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Posted on 16 February 2006  - 12:00

Having waited years to join our Academy on a full-time basis, Cian Hughton has been left frustrated by injury so far in his first year with us.

Having waited years to join our Academy on a full-time basis, Cian Hughton has been left frustrated by injury so far in his first year with us.

The 17-year-old started his Tottenham career almost nine years ago when he was on our books as a schoolboy, and then fulfilled an ambition by signing as a first year scholar last summer.

It's been a difficult season at times for the defender, but he still admits that he's enjoying his time here despite the groin injury which has restricted his appearances for Pat Holland's Under-18s.

"Although I’ve been fit for a good part of the season, I've not played as many times as I'd have liked by this stage of the campaign because recently I've been held back by this injury," said Enfield-born Cian, "but apart from that it’s going well and it’s great to be part of this Club.

"You certainly notice the difference being here full-time to just coming in a few times a week. It’s a lot tougher and you do feel more tired, although I’m getting used to it now.

"Pre-season was tough as we did a lot of running and but I think the lads are feeling the benefit of that now. Unfortunately for me, I’m not as involved as I’d like. The injury has steadily got worse as the season has gone on and after the FA Youth Cup match, it was decided that I would have to stop playing and just rest, to try to get over it once and for all.

"It is slowly getting better and I should be playing again soon. It’s tough because everyone wants to play and I’m no different and this first year is a very important one. But I’m just keeping focused, getting my head down and making sure that when I’m ready to play again, I will still be fit and strong to do so."

On the pitch, results have been a bit inconsistent for the Under-18s, but they remain in the hunt for a top two finish which would see them qualify for the play-offs. They also lost 2-0 at Blackburn Rovers in the FA Youth Cup, a night which brought mixed emotions for Cian.

"The result was disappointing because we went out although we didn’t play badly, but on a personal note it was my first youth cup match and I played the full 90 minutes, so it was a milestone in my career."

Cian is, of course, the son of our first team coach Chris, who played 398 times for us and won FA Cup and UEFA Cup winners medals during his long and illustrious career as a left-back with us and the teenager would like nothing more than to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

"When you’re growing up and you see the medals he’s won and watch the videos of him, of course I’d love to emulate what he achieved in the game," said Cian. "I play in the same position as him and he’s always been an inspiration for me, he’s always helped me as much as he can.

"But it’s hard for him as well because he doesn’t want people to think there’s any favouritism towards me. That’s why I don’t talk to him during the day!"