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Hotspur - OUT NOW!

Posted on 25 March 2011  - 12:00

Steven Pienaar talks April's Hotspur through his rise from playing football on the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa to the Champions League.

Hotspur - OUT NOW!

Steven Pienaar talks April's Hotspur through his rise from playing football on the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa to the Champions League.

Born in real rugby-union territory, the midfielder snapped-up from Everton in January recalls those early kick-abouts, how he was spotted by Ajax Cape Town and had the confidence and belief to leave home to follow his dream.

"At first I was always playing any sport; football, cricket, rugby," he said. "We played touch rugby at school but football was certainly number one for me.

"In fact my family came from Eastern Cape so there was no footballing tradition for me to follow; it was all rugby for them.

"I just played on the streets with the other kids. At that time we'd kick anything about, even plastic bottles. I always seemed to be playing against older and bigger boys but, looking back, that probably helped me develop.

"Things progressed when I was spotted by a local 'School of Excellence' and I later moved down to Cape Town to go full-time with Ajax Cape Town. There I was fortunate to work with Leo (Leo van Veen, a Dutch coach) who is a legend and was a big influence on me.

"He had also been at Ajax and showed us how they played. He believed in his players, always encouraged an attacking style and worked on our skills by making us play in small areas. He was vital for me at the beginning of my career."

Steven's career flourished from there and you can read all about it in Hotspur as he progressed to Ajax in Holland, Borussia Dortmund then into the Premier League with Everton and now Spurs.

April's Hotspur is another 84 pages packed with everything a Spurs fan wants to read.

Michael Dawson, Gareth Bale and William Gallas reflect on that Champions League triumph over AC Milan and we speak to Sandro, who played such an important role in both legs.

Vedran Corluka recalls the day he first met Luka Modric, Jermain Defoe on his love of goals as he approaches the 100 mark at Spurs and Benoit-Assou Ekotto talks about his milestone - 100 games up at the Lane.

Current first team coach and legendary striker Clive Allen is the subject the 'Big Q&A' while this month's celebrity Spurs fan is well-known BBC Radio 1/2 DJ, Jo Whiley.

Our 50-year celebrations of the double continue with a special feature on the great Cliff Jones while we look a new book on Cliff's team-mate, 'The Ghost', John White.

We've Ossie Ardiles' latest exclusive column and we catch-up with 1967 FA Cup Final hero Frank Saul.

With all the regulars including April's diary, dream team, letters, posters and stats all for just £3.45, surely no Spurs fan can be without Hotspur!

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