Former Arsenal academy coach Roy Massey has revealed that Harry Kane wanted to try his hand in goal when the Gunners decided to release the striker when he was 12 years of age.
Kane will undoubtedly go down in the history books as one of the greatest strikers to play the game, with the 29-year-old having become Tottenham’s and England’s all-time top goalscorer.
However, had things gone a little differently, he might have ended up playing in goal for Tottenham’s North London rivals.
The England captain did take over the gloves when Hugo Lloris was sent off in a Europa League game back in 2014 after Tottenham had made all their substitutions (Daily Express).
Massey has now revealed in his new book, A Life in Football and a Coach to the Stars, that Kane considered making the shift from striker to goalkeeper when he was young.
Speaking about coaching the superstar, the former Arsenal academy coach told The Mirror: “When I see Harry now I can’t help but to think back to when he was a starry-eyed 12-year-old, sat with his mum and dad in my office as I told him he wasn’t quite up to the standard we were looking for.
“That was the hardest part of the job, telling lads that Arsenal were letting them go.
“Next thing, Harry’s dad came back in and told me he now wants to be a goalkeeper – and I thought the least I could do was to send him to work with our keeper coach Alex Welch.
“Alex was one of the best in the business and after just a few sessions he told me ‘Roy, the lad is never going to make the grade in goal’ so this time Harry had to move on.”
While launching the Harry Kane Foundation, which aims to transform the thinking around mental health, the 29-year-old opened up on the story of being let go by Arsenal and how his father helped him cope with the disappointment.
I'm very proud to launch the Harry Kane Foundation – it marks the start of a journey for me as my Foundation aims to transform a generation’s thinking about mental health. pic.twitter.com/oZzNcviyp3
— Harry Kane (@HKane) October 10, 2022
Massey admitted that the striker took it up as a challenge to prove him and the other coaches at Arsenal wrong.
He added: “I know how much it hurt him. Some lads are lost to the game forever because they can’t get over the disappointment.
“But Harry took my words as a challenge. He went back to playing for his Sunday League team for the next three years and then signed for Spurs. I’m an Arsenal man through and through. But Harry Kane’s perseverance is a credit to him and his family.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The reason the story of Harry Kane‘s rise is particularly inspirational is that the striker did not have the physical gifts that some other young athletes are blessed with.
He also never got anything handed on a plate. His rise to the top is a story of sheer self-belief, hard work and determination, and one that all young players should learn from.
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