming to an end  at Spurs, last summer. Rodel made nine competitive appearances (scoring three goals) for Spurs’ Under 23 side during the 2020/21 season, a season which was disrupted by injury.

Jack Roles: At Spurs for a good number of years, since joining the club as a youth player many years ago. Goalscoring midfielder Jack Roles rose up the Academy ranks at Spurs, would go on to feature for the first team in pre-season and also had a very impressive goalscoring record for a midfielder at Academy level. A former Cyprus Under 21 international, Roles went out on three separate loans during his time at Spurs, with his loan to Cambridge United during 2019/20 being his most successful one. Jack’s movement off the ball is some of the best from a midfielder that I’ve ever seen at Academy level, but he is also a high skilful player as well. Roles joined Crystal Palace earlier this season, following his release from Spurs. He has so far made eight competitive appearances for their development side, scoring one goal. 

Aaron Skinner: A tough tackling centre-half/defensive-midfielder who had previously played for Bury and Bolton Wanderers at youth level. Aaron Skinner joined Spurs’ Academy in the autumn of 2019 and would go on to become a regular for the Spurs Under 18 side during the remainder of that season. The Salford born footballer made two competitive appearances from the bench for the Spurs Under 23 side during 2020/21, plus an additional two for Sunderland’s Under 23 side, when he was on trial with them during part of that season. Skinner joined Northern Premier League Premier Division side Bamber Bridge, during the current season. He has been regularly making match-day squads for them since joining, and he started their most recent league game against Lancaster City. The 19 year old is a current teammate of former Spurs Academy graduate and first team player – Mark Yeates, at Bamber Bridge.

Kazaiah Sterling: A Spurs player for a number of years, having joined them from Leyton Orient as a schoolboy youth player. Centre-forward Kazaiah Sterling would go on to make two competitive first team appearances for Spurs’ first team during his time at the club. A regular scorer at both Under 18 and Under 23 level, Sterling went out on several loans (including to Doncaster Rovers and Sunderland), but I often felt that he was very unlucky with injuries. Kazaiah left Spurs last summer, but was without a club for a little while, until he joined Isthmian Premier Division side Potters Bar Town. Sterling last made a match-day squad on the 12th December, when Potters Bar played Eddie Carrington’s Leatherhead. I am sure that Kazaiah will soon rise up through the leagues in the very near future. He currently has three league goals for Potters Bar Town, so far this season.

Shilow Tracey: Winger Shilow Tracey (23) was signed from non-League side Ebbsfleet United, during the 2015/16 season. He was for many seasons a mainstay in the Spurs Under 23 side. A winger with a real eye for goal, Shilow went out on his first loan to Macclesfield in the 2019/20 season, and then during the following season he went out on loans to Shrewsbury and Cambridge United. After leaving Spurs after his contract came to an end last summer, Shilow rejoined Cambridge United on a permanent basis. He has scored three goals and provided one assist from 22 appearances in all competitions for Cambridge United, so far this season.

Tarrelle Whittaker: Able to play as winger or as a centre-forward. Tarrelle Whittaker was the first Academy player from his age group to feature for the Spurs Under 18 side, back in the 2018/19 season. Whittaker started his two year scholarship at the club at the beginning of the following season, and he made a lot of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during that time. Since leaving Spurs the 19 year old joined Swansea City, where he has been a regular for their Under 23 side this season, scoring six goals so far.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Maxwell Statham:

Defender Maxwell Statham left Spurs at the end of the 2019/20 season, after having been at the club as an Academy player for many years. The Southend born player, who is the son of former Spurs player Brian Statham, signed scholarship forms with Spurs in the summer of 2017. He was part of a very talented age group that joined the club on a full-time basis for the 2017/18 season. Statham would make a good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side that season, and he impressed during the following pre-season, when he put in some really strong defensive performances for the Development side. Maxwell would make further competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in the 2018/19 season, including one in the FA Youth Cup, and in total during his time at Spurs, he made over 25 competitive appearances for them at Under 18 level. Statham also made one competitive appearance for Norwich City’s Under 23 side while on trial at the club. However, the centre-half, who can also play at full-back, stayed at Spurs for the 2019/20 season. Impressing once again for the Development side during pre-season, Maxwell made the bench on two occasions for the Spurs Under 23 side in the Premier League 2 that season. Unfortunately the then 19 year old left the club at the end of that season, after his contract came to an end.

A very brave centre-half, who is very strong in the air, has good reading of the game and who is also good on the ball, Statham is a player who always give his all, and who has always impressed with his range of passing. After leaving Spurs in the summer of 2020, Maxwell was without a club for a little while, before signing for Watford in the September of that year. During the season that he spent at Watford, Maxwell played for the club’s Under 23 side throughout the 2020/21 season. Some of Maxwell’s teammates that season included former Spurs teammates Phoenix Patterson and Maurizio Pochettino. Maxwell and Phoenix left Watford at the end of the 2020/21 season, with Phoenix joining Irish side Waterford, and Maxwell joining Isthmian Premier Division side Hornchurch FC (former Spurs player Mark Stimson is the manager at Hornchurch) a month or so later, in September of 2021. The former Spurs Academy player got some good experience playing senior football for Hornchurch, during his relatively short time at the club. However, after impressing for Hornchurch, Maxwell was signed by National League South side (one division higher) Welling United, with their manager Peter Taylor also a former Spurs player.

Since signing for Welling United in October of this year, the now 21 year old footballer has made five competitive appearances for them in the National League South, since making his debut for them against Hemel Hempstead on the 23rd of October. Maxwell has been playing at centre-half for Welling, and he has so far helped them to keep two clean-sheets. The most recent clean-sheet for Welling United came yesterday, when they beat Tonbridge Angels 1-0 at home. I traveled to Welling to watch Maxwell play on Saturday. And also playing and captaining Welling United on Saturday was former Spurs player Olumide Durojaiye. However, Maxwell had a very solid game on the right side of central-defence, in a back four, for Peter Taylor’s side. Winning everything that there was to win in the air, making some nice forward passes out of defence and also impressing with his reading of the game, this was a very good performance from Maxwell. Starting all of Welling’s games since joining them last month, Maxwell will no doubt be learning a lot from the very experienced manager Peter Taylor, as well as learning a lot from playing senior football on a regular basis. It was great to see Maxwell perform so well in defence against Tonbridge Angels, and it’s really good to see him doing so well for himself. I’m sure that the young defender will continue to rise up through the leagues over the course of the next few years, and I wish him all the very best of luck for his future in the game.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Phoenix Patterson:

An exciting, hardworking and very creative forward during his days as a Spurs Academy player – Phoenix Patterson was part of a very talented Academy age group at the club. The now 21 year old who is playing his football at League of Ireland Premier Division side Waterford FC, is doing very well for his new club. However, going back to the 2016/17 season at Spurs, when he was a schoolboy footballer the High Wycombe born player who joined Spurs at a young age would go onto make 13 competitive Under 18 appearances for Spurs. Patterson along with Oliver Skipp stepped up to make a really good number of appearances for Spurs’ Under 18 that season, and both didn’t look out of place at all. Phoenix signed scholarship forms with Spurs for the start of the following 2017/18 season, and it was another season of really good progress for the player who can play on either flank, as a CAM or in central midfield. That season the former Scotland Under 19 international finished the season with the most assists within the Spurs Under 18 side, and he also made his debut for Spurs’ Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League. During his second year of scholarship Patterson started the season really well and was a regular in a superb Spurs Under 18 side. However, shortly after making just his third competitive appearance for Spurs’ Development side in an EFL Trophy game against Portsmouth (he was Spurs’ best player that day), he picked up quite a bad injury. This ruled him out until the April of 2019.

Once Patterson returned to action he played six further matches for Spurs’ various Academy sides. For the following 2019/20 season he was promoted to the Spurs Under 23 side, and during that season which was finished early he made 16 competitive appearances for the Development side. However, at the end of that season Phoenix was unfortunately released by the club. His subsequent footballing journey took him firstly to Watford, who he joined during the 2020/21 season. Playing with former Spurs teammates Maxwell Statham and Maurizio Pochettino, Patterson played for Watford’s Under 23 side, and he was a regular for them during that season, scoring four league goals for them. The former Spurs player ended up leaving Watford at the end of the 2020/21 season, and he spent sometime without a club. However, during the summer just gone Phoenix joined Irish side Waterford FC. He made his debut against Drogheda United in the July of 2021. He has since made eight further competitive appearances in all competitions for Waterford. Patterson has adapted to Irish football really well, and he has scored four goals in all competitions and also registered two assists. Helping along with other players to really improve Waterford after they had a difficult start to the season, I watched Phoenix play for Waterford in their most recent match – against Drogheda United.

In the match against Drogheda – the young footballer was in my opinion the best player on the pitch, as Waterford played at their own ground in front of their fans. Playing out on the left flank Phoenix created one big chance, went on some excellent forward runs at pace with the ball and scored the winning goal from inside the Drogheda box, after a free-kick was played quickly to him. The lively winger who showed some really good skill on the ball and was always very direct and enthusiastic with it, also had two efforts well saved by the goalkeeper during the match. It is great to see Phoenix doing so well for Waterford as they continue to try and finish above the relegation play-off place in the league. While at Spurs I always enjoyed watching him play, as he is such a creative player who is so unselfish with the ball, but who also works really hard off it and scores goals as well. I would like to wish Phoenix all the very best of luck for the rest of the season – he has an FAI Cup semi-final to look forward to and a lot more to offer Waterford this season. I’m. sure that he has a very good future in the game to look forward to as well.