Where are they now: Former Spurs academy player Troy Archibald-Henville
I haven’t done one of these articles in a while now, so I thought I’d start it up again with a piece on another former Spurs academy graduate. Troy Archibald-Henville is a name that most Spurs fans, Academy fanatics or not, won’t forget. The towering centre half now aged 29 and playing for league two outfit Exeter City, joined Spurs full time in 2005. The promising young defender who captained our reserves during the 2007/08 campaign was considered a hot prospect in the Tottenham ranks. His impressive performances going on to make him the captain of the reserve side. It was this fine stint in the reserve side that earned the 18 year old starlet a place on the bench for the big North London Derby of the same year. The defender from Newham in east London seemed to have a bright Spurs career in the offing, even launching the new kit for the following season alongside the likes of Robbie Keane, Jonathan Woodgate and another promising young Spurs prospect, 18 year old Danny Rose. For one reason or another Archibald-Henville never went on to make an appearance for the senior side despite staying at the lilywhites until 2010. Loan spells spent at Norwich and Exeter followed, before Troy joined the league 2 club on a permanent basis in 2010, and the then manager of Exeter Paul Tisdale was mightily impressed with the young defenders progress at the Grecians. Troy spent over two seasons with Exeter, making over 80 league appearances with them before making the move to league one club Swindon Town in the summer of 2012.
Sadly for Troy a series of injury disrupted seasons followed and he didn’t feature on many occasions for Swindon before eventually being loaned out to league two club Carlisle United, who he eventually signed for at the start of the 2014-15 campaign. I was at a league two game involving Stevenage and Carlisle a couple of seasons back to watch Spurs youngster Connor Ogilvie, Carlisle ended up grabbing a late 1-0 winner in that game, Archibald Henville was one of their best players, putting in a classy defensive display alongside fellow Spurs man Alexander McQueen. Troy suffered a serious knee injury with the Cumbrian side and eventually departed them for a return to former club Exeter City at the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign, for whom he still represents today at the age of 29. Troy is just one of a number of talented Spurs Academy graduates who has gone on to forge a fine career in the game, time flys fast and it’s hard to believe that the former Spurs man is now 29. I wish Troy all the very best for the remainder of this season at Exeter.
I asked Carlisle United fan Al Millington about Troys time with the Cumbrian club, Mr.Millington had the following to say: “To sum Troy up I’d say he was talented but injury prone. Strong in the air and tackle with decent skills for a big centre half in league two. Unfortunately he never really got a good run of games due to injury and spent much of the latter part of his time with us warming the bench. Pace wasn’t his strong point and the general view was that injuries had taken its toll and his knees were a liability at the end. Met him once outside a pub in Brentford post match. He was a really nice guy.”
Where are they now: (former academy player Johnnie Jackson)
Back in 2004 Spurs youngster Johnnie Jackson was asked as part of a questionnaire on the official Spurs website,” what’s the best/worst thing about being famous”?Jackson replied, “I’m not famous”. Well it’s fair to say that over 13 years later, that the former Tottenham youngster is a well respected and well known footballer within the game. The 34 year old midfielder has gone on to play a big part for a number of football league clubs, but none more so than his current one Charlton Athletic. Where he is the addicks current club captain and player/coach, Jackson has gone onto become a club legend with the south London club during his seven year spell. Ironically it was at Charlton’s valley stadium where Jackson scored his only Spurs goal, back in the 2003/04 season. It was with our renowned academy set up where Jackson started his footballing career, joining us back in 1999. The highly rated central midfielder was considered a special talent with in our academy, and it wasn’t hard to see why with the midfielder captaining his country (England) at under 20 level. The midfield playmaker who featured heavily with in our youth sides and reserve team, went on to make 20 senior appearances for the lilywhites, scoring the one goal. The Versatile Jackson who could also operate at left wing back was a player not too dissimilar to Ryan Mason at the same age, skilful and technical, with an eye for goal Jackson was an exciting and highly rated prospect. After a series of loans, Jackson was subsequently released by Spurs in the summer of 2006, where he went on to sign for Colchester United.
Since his time with Colchester, Jackson has gone on to play for Notts county as well as his current club Charlton Athletic where he has gone on to become a household name. The Camden born player has gone on to establish himself as one of Charlton’s most important players since joining on a permanent basis back in 2010, the dynamic central midfielder also has a fine goal scoring record to his game. The former Spurs man has gone onto develop as a fine player within the football league, he has flourished with the league one club during his time with them. The former academy starlet is just one of many ex Spurs players who we can proudly claim as one of our own. I wish Johnnie the very best of luck in his new role for Charlton over the coming season as he continues his fine contribution to the club as both a fine player, and a coach of the future. Who knows he may even return to Spurs as a coach one day.
Where are they now? (Former academy player Aaron Mceneff):
In a new series of articles in which I’ll be writing over the course of the season, I’ll be looking at where some of our former academy players are playing now, and how they have progressed in the game. The first player I’ll be looking at is a player who I’ve seen play on numerous occasions since he left Spurs in 2015, 22 year old midfielder Aaron Mceneff has gone on to establish himself as one of the league of Ireland’s finest midfielders since his release from the lilywhites back inJune of 2015. Mceneff joined Spurs on a two year scholarship back in August 2012 from Northern Irish club Institute. Over the following three seasons Mceneff played many games for both our under 18’s and under 21’s, the midfielder who was coached for a time by former Spurs boss Tim Sherwood, reminded Sherwood of a young Roy Keane. Unfortunately Mceneff never got to fulfil his true potential with Spurs, with injuries not helping matters. Still I believe Mceneff could very well have made it with Spurs were it not for a series of factors (injury being one of them) including such big competition for the midfield spot. Since joining the candystripes in 2015, Mceneff has developed hugely as a footballer becoming an integral part of the league of Ireland side. I was always a fan of Mceneff at Spurs but it was after a Derry game just under two seasons back when I realised what a talent the former Spurs man was. It was a game involving Derry city and Shamrock rovers, Mceneff dictated the midfield his passing and decision making both top notch he had an air of confidence about his game.
The Irishman has developed a real goal scoring quality to his game, with a thumping long range shot and an excellent penalty record, Mceneff has seven league goals for Derry this season. He has established himself as one of the teams most influential players, and I’m sure he will continue to improve at the Irish club. Im sure we will see Aaron back in English football at sometime in the future as he continues to flourish with Derry city, on a different note Aaron’s brother Jordan who was at one time on our books as an under 14 has signed a two year scholarship with Arsenal, another very talented and skilful player. Spurs have helped develop a lot of Irish youth over the past few seasons, with Kenneth Mcevoy, Tom McDermott and Aaron Mceneff among the most recent, but the one to watch out for over the coming seasons is highly rated Dubliner and Spurs under 16 striker Troy Parrot. I wish Aaron all the very best for the remainder of his season with Derry. COYS