Promising teenage player Eric Macheru has been training with our Academy this week as part of a prize he won on the hit South African reality TV show Sokka Kings.
The Spurs-inspired show saw hopefuls aged 19 and under showcase their talents until they were whittled down to a winner. The Club worked very closely with Sokka Kings, advising the coaches and producers of the show, and our own Academy Manager John McDermott was on the panel of expert judges who helped decide the winner, along with a public vote.
As well as spending a week at Spurs Lodge, Eric also secured a one-year contract with South African side Highlands Cape Town and a sports management contract. The 19-year-old from Seshego near Pietersburg, arrived in England on Monday and has thoroughly enjoyed his time with us.
“I have been very impressed with the professionalism of the set up at Tottenham and how committed the players are in training, it is an experience I will never forget,” he said.
Eric has loved football all his life and has always had a connection with Spurs due to his father being a big fan. Since wining the competition in July and as a result of the show’s huge popularity, Eric has become a celebrity back in South Africa.
He has played for his local amateur side Man to Man since he was a boy but looks forward to a new challenge in November when he joins the South African Premiere League with the Cape Town club.
“Training at Tottenham this week will hopefully help me prepare for playing in the top South African league, there are a lot of young players there and I hope to settle in quickly.”
The long-term goal of the young right midfielder is to play in the English Premiership, which gains a great deal of coverage in South Africa.
“I have always followed English football and admire many players including Ledley King, Edgar Davids and Jermain Defoe.”
Having followed the beginning of the season and now having witnessing our first team training for himself this week, Eric is confident that we can have a good season.
“I think this year will be much better than the previous one and with Tottenham’s new signings I really think they can be up there at the end of the season.”
As part of his first visit to England, Eric has taken in the sights of London and will complete his visit with a trip to White Hart Lane on Saturday.
“I can’t wait for the atmosphere of match day, especially when it is such a big game against Liverpool, I think it will be unlike any thing I’ve ever experienced.”
By Paul O’Hagan