For three of our young Academy starlets, however, that dream became a reality on Saturday.
As we took on Italian champions and last season’s Champions League finalists Juventus in our final pre-season friendly before the start of the 2017-18 campaign, 20-year-old right-back Kyle Walker-Peters, winger Anthony Gerogiou, also 20, and midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe, as young as 17, all got a golden opportunity to play first team football at the national stadium.
Introduced off the bench at various stages of our 2-0 victory, the lads all thrived on the experience and, afterwards, spoke about their pride at being able to represent Spurs at Wembley in front of their families and friends in the stands….
How did it feel to make your Wembley ‘debut’?
“It’s fantastic. Wembley is one of the biggest stadiums there is and to be playing here for the first team is an amazing experience. It’s always good to get an opportunity to be with the first team and it’s nice to do it at Wembley, the home of English football. I was so excited when I got the call to come on, the heart starts to beat faster, but as soon as I got on the pitch I felt more comfortable. In that situation, you feel your way into the game and you’re just focused on what you’ve got to do. Of course it’s a buzz to start with, but when you get into the game you’re fully focused.”
Has it sunk in yet that you’ve played at Wembley as a 20-year-old lad?
“It’s everyone’s dream as a young kid really. You ask them a stadium they want to play in and Wembley will be one of the first ones on the list. I got to do it today so I’m very lucky. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’ve got to keep working hard so hopefully I can keep getting more.”
Was your dad in the crowd?
“Sadly not – he’s going to be gutted! He went on holiday last night. He was trying not to go when he found out I was in the squad but he had to go in the end, although I know he’ll be watching from Cyprus. My uncle Chris and my little cousin Charlie were here, though, and I know they’re just as excited as me. It must be surreal when you see one of your relatives going out on the pitch.”
You’ve just played at Wembley for the first time. How do you feel?
“It’s incredible, something I’ll never forget. I enjoyed it a lot. It’s a bit of a challenge, a lot of running but overall I’m happy and delighted to gain that experience. Of course, the England national team plays most of their games here and it’s good to get this experience so early in my career.”
Any family members in the crowd?
“Yes. My dad, Dennis, and my uncle. I’m sure my dad will give me a call and give me his verdict on the game! I know he’s very proud. It's obviously a proud moment for me too.”
How much did you enjoy the chance to play for Spurs at Wembley?
“It was just how I dreamed it really. It was a great experience to get on the pitch with such good players. It’s obviously a massive stadium and you’re surrounded by great fans – you couldn’t ask for any more. Obviously there’s a bit of nerves there (when you get the call to come on) because you want to impress but it’s very exciting when the gaffer calls your name and tells you that you’re coming on. Obviously whenever I come on I’m focused on the game but during the warm-up and pre-match, you’re able to take it in a bit more and get the full experience. A couple of my family are here as well so it’s fantastic and I just hope for more in future.”
You’ve played in all our pre-season matches this summer. How do you think it’s gone?
“It’s an incredible opportunity that I have here, so I’m just trying to do my best and impress the gaffer. This has been a big pre-season for me, going on tour with the first team and making my debut. I’m lucky because I’ve got people around me, working me hard and giving me opportunities and it’s up to me whether I can take them. At the moment I’m working my hardest to do so.”