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Blondel's back

Posted on 6 March 2003  - 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).

Young midfielder Jonathan Blondel returned to training this week after injury and will be looking to regain the form he was showing before his unfortunate setback.

The Belgian international had been turning in some impressive performances for our Reserves, but his progress was checked after he picked up a shoulder injury in a Reserve team friendly against Aston Villa here at the Lane a few weeks ago.

"I went in for a tackle, fell down and hit the ground quite hard, which gave me a small fracture in my left shoulder," says the 18-year-old, who joined us from Royal Excelsior Mouscron last July. "This week I started light training again, a bit of running and ball work with the physios, nothing to hard, but it was obviously good to be back out on the field.

"You can do nothing when you are injured, it is difficult but now hopefully over the next few weeks I will get back into full training and start playing again."

Jon had certainly been making waves in the Reserves, with manager Colin Calderwood describing his display in our 2-1 win at Wimbledon as "his best game for us so far".

That led to a place on the bench for the first team's clash with Everton, only his third appearance as a substitute for the senior side, and he will be anxious to get back to that standard as quickly as possible once he's back in action.

His sole appearance for the first team came in our 2-1 defeat of Southampton back in August as a 79th-minute substitute for Milenko Acimovic. Although brief, he enjoyed that run out and hopes for another taste of the action soon.

"Obviously I am happy if I am playing for the first team but I don't mind being on the bench at the moment and I'm hoping once I'm fit again, I can get back as a substitute," he says. "The game here is certainly a lot more physical than I had expected but I think I am able to cope with that and I'm ready for it.

"I know it is difficult to get into the first team, we have a lot of good players here, but I hope that if I keep training hard and playing well for the reserves, I will get my chance again."

One of the reasons for Jon's improved form is that he is settling in more all the time and the arrival of his girlfriend and the fact that his English is getting better day by day has all helped his game.

"When I came here, the first three months were very difficult because I was on my own and it was my first time away from home for longer than a week," Jon explains. "It would be the same for anyone I'm sure, but now my girlfriend is here with me and it makes a big difference, it does help."

Since his arrival here, Jon has also broken into the Belgian national side and made his full international debut in August in a friendly in Poland.

"It was a great experience for me," he says. "It is always an honour for any player to play for their country, but even more so when you are just 18, it was very special. I have also played three times for the Under-21s and we have some good young players, I think our national side has a good future."

However the immediate future for Jon is the remainder of this season with us as he looks to help us maintain our push for Europe.

"Qualifying for Europe is still very much possible for us, we have one or two injuries but our squad is good and I'm sure we will make it into the top six."

By Jon Rayner
Programme Editor