The midfielder - at the club since he was nine - produced one of the best individual performances of last season with a two-goal full home debut in the 5-2 win against Everton on New Year’s Day.
After a tough start to the season, that display secured his place in the squad for the rest of the season although Head Coach Martin Jol admitted he was often the ‘unlucky 17th’ man to miss out on matchday.
Barking-born Dean is determined to make the next step. “I’ve been here since I was nine and this is the toughest time, right now.
“I thought when I was coming through from Under-13s to 14s that was the toughest time, but now is. Just to make that break from squad member to first teamer. It’s difficult but I feel I’m up to it.”
After coming through the ranks, Dean made his debut at Birmingham City on the opening day of the 2003-04 season and has now made 11 appearances in all competitions. He has also spent time on loan at Swindon, QPR and Gillingham.
After an indifferent start to last season and a tricky month at Gillingham, Dean was handed his chance against Everton. To say he took it is an understatement.
“I got my chance in the Everton game and had to take it,” he reflected. “Things weren’t really happening until Christmas but I’ve felt confident since then.
“I looked upon it as an opportunity that I could cope with Premiership football. I strongly believe I can and it’s down to me to prove it.
“Overall, I was happy with my season. Obviously, you always think you can do better and I would have liked to have played more games, but I didn't have the best pre-seasons because of an Achilles injury and you can’t ask for too much.”
Dean Marney insists making the breakthrough to first team regular is the toughest challenge of his 12 years at Spurs.