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ACADEMY WATCH

Posted on 14 August 2002  - 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).

Spurs sent an under-18 side to Belgium last week to take part in a 12-team Eurofoot tournament comprising mostly of Belgian clubs, plus Celtic and Dutch outfit Willem II.

The competition took the form of two groups of six teams culminating in either reaching the final or place play-offs.

Our boys eventually finished in fifth place, but were the inside of a post away from contesting the final, as coach Pat Holland explained.

"It was a good exercise. It's like all these things, you try and see it as pre-season training, but in any cup competition you get drawn in and you want to get to the final.

"The boys were unfortunate not to get to the final because on the last day we played FC Bruges, who were on nine points in our section. We needed to beat them to get three points and at 1-1 we hit the inside of the post with the last kick of the game.

"That would have put us in the final, but we ended up contesting the 5th/6th place play-off against Excelsior Mouscron and beat them 3-0. Unfortunately in was in the middle of a downpour, the ball was sticking and it could have got a bit naughty so I was glad to get through that one with no injuries."

Striker Jamie Slabber found the net seven times in six games in Belgium as he seeks to return to his best form after injuries hampered him towards the end of last season.

"At the moment he's a little bit short of his top form, but he hit the net, which for a striker is the main thing.

"We just want to get the rest of his game together because I think the injuries set him back a bit last year. He was really flying at that stage so we want to get him back to that mental strength he had. Hopefully that will come through."

It's been a busy time for our Academy sides and the under-19 boys returned to action with a friendly at the weekend.

"We played Watford, it wasn't the greatest of games and the boys were a bit tired - it was a very hot day on Saturday in fairness.

"We looked a bit lethargic although we got three goals and beat them 3-0. All the goals were very good, both the movement and strikes. That was pleasing."

On Tuesday the under-19s played host to German side Cologne at Spurs Lodge and Pat bolstered his ranks with some older players. Spurs won by a 2-0 margin with both goals coming from Michael Malcolm.

"It was a testing game and what we did was bring the under-19s back for that one. They played in the first period and in the second I bought the under-18s in.

Jimmy Neighbour has been impressed with his new under-17 intake so far in pre-season.

The boys were back in action on Saturday and beat Watford 2-0 in their latest friendly. Kieron McKenna followed in Michael Malcolm's shot off the woodwork to open the scoring and Phil Ifil's superb volley secured the victory.

"It was a comfortable win and the boys played well," said Jimmy. "Watford passed the ball well as well and that made for a good game.

"I'm pleased so far and optimistic for the new season."