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Ledley's joy

Posted on 14 November 2001  - 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).

Ledley King can look forward to a major championship next summer - the only question seems to be which one?

Our outstanding prospect was a calming defensive influence throughout England's nervy European U21 Championship play-off second leg victory against Holland at Pride Park last night.

David Platt's men booked their place in next May's finals, venue yet to be announced, thanks to Michael Carrick's goal, a 1-0 win on the nght and 3-2 victory on aggregate.

But will Ledley be going to the mystery venue with Platt or, as continually predicted, will he force his way into Sven Goran Eriksson's World Cup plans?

In a way, Ledley cannot lose either way and he was taking that stance on Wednesday.

"One or the other tournament will be very, very nice," said Ledley, who will return to Spurs Lodge on Thursday to prepare for the big derby on Saturday.

"If I don't make it to the World Cup - and I'm not putting any pressure on myself to do that - then hopefully I'll be with the Under-21s. I'll look forward to either."

Ledley, only recently turned 21, tasted the highs and lows of football when he appeared in the last Euro U21 Finals in Slovakia.

He was England's star of the tournament but disaster struck as he broke a bone in his foot in the last minute of the final group game and as a result was sidelined for months.

It's an experience that will stand him in good stead. "I remember Slovakia well," he said. "It was the first time I'd played in a big tournament like that and I was only 19. I didn't have any Premiership experience then but I have now and I'll go into the next tournament with all the more confidence because of that."

In the meantime, Ledley was pleased to get through a tough play-off against an impressive Dutch side.

"We did well in the second half of the second leg," he added. "We took a lot of pride from that performance and we knew we had the beating of them after that.

"It's great news for everyone that we made the finals. It gives players the chance to face different teams and different players, styles of football that they don't come up against every day. It will help everyone's progress."