‘Spurs rejection motivates me more than anything’ – Nick Tsaroulla’s comeback story

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

After scoring one of the goals of the round in Crawley’s 3-0 FA Cup win over Leeds United, former Spurs defender Nick Tsaroulla has spoken of his desire to prove the Lilywhites wrong.

Tsaroulla, who joined Spurs at the age of 12, became a mainstay in the under 18 squad at the North London outfit, as well as featuring for the under 23 squad numerous occasions before being released (TransferMarkt).

One of the more exciting full-back options in the academy pipeline for Spurs, Tsaroulla was going from stride to stride in the development squads before suffering a car accident that would have monumental effects on and off the pitch.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Nick Tsaroulla recalled the car collision that almost ended his footballing career.

“It was head-on and, although his car was pretty much unscratched, mine was a mess. The doctor said that if I didn’t have my seatbelt on I would have died.”

“A lot of it was to do with nerves because I developed a burning pain in my feet, I couldn’t really put on football boots or run.”

The repercussions of the car crash began to take their toll on Tsaroulla, as injury issues led to the club opting not to renew his expiring contract.

“The injury just needed time and, unfortunately with football clubs, like Spurs, time goes against me. I don’t want to talk badly about Spurs,” the Cyprus under 21 international told The Guardian.

“They did everything they could, they sent me to all the doctors but, unfortunately, they didn’t want to keep me, that gives me a lot of drive, though – Spurs. For me to prove them wrong.”

Hampered with the injuries that came with the car crash, Tsaroulla was out of action for around two years before returning to football last season with Brentford’s B side on a 12-month deal.

When speaking to The Guardian, Tsaroulla speaks of how Brentford helped him “fall back in love” with football, where he got his first taste of “the men’s game.”

However, the former Spurs full-back saw his season cut short due to the Coronavirus outbreak with Brentford opting not to renew his contract.

In October 2020, Nick Tsaroulla joined Crawley Town following an initial six week trial with the League Two side and helped his side turn over Leeds United 3-0 in the FA Cup third round last weekend.

A breathtaking solo goal from Tsaroulla was his first-ever goal at senior level as well as one of the goals of the round in last weekend’s FA Cup, but the 21-year-old is not stopping there.

He added: “There always has to be more. I just want to enjoy my time at Crawley and do everything I can for this club. I would have loved to have stayed on at Spurs and played there but those lessons and what happened … I was able to do what I did against Leeds.”

“Maybe everything does happen for a reason.”

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