A report and some thoughts on West Ham Youth 2-5 Spurs Youth


I want to write a bit about the Youth as I feel it’s very important for the growth and stability of our club.

I was always disappointed over the years with how very little effort Spurs seem to make with their youth teams. We have never been known for having a flourishing youth academy and bringing through quality players, with the odd exception like, Ledley King, Stephen Carr and the one who shall not be named!

This is why I have took more of an interest in the last three years as I feel from three years ago or so Spurs have started to see the importance of having such a strong youth setup which needs nurturing and concentration.

In the last few years we have again entered back into competitive tournaments such as the NextGen,FA, U21 Premier League etc., instead of playing meaningless reserve matches year in year out.
Levy seems to have realised the importance of a strong youth setup and this has shown in the last 3 years as we have taken leaps forward in progress developing players like Carroll, Caulker, Livermore etc. And always looking and signing new stars. and now with the new training ground things can only get better!

I wasn’t at the West Ham V Spurs U18’s FA youth cup 4th round at Upton Park yesterday but I have read a few reviews online and done a short round up of the match events in my own words.

I have put stars next to the names of the players I think are ones to watch for the future as I have seen them play myself in these competitions.

Spurs starting Line-up ;
Spurs (4-3-3):

McQueen* Velijkovic Ward Ogilvie
—–Percil Dombaxe Bentaleb*——
—Onomah Coulthirst* McEvoy*—

From the whistle the lads seemed firmly in control with great pacey fast flowing football a lot like the style of which we see in the first team week in week out so it seems like we are setting a personality for the way even the youth teams play,
the Spurs way!

They enjoyed good spells of possession and inevitably broke the deadlock on 11 minutes with a perfectly timed cross from *McEvoy for Michael-Percil to meet sliding in at the far post to tap home the opening goal.

*Coulthirst scored the second with a lovely volley provided by Michael-Percil and by this time Spurs were well on top and the home side were looking to take a severe beating.

West Ham though were trying to make a comeback but whilst they made an attempt on Luke McGee’s goal he made a quick clearance which fell to *McEvoy’s foot who made a sprint and dribbled into the opposition’s box on a one man counter attack before calmly converting past Gines. to make it 0-3 to Spurs.

West Ham against the run of play got a goal in the 37th minute when Dombaxe failed to control the ball first time which allowed Elliot Lee to storm into the box and put a cool calm finish past McGee. For their second goal Bywater forced a fine save by McGee with a forceful shot from 25 yards but the ball fell back into the box for Lee to line-up a shot for Bywater who happily obliged on the 57th minute to make it 2-3.

Second half…

With *Coulthirst and *McEvoy linking up very well and just outright out running their opponents they had a good spell where a pass found Grant Ward who out of nowhere latched onto a 35 yard screamer which found the top corner to make it 2-4 to Spurs.

*McEvoy’s second and our fifth late on gave the scoreline a more of a reflection of the 90 minutes of which West Ham were out ran out played and out classed from start to finish.

So with the NextGen U19’s tournament which we done well in, The U21 Premier League in which we are still doing well, and now this U18 FA Youth cup team doing well, it has been a very exciting season so far for the youth teams of Tottenham!

I recommend that you go and watch them play when you can, The next one I will be attending will be Arsenal V Spurs at Barnet’s Underhill Stadium in April in the U21’s Premier League North London Derby!
See you there!
The future is bright,
The future is Lillywhite.

Underneath I have put a small profile under every player that started in this fixture and have marked the ones I have seen play with my own eyes with a star and written a little opinion from what I have seen of them.

The ones without a star I have either not seen play and had to research their details so they are not my personal opinion’s just facts, or don’t think they are anything to write home about at the moment.

Shot-stopper who was born in Edgware,
he has two caps for England Under-17s and played five times for our Under-18s last season.

Right sided player who can play right back or right mid. When I have seen him play (twice) he has been at right back, he is tall, fast, skillful and likes to get forward, an all round good player who I enjoy watching on the pitch.

Left-sided defender who can play either full-back or centre-half. Harlow born Has won caps for England Under-16s and Under-17s

Central defender Switzerland but represents Serbia at international level, having played for their Under-17, 18 and 19s.

Lewisham born Versatile right-sided player who played more games for our Under-18s last season than anyone else in the Academy.

Angolan midfielder scored three times in nine appearances for our Under-18s last season

French CM, skillful, fast and reminds me a lot of Prince Boateng.
Very cocky confident attitude and always wants to beat the player in front of him, won the Player of the Tournament last year FA youth cup and was top scorer at the Staemwede Tournament in May.

English born up and coming young centre forward.

Republic of Ireland youth international who can operate on the right side of midfield or defence.

English centre forward , scores a lot of goals and has personally caught my eye at a couple matches where I have seen him play, he is for sure one for the future.
Scored the goal to beat Liverpool 1-0 in last season’s NextGen and take us to the Quarter finals which we had to pull out of due to an illegitimate player.

Irish, This lad I have seen play live and if I had to pick any from this starting 11 to keep an eye on it is him.
When I have seen him play he has been on the left wing and remarkably looks a lot like Gareth Bale! Great pacey little player and Spurs like to play him up front in the U18’s as he is a class above most defences at that level.

West Ham – Lee (37), Bywater (57).
Spurs – Michael-Percil (11), Coulthirst (17), McEvoy (22, 84), Ward (75).

Attendance: 1,189.

By Geo
Facebook: Geo Tottenham Hotspur
Twitter: @Spurs_Tweets

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  1. Nice work! – I am tyring harder to give our youth teams the attention they deserve too! –

    Even if at this stage its just looking out for their results and players – Although I must say, that as I live in Bstoke and its not always easy to get to the lane (I run a local team on a sturday and work like a f*ck in the week) Im gonna start to look at getting out and watching our U18 & U21 sides if I can! – To cheer them on, AND to watch what appear to be a coupel of bl**dy good teams coming thru!

  2. I saw a number of these players at the NI Milk Cup in July, 2010. It's good to see them making progress especially Laste Dombaxe who was at the centre of everything that team did.
    Kenneth McEvoy played in 2010 and 2011 and you could certainly see the improvement he'd made and that he was more confident in the twelve months. He's getting a lot of mentions now especially as the Gareth Bale look-a-like.
    Grant Ward played in 2011 and was very impressive at left back and left side of midfield. He had a terrific shot and i see he scored last night.
    Roman Michael-Percil played in 2011 at right back and his game seems to have developed.
    Connor Ogilvie played in 2011 and 2012. He's totally committed when he goes in for a tackle although I thought he lacked a little pace.
    Joshua Onomah is an England Under-16 international, playing twice this year and has played in FA youth Cup for U-18s and in the NextGen series.
    There are a number of very talented young players in the Tottenham Academy, the question is always, how many will make it through to the first team and play regularly.
    I wrote an article on my blog about the young players who took part in this year's Milk Cup. http://hotspurhq.com/2012/07/27/tottenhams-ni-mil

  3. Glad you enjoyed it guys,

    Borris, through last year money was pretty tuff for me so I got my Lane fixes through the youth games, they are good to watch and entertaining and cheap and good if you don’t have a lot of cash and want to take your kids to a match.

    I will be attending Arsenal V Spurs U21’s in April you should come along :)

  4. I've not read your piece in detail, but I must point out that Onomah is a 15 year old midfielder. Born in April, 1997. I'd recommend Ray Lo's eye witness reports on Spurs Odyssey to all your readers!

  5. Depends what the Academy is for. A top club is looking to produce 1 quality first team player per year and to make a profit or be self funding. Tottenham sold Barmby for £5.25m; Walker for £4.5m; Young for £4m – all internationals; although they took O'Hara from Arsenal at 16 he played for the Academy and was sold for £5m. The club also got fees for Clemence, Barnard, Kelly (another international), Jackson, Marney, Yeates, Caskey, Button. They launched the careers of Redknapp and Crouch. Currently Caulker will be a top player at Tottenham and Livermore, Mason, Carroll, Townsend, Obika and a number of others will have excellent careers. The Academy has been profitable and Campbell, King, Caulker, Walker, Carr and Barmby have been outstanding products as have many others mentioned. The current excellent crop are due to some tremendous work the club have put in to the Academy and the new facilities will add to this. Going forward, expect some real gems. Exciting times


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