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A winger and a prayer

Posted on 5 February 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

The last five months must have felt like five years to Matthew Etherington.

Our young winger, still just 19, raised the roof at the Lane on Saturday after raising the temperature as a substitute against Charlton.

The 30-minute cameo was his first appearance in the Premiership this season and his first action since starting the second round, first leg of the Worthington Cup against Brentford back in September.

In that time he’s seen the likes of Ledley King, Gary Doherty, Alton Thelwell and to a lesser extent Simon Davies and Dave McEwen all handed their first team chance. The excellent King and Doherty look set for the season.

Etherington, meanwhile, just got down to business in the reserve team and waited for his chance.

That chance came on Saturday and after a couple of scorching runs down the left flank and one particular dribble that ended with a clever reverse pass to set Oyvind Leonhardsen clear the England youth international must now feel he’s back in the frame again.

“I enjoyed it,” said Etherington. “It was nice to be back and to get on at White Hart Lane. I was told to be positive and that’s what I did. I got a few crosses in, put Leo through and I was pleased with how I did.

“It’s not been easy for me, I’m not going to lie, but I feel my form in the reserves since that Brentford game has been good. I’ve just tried to stick at it, my chance has come and hopefully I’ve taken it. We’ll have to see what happens now.

“Brentford just didn’t go well for me but it was mitigating circumstances. I didn’t feel too well before kick-off and at the end of the day it all got to me and I didn’t do myself justice.

“I was very disappointed but I picked myself up, kept plugging away in the reserves and I knew my chance would come again.

“It’s come now and I knew I had the ability, it was just about getting the chance to prove to the gaffer that I had it.

“It’s been hard for me because I want to be out there playing football like anyone else.

“Hopefully I’m over that now. I thought I did well and hopefully now I’ll be involved on Wednesday and then go onto bigger and better things.”

Listen to Matt's views by clicking here

By Paul Miles