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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Player reviews:

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

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

Spurs Under 18’s versus Brighton & Hove Albion: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will play their final away Premier League South match of the season tomorrow (the game starts at 12:30pm on Tuesday), when they face Brighton & Hove Albion at The Amex Elite Football Performance Centre, in Lancing. Spurs lost 3-2 to Norwich City at the weekend, but they were missing their top scorer Jamie Donley, for that match. Spurs won 2-1 won against Brighton in the reverse fixture last year, and another win against Brighton tomorrow would lift Spurs above them in the Premier League South table, and into eighth place. Always a good side at this level, this will be another difficult game for Spurs on Tuesday, but they are unbeaten away to Brighton at this level since the 2016/17 season. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for the match.

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

Subs from: Hayton, Linton, Davies, Amo-Ameyaw, Owen.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Will Andiyapan.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Zak Emmerson. The centre-forward has scored an impressive 16 Premier League South goals, and provided three assists this season from 20 appearances.

Spurs Under 23’s 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 23 side faced Brighton & Hove Albion in their final home Premier League 2 match of the 2021/22 season, on Monday afternoon. Wayne Burnett’s side recorded a 0-0 draw with Brighton, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Spurs lined-up with Thimothée Lo-Tutala in goal, while Kallum Cesay, Marqes Muir, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Dermi Lusala started in defence. Captain Jamie Bowden and Nile John started in central midfield, as Romaine Mundle and Yago Santiago started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Dane Scarlett led the line for Spurs. Brighton got the match underway. Nile John had an early effort blocked on the edge of the Brighton box, before Spurs’ captain Jamie Bowden hit an effort from the edge of the Brighton penalty area, narrowly over the goal. A good Spurs move followed, as Devine passed the ball to Mundle on the right flank, and he then gave the ball to Yago Santiago, down the right side of the Brighton box. However, the former Celta Vigo player had his resulting effort saved by James Beadle, before the ball was then cleared away.

After receiving Nile John’s pass on the edge of the Brighton box, Romaine Mundle showed some good skill on the ball, before passing the ball to Alfie Devine on the right side of the Brighton penalty area. However, Devine’s powerful effort was tipped behind well by Beadle. Dane Scarlett headed wide from a Jamie Bowden corner-kick, before Santiago had an effort blocked. A long ball forward from a Brighton defender resulted in Lo-Tutala going out of his box to try and clear the ball, but he was unable to, but Malachi Fagan-Walcott was able to get the ball clear in time. Bowden headed an effort wide from Romaine Mundle’s cross, and then shortly after Dermi Lusala saw his deflected effort go wide of the Brighton goal. After receiving the ball on the left side of the Spurs box, Cameron Peupion had a low effort on goal saved by Lo-Tutala. Dane Scarlett just missed being able to meet Romaine Mundle’s cross into the Brighton box, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. 

Spurs got the second half underway. Devine hit an effort over the Brighton goal, before Andy Moran managed to find Odeluga Offiah, on the right side of the Spurs box. However, Offiah’s effort went into the side-netting. Dane Scarlett then hit over Romaine Mundle’s low corner kick, inside the Brighton box. Jamie Bowden then hit a free-kick effort (it took a deflection off of the Brighton wall) onto James Beadle’s crossbar. Santiago then headed Mundle’s resulting corner-kick into the side-netting of the Brighton goal. The alert Marqes Muir managed to block behind Cameron Peupion’s effort from inside the Spurs box, just before Alfie Devine received a yellow card after making a challenge. Spurs’ first changes of the game saw J’Neil Bennett and Maksim Paskotši came on to replace Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Dane Scarlett respectively. After meeting Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick inside the Brighton penalty area, Yago Santiago had a good headed effort brilliantly kept out of the goal by James Beadle, before then heading an effort wide from the resulting corner-kick.

After showing good skill on the ball after going inside from the left flank with the ball, Romaine Mundle had an effort saved by Beadle. Brighton then created a good chance, after Andy Moran passed the ball to Todd Miller on the left side of the Spurs box, but Marqes Muir managed to keep up with him, and after doing well to close down his angles, Miller hit the ball into the side-netting of Lo-Tutala’s goal. Max Robson came on to replace Romaine Mundle, and then a couple of minutes later Cameron Peupion’s curling effort on goal was tipped over well by Lo-Tutala. Ed Turns headed a Brighton corner-kick into the side-netting of the Spurs goal, a couple of minutes later. At the other end of the pitch Maksim Paskotši headed over Yago Santiago’s corner-kick. Jamie Bowden then had an effort blocked, before J’Neil Bennett also had an effort blocked. Bowden made an important challenge on Lorent Tolaj, just before the referee sounded his whistle for full-time. Spurs’ final Premier League 2 fixture of the season is away to Chelsea, next Sunday afternoon.

Player reviews:

  • Thimothée Lo-Tutala: The Spurs goalkeeper kept his fourth clean-sheet of the season for Spurs’ Under 23 side, on Monday afternoon. Lo-Tutala made two important saves for Spurs on the day.
  • Kallum Cesay: The right-back got forward well on occasions during the match.
  • Marqes Muir: My man of the match, see below.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: This was a good performance from the centre-half, who during his 66 minutes of the pitch, made one really fine and important challenge. The 20 year old had a good game alongside Marqes Muir.
  • Dermi Lusala: The left-back completed the whole of the match, at left-back.
  • Jamie Bowden: The Spurs captain started the match in the defensive-midfield role, and he managed a good number of goal attempts.
  • Nile John: The midfielder started the match in central-midfield, alongside Jamie Bowden, rather than starting the match in the CAM role.
  • Romaine Mundle: In my opinion Romaine Mundle was Spurs’ most creative player against Brighton on Monday afternoon. The winger went on some good and skilful runs with the ball, and his set-pieces were good.
  • Alfie Devine: He may not have got on the ball as much as he has done in matches this season, but on his return to the Spurs Under 23 side Alfie Devine made a good impression on the game, both with and without the ball.
  • Yago Santiago: Starting the match out on the left flank, Yago Santiago managed a good number of goal attempts today, and he was very unlucky not to score a goal.
  • Dane Scarlett: The centre-forward returned to the Spurs Under 23 side today, and during his time on the pitch he made some good runs off the ball.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The skilful winger went out to the left wing, after replacing Dane Scarlett.
  • Maksim Paskotši: The second half substitute went to the left side of central defence.
  • Max Robson: The late substitute worked hard off the ball during his time on the pitch. 

My man of the match: Marqes Muir. The right sided centre-half was solid, alert and decisive in how he defended against Brighton on Monday. The Lambeth born first year professional made some good decisions in defence today, and he defended well against the talented Andy Moran. Muir did well to close down Todd Miller’s angles to stop him from scoring a goal inside the Spurs box, and that was just one example of his fine defending and reading of the game, during the match against Brighton.

Spurs Under 23’s versus Brighton & Hove Albion: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 23 side will play their final home Premier League 2 match of the season on Monday, (the game starts at 13:00pm) when they host Brighton & Hove Albion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Wayne Burnett’s side won their last Premier League 2 match 1-0, which was against Derby County on Monday evening. However, the fixture with Brighton could be a more difficult game for Spurs, who were unable to win against them in the reverse fixture earlier this season, when they recorded a 1-1 draw with Brighton. Centre-forward Evan Ferguson is Brighton’s top scorer in the Premier League 2 this season with eight goals, and he is a player that the Spurs defence will have to watch tomorrow. Creative midfielder Andrew Moran is another player who can make a real difference in games. This will be a difficult game for Spurs, but it will be interesting to see who starts on Monday, as the first team don’t have another match until next Saturday. So it will be interesting to see if Dane Scarlett and Harvey White start against Brighton, and also Matthew Craig, who made the bench for the Spurs first team in the Premier League for the first time on Sunday. I would like to wish the Spurs Under 23 side all the very best of luck for the match on Monday.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lo-Tutala, Paskotši, Muir, Fagan-Walcott, Lavinier, Bowden (c), John, Mundle, Donley, Bennett, Robson.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Cesay, Lusala, Davies, Santiago.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Evan Ferguson. The Republic of Ireland Under 21 international is Brighton’s top scorer in the Premier League 2 this season, with eight goals from 17 matches, and he also has first team experience.

Spurs Under 18’s 2-3 Norwich City: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Norwich City on Saturday, in a Premier League South fixture at their Lotus Training Centre. The second time that Spurs’ Under 18 side have faced Norwich in the league this month, Stuart Lewis’ side lost the match 3-2, in what was a difficult game for Spurs, with Norwich getting better and better as the match went on. Spurs lined-up with Aaron Maguire in goal, while a back four of Will Andiyapan, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Jahziah Linton started in front of him. Dante Cassanova and Rio Kyerematen started the match in central midfield, while Sam Amo-Ameyaw and Thomas Bloxham started the match out on the flanks, either side of CAM Riley Owen. Spurs’ captain Jaden Williams led the line. Norwich got the match underway. Riley Owen had an early effort blocked on the edge of the Norwich box, before Michael Reindorf headed wide Harry Brooke’s cross at the other end of the pitch, not long after. Dorrington headed wide from a Cassanova free-kick on the right flank, and then Spurs took the lead in the 14th minute of the match. 

After Norwich City goalkeeper David Aziaya’s clearance wasn’t cleared as he would have liked, the ball came to Jaden Williams. The Spurs forward received the ball inside the Norwich box, and he then gave the ball to Thomas Bloxham, on the left side of the Norwich penalty area. Bloxham came inside onto his right foot and found the right hand corner of the goal, with a good curling effort, 1-0. A good Spurs move followed, and after Bloxham managed to find Sam Amo-Ameyaw on the right side of a Norwich box with a pass, Amo-Ameyaw came inside with the ball before curling an effort just over the goal. After winning the ball on the left flank, Joe Duffy came inside onto his right foot before hitting a brilliant effort from distance towards Maguire’s goal, which went in off his left hand post, 1-1. Jaden Williams and Archie Chaplin both had efforts blocked inside the Norwich box, before Dante Cassanova did well to block Alex Matos’ effort behind, from the right side of the Spurs box. 

Sam Amo-Ameyaw came inside from the right and had a low effort saved by David Aziaya. Riley Owen then hit an effort over the Norwich goal. Harry Brooke’s pass towards Alex Matos in behind the Spurs defence, allowed the winger to go down the left side of the Spurs box, before having his effort well saved by Maguire. Rio Kyerematen had an effort blocked inside the Norwich box, and then just before half-time Norwich took the lead for the first time in the game. A good long pass from the right flank to Ken Aboh, resulted in the Norwich centre-forward taking the ball into the Spurs box, before finishing low into the goal, past Aaron Maguire, 1-2. Spurs got the second half underway. Harry Brooke’s lofted pass to Ken Aboh inside the Spurs box, resulted in the Norwich forward having an effort saved by Maguire. The Spurs goalkeeper then saved well from Alex Matos’ effort inside the Spurs box. Spurs then made a double change as Maxwell McKnight and Billy Heaps came on to replace Thomas Bloxham and Riley Owen respectively.

After going on a good run with the ball, Ken Aboh passed the ball to the impressive Finley Welch on the edge of the Spurs box, but his effort went over the goal. After receiving Rio Kyerematen’s pass on the left side of the Norwich box, Maxwell McKnight hit an effort over the goal. Amo-Ameyaw then had a low effort from the edge of the Norwich box saved, before Spurs managed to score an equaliser. After getting on the ball following a loose pass from a Norwich defender, Dante Cassanova passed the ball to Jaden Williams inside the Norwich box, and he then passed the ball to Rio Kyerematen, who finished well from his first time low effort, 2-2. Harry Brooke hit an effort wide from the right side of the Spurs box, and then a couple of minutes later Brandon Bryan-Waugh replaced Will Andiyapan. After having an effort blocked, Rio Kyerematen tried his luck from the left side of the Spurs box, but David Aziaya managed to stop the ball with his feet. Cassanova had an effort blocked after meeting Sam Amo-Ameyaw’s corner-kick inside the Norwich box. 

A good long pass from Billy Heaps to find Maxwell McKnight down the left side of the Norwich box, resulted in McKnight going inside onto his right foot and hitting the ball narrowly wide of the goal. Norwich regained the lead after their captain Bradley Hills found the bottom right hand corner of Aaron Maguire’s goal from a header, after meeting Finley Welch’s cross, 2-3. Archie Chaplin blocked Joe Duffy’s effort, before Aaron Maguire saved Finley Welch’s low effort from distance. Rio Kyerematen received a yellow card, and then the alert Archie Chaplin managed to block Alex Matos’ effort inside the Spurs box, before deflecting a cross onto Maguire’s crossbar. Two late chances saw Williams have an effort blocked inside the Norwich box, and then a couple of minutes later Ben Watt hit an effort over after receiving the ball down the right side of the Spurs box. A late confrontation between both sets of players resulted in Alfie Dorrington and Jahziah Linton both receiving yellow cards, before the referee sounded his whistle for full-time. Spurs face Brighton away on Tuesday, in their next Premier League South match.

Player reviews: 

  • Aaron Maguire: The Spurs goalkeeper and second year scholar made some impressive saves that kept Spurs in the match. Maguire’s distribution was also good, and he tried his best to calm down the late confrontation between both sets of players.
  • Will Andiyapan: The right-back often stayed deep to help out the defence, but unfortunately he picked up an injury during the second half, and he had to be substituted.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half often went on good and skilful runs out from the back, with the ball.
  • Archie Chaplin: Reading the game well and showing good pace on occasions, centre-half Archie Chaplin had quite a lot of defending to do alongside Alfie Dorrington, during the second half.
  • Jahziah Linton: The left-back got forward well throughout the match.
  • Dante Cassanova: The defensive-midfielder worked hard in midfield, and he was involved in Spurs’ second goal of the game.
  • Rio Kyerematen: Starting the match in central midfield but later moving into the CAM role, midfielder Rio Kyerematen took his second half goal well, and he went on some good forward runs with the ball.
  • Sam Amo-Ameyaw: Starting the game really well out on the right flank as a winger, Amo-Ameyaw came close to scoring a goal during the first half.
  • Riley Owen: The CAM brought the ball forward well on occasions, and he worked hard off the ball in the unfamiliar CAM role.
  • Thomas Bloxham: The scorer of a well taken early goal, Republic of Ireland Under 17 international Thomas Bloxham impressed with his link-up play during the first half.
  • Jaden Williams: My man of the match, see below. 
  • Maxwell McKnight: The second half substitute was direct with the ball, and he came very close to scoring a goal, after he came inside onto his right foot and hit an effort narrowly wide of the Norwich goal.  
  • Billy Heaps: The midfielder made some good passes from midfield during his time on the pitch.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: The right-back and second half substitute went on an impressive forward run with the ball down the right flank, during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Jaden Williams. The centre-forward and Spurs captain led the line well on Saturday. The first year scholar made some good runs in behind the Norwich defence, worked really hard off the ball and set-up both of Spurs’ goals. Williams deserved a goal today. 

Spurs Under 18’s versus Norwich City (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will face Norwich City at their Lotus Training Centre on Saturday morning (the game starts at 11:30am), in a Premier League South fixture. Spurs won 2-1 at home to Norwich in the reverse league fixture earlier this month, but that was not an easy win for Spurs, and Norwich were the better team in the second half of that game. Norwich are currently in 14th place in the Premier League South, after picking up seven points from 24 league games this season, they have also lost their last three league games going into the match with Spurs tomorrow. Spurs have won four of their last five Premier League South matches, and are in  good form of late. This will be another difficult game for Spurs, but it should be an interesting one. It should also be interesting to see what the team is, as Spurs’ Under 23 side face Brighton in a Premier League 2 match on Monday. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the match tomorrow.

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

Subs from: Hayton, Chaplin, Linton, Heaps, Bloxham.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Brad Hills. The Norwich City defender was in my opinion Norwich’s best player for their Under 18 side in the reverse fixture earlier this month. A commanding defender, Hills also scored Norwich’s only goal of that game.

A piece on Spurs’ highly skilful Academy midfielder Nile John:

Nile John made his return to the Spurs Under 23 side earlier in the week, in their Premier League 2 fixture with Derby County. The west London born professional footballer who is still on loan with League One side Charlton Athletic (he has yet to make an appearance for them this season), has made good strides this season with the Spurs Under 23 side. John is a versatile midfield player, who can play as a defensive-midfielder, a central-midfielder in a more forward role, a CAM or out wide as a winger. The England Under 19 international who has often been a regular for England at youth level, made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in a 5-3 Premier League South win over West Ham United (he provided an assist in that game), during the 2018/19 season. John signed scholarship forms with Spurs during the summer of 2019, but during his first year of scholarship he missed quite a lot of football because of injury. John was however, in fine form for the Spurs Under 18 side towards the end of the 2019/20. Putting in really good performances against the likes of Swansea City and also Southampton, in the final game of that season.

The midfielder was a regular starter and an important player for the Spurs Under 18 side during the first half of the following 2020/21 season, as they started the season well. John made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side in a 5-1 Premier League 2 win in the January of 2021, and since that match he would spend the second half of the 2020/21 season with the Spurs Under 23 side. During that same season, Nile John made his competitive first team debut for Spurs as a substitute in a UEFA Europa League match against Wolfsberger AC. After spending much of the 2021/22 pre-season with the Spurs first team, Nile started Spurs’ first leg UEFA Europa Conference League play-off match against Paços Ferreira. He subsequently started the season with Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side, and he has done really well for them, adding a good number of goals to his game. The first year professional has scored seven goals and provided four assists from 17 appearances for Wayne Burnett’s side, so far this season.

 Nile hasn’t made an appearance for Charlton Athletic’s first team (they only have one remaining fixture this season), apart from making some appearances for their Under 23 side. A midfield player who has almost always started matches as a CAM for Spurs’ Under 23 side this season, Nile John is a midfield player with outstanding ability on the ball. He is more than capable of gliding past players with the ball, with great skill. In addition he has good pace, and likes to go on skilful surging forward runs with the ball from midfield. John’s short passing is very good, and he is a player who can ride challenges well. This season in particular the 19 year old midfielder has shown that he is a clinical goalscorer, especially when receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area. He has scored some really good goals this season, including two wonderful goals from distance in games against Leeds United and Manchester City. He is able to strike a ball really well, but it is his ability to be very unpredictable with the ball and also his ability to be very capable of producing incredible pieces of skill, to get past players, which is what in my opinion makes him such a promising player.

Nile has really impressed when starting matches as a CAM for Spurs’ Under 23 side this season, and his stats have also been impressive for goals and assists. An incredibly skilful and talented player, it will be interesting to see whether Nile John goes out on loan again next season.

Remembering former Spurs A team player Alan Reed:

(Many thanks must go to Alan’s son Nigel and also Ronnie Hanley, for all of their help in writing this piece.)

Alan Reed was at Spurs on part-time forms from 1956 until 1962. From Ilford, Reed attended Ilford County High, along with future West Ham manager John Lyall. Alan actually supported West Ham as a youngster. However, after being scouted by Spurs, the former London Schools footballer who played with another Spurs Legend, Terry Venables, and was actually managed by Terry’s father, joined them on part-time forms in 1956, following in the footsteps of his older brother John, who was with Spurs as a schoolboy footballer during the 1950s. Alan Reed was described to me a couple of years ago by his former Spurs A team teammate David Sunshine, as being a brilliant wing-half, and somebody who he thought was unlucky not to make it into the first team at Spurs. Reed was a talented midfield player, who was as competitive as he was skillful. He loved to make challenges (Bill Nicholson once asked him why he was always making challenges, to which he responded “I just want to break the opposition play down”) and he was also a talented athlete, who always did well at cross country running as a youngster. Alan used to cycle nine miles there and back from his family’s home in Ilford, to Spurs’ old Cheshunt training ground, to train for Spurs on occasions during midweek, as he was only on amateur forms with the club. 

He held many fond memories of his time there, where Alan looked up to Dave Mackay the Scottish international and tough, yet brilliant midfielder, perhaps somewhat of an inspiration. He remembered fondly a time he was in the physio room and one of the players rushed in, exasperated, suggesting that Mackay was slide tacking in the five-aside, which would have been accepted as normal, except for they were training in the club car park! Then his grace as a technical artist when in the gym at Cheshunt which was a famous wall with specific shapes or lines and the coach described a complex sequence of skills that needed to be handled as the ball returned from the wall, by thigh, or chest, etc and then the ball kicked back at a specific target, only for Mackay to step forward, go through the highly skilled sequence to perfection and trapping the ball at the end, asking “is that what you mean”?! Only Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne have managed the same sequence in perfect order, to demonstrate the brilliance of the man. Finally, his sheer nerve and grace as an entertainer, where he could flick a shilling up, catch it on his foot, flick it up onto his head, slide it onto his other foot before flicking it up, catching it in his side pocket and walking out of the pub frequented by the players after training. 

Another memorable moment for Alan, in the 1960 pre-season training, was ensuring he kept pace with the seasoned international legend, Danny Blanchflower, for the entire cross country. Intrigued who this young lad was, Danny approached him in the canteen over lunch where Alan was seated with some fellow teammates, and where Danny gave praise to Alan for the run, asking him if he was new to the club, with which, Alan responded, “no, I’ve been here four years, Danny”, and met with high amusement from the other players, which typified Alan’s self-deprecating sense of humour.

Reed would have worked his way up the various ranks at Spurs and into the Spurs A team. He would have started off playing matches for the Spurs Juniors, where on one occasion in a Southern Juniors Floodlit Cup Semi-final tie against Chelsea, Alan played against the great Jimmy Greaves. However, Alan would have also made a good number of appearances for the Spurs Youth team, in the South-East Counties League, before progressing up into the Spurs A team, which was Spurs’ third team. In the Spurs A team, Alan Reed would have played against the likes of March Town and Biggleswade Town in the Eastern Counties League. They had tough first team players, but sides that Alan would have definitely enjoyed playing against. The double winning season of 1960/61 would have been a definite highlight of Alan’s time at Spurs, especially attending the FA Cup winning banquet at The Savoy Hotel. However, he was also a key member of the Spurs A team that won the Eastern Counties League during that season. Alan made 23 appearances for the Spurs A team during that league winning season, scoring two goals.

In 1962, Alan was informed his contract with Spurs was to be terminated at the end of the season, and he arranged to meet Bill Nicholson in his office. After discussing the situation, and even considering the possibility of staying with Tottenham full-time, Alan agreed it was time to move forward, therefore Bill suggested Watford wanted him, although this was too far to travel, and then suggested Romford FC where Bill Nicholson’s old teammate, Harry Clarke was manager. Alan always had the greatest respect for Bill Nicholson, typified by what was described by Harry Clarke that Bill had written a very positive letter in reference to Alan’s introduction. In 1962 the tough midfield player, who had also been doing a welding job when not playing/training with Spurs, signed for Romford.

Alan had a very successful time at Romford, after leaving Spurs. He was part of a a very good Romford side, and at 21 he was an important member of the Romford side that won the Southern League. Also in that Romford side was legendary former Spurs goalkeeper Ted Ditchburn. While playing for Romford, he once got to play against John Charles. After leaving Romford the year after they had won the Southern League, Alan’s wife wanted to go to Australia (Alan’s daughter Vanessa has since followed in her parents footsteps by moving to Australia) because she had family connections in the country. While in Australia Alan continued to play football, and he signed for Slavia Melbourne SC, who he remembered as the best quality team that he had played for in his career, and they played some quality football too. Alan played in the same side at Slavia Melbourne SC as former Czechoslovakia international goalkeeper Viliam Schrojf. Alan had the attitude that no one was better than him, as he came from a tough background, but he was just a very competitive footballer. After returning to England with his wife, Alan signed for Billericay Town in the early 1970s, where he would win the Essex Senior League on two occasions with Billericay.

At Billericay Alan became good friends with former Chelsea player Ronnie Hanley, and the pair of them would leave Billericay at the same time in the mid 1970s, to join Basildon United. Alan would become the player-manager of Basildon, with Ronnie as his coach. In his second season with Basildon, Alan helped Basildon win the Essex Senior League for the first time in their history. Later on and after spending some happy years with Basildon, Alan would resign from his role at the club, with Ronnie taking over as manager of the side. Alan continued to play football in his spare time, until the age of 47 such was his love of the game. He would later settle in the Dunstable area, with his family. Alan’s son Nigel, played youth football for Luton Town and Northampton Town, and Alan would go and watch many of his son’s matches, his daughter followed in the family’s footsteps and emigrated to Australia in 1997. Sadly Alan Reed passed away in 2015, but he always looked after his wife Daphne, who had become ill with Alzheimer’s, right up until he passed away. Like so many of the former Spurs youth and A team players who were at the club during the 1950s and 60s, Alan must have been very proud to have been at Spurs during that wonderful time in their history. He remained a lifelong fan of Spurs in later years, and would attend a number of matches at White Hart Lane.

A piece on Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper and Academy graduate Brandon Austin:

It’s been a while since I last wrote a piece on Brandon Austin. The Spurs Academy graduate and goalkeeper, who has gone onto become Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper during this season (2021/22). The Hemel Hempstead born professional footballer who was previously with Chelsea before joining Spurs, signed scholarship forms with the club in the summer of 2015, but would have to wait quite a while until he got regular starts for the Spurs Under 18 side. Austin did make a lot more appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during the following 2016/17 season, when he was an important member of the Spurs Under 18 side that reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, during that season. Having made his competitive debut for the Spurs Development side during the 2015/16, Austin would later start a really good number of games for the Spurs Under 23 side as a first year professional with the club, in 2017/18. However, during the following 2018/19 season Brandon Austin started almost every game for the Spurs Under 23 side, and as well as impressing in the UEFA Youth League for the Spurs Under 19 side, he was consistently excellent for Spurs at Academy level during that season.

In the 2019/20 season Brandon did start quite a lot of games for the Spurs Under 23 side, but he was also a substitute goalkeeper for the Spurs first team on a good number of occasions, when Hugo Lloris was out injured. He did well during the second half of the 2019/20 season in the second tier of Danish football, when on his first ever loan, with Viborg FF, who he made 14 competitive appearances for. Austin returned to Spurs for the start of the 2020/21 season, but would join MLS Orlando City SC on loan in the January of 2021. Although he was the second choice goalkeeper for Orlando, the whole experience of being in a different first team set-up in a really good Orlando side, must have been a very enjoyable experience for Brandon, who also did make five appearances for Orlando during his time at the club. Since returning to Spurs from Orlando, Brandon has obviously been training with the Spurs first team on a regular basis, has become Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper during this season (2021/22), made the bench for the first team on occasions, and also very recently he signed a new contract with the club until 2024.

For those who have read my match reports over the years, you’ll have known that I’ve always thought a lot of Brandon as a goalkeeper. He is undoubtedly one of the very best goalkeepers that I have ever seen in Academy football. Such is his excellent ability to not only make the most remarkable of reflex saves, saves which have often left me wondering how he managed to stop the ball from going into the goal, but also how commanding he is inside his penalty area. From crosses and set-pieces I really can’t recall him making an error, especially since stepping up to Under 23’s football. An expert at saving penalty kicks, Austin as a goalkeeper is a real character, and one who is very vocal on the pitch, and not afraid to tell the defenders where they should be, and what they should be doing, if they aren’t doing their jobs properly. I have often seen a lot of leadership qualities in Brandon as a goalkeeper, especially at Academy level. I think that his distribution has also improved since he started playing first team football.

The goalkeeper who excelled at Under 23 level and who was absolutely outstanding during that 2018/19 season, is just a very reliable goalkeeper, and someone who is always alert and on his toes in matches. He is good at rushing out of his goal, and he also uses his body well to close down the angles to make saves. Austin will have become an even better goalkeeper for his experiences out on loan in Denmark and America, but also for his experience with the Spurs first team. Training with the first team and being in the match day squad as a third choice or in some cases second choice goalkeeper, must be great for a goalkeeper of 23. When he was eligible, Brandon was also called-up to the England Under 21 squad, and that in itself shows just how highly rated a goalkeeper Brandon is. Obviously a lot depends on the first team goalkeeping situation next season, and what happens in the summer transfer window. However, hopefully Brandon will get to make his debut for the Spurs first team at some point during next pre-season. Whether he goes out loan again next season or stays with the Spurs first team as the third choice goalkeeper will be interesting to see, but the fact that Brandon recently signed a new contract until 2024, is really encouraging news.

I still strongly believe that Brandon is capable of becoming the first Spurs Academy graduate since Ian Walker to go on and become the first choice goalkeeper for Spurs at some point in the future. However, in the meantime I wish him all the very best of luck for next season, and of course the remainder of this season.