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Hughton's glimpse into future

Posted on 11 March 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).

Chris Hughton feels that Tuesday evening's FA Youth Cup quarter-final clash against Blackburn at the Lane will be an ideal opportunity for himself, Glenn and John Gorman to assess the club's next generation of players in a competitive environment.

The boys will take to the field at the Lane chasing a semi-final place at the expense of the team that beat Arsenal en route to the last eight. Our boys triumphed on tough trips to Walsall, Bolton and Leeds.

"Very much so," agreed Chris on the chance to view the future. "I went up to Leeds for the last round and thought it was a very, very good team performance."

"If you're just looking for individuals that really stood out they were there, but the biggest thing was that it was really good team performance and there wasn't a bad performer on the night."

"I'm sure if we go into this round with the same type of work ethic and enthusiasm we've got a great chance."

Chris likens the competition to the senior FA Cup in terms of importance and excitement for the boys.

"It is the competition at that level. I think what has changed a little bit from the past is that youth games are always under-18. The fact that we play our football at under-17 or under-19 has changed things just slightly. We are fortunate that we have such a young under-19 squad.

"It is still the competition. The only way to look at is that it is the equivelant of our senior FA Cup. It brings great excitement, and if you look at some of the crowds that clubs have pulled in it shows.

"I saw one result last week, Barnsley beat Man Utd and I can just imagine the feeling among the club for them to pull off a result like that.

"It is a big thing and we have had some wonderful players in the past who have come through."

Chris himself has a bit of history at youth level, having played in a team that fed a number of players through to the senior ranks.

"Not Youth Cup, the other one which was the Junior Floodlit Competition. I remember getting to and winning the final of that tournament against Chelsea.

"We had a few that come through. Glenn was a year older than myself and didn't play, but people like Paul Miller, Micky Hazard, Terry Gibson, Garry Brooke did.

"If you look at those days, and even if you look at the team sheets for a lot of first team games in the early eighties, we did have a lot of players that came through the system.

"I can remember playing in one game where we had 10 players on the park who had all come through the ranks. It was a hell of an achievement then."

It is not widely noted in the media, but Spurs have been fairly prolific in bringing homegrown players through into senior football.

Just in recent years, the likes of Ian Walker, Stephen Carr, Stephen Clemence, Luke Young, Sol Campbell, Ledley King and Alton Thelwell, to name but a few, have graduated from the Spurs production line - something Chris feels is a boost for the club.

"It's a very pleasing thing, particularly for people that work at the club and work at that level. It's a wonderful achievement and it's wonderful for them to see an end product to their work."