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*Loan Boy - Lee Barnard

Posted on 15 November 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).

Lee Barnard became the sixth Spurs youngster to be out on loan when he joined Exeter City just over two weeks ago.

The talented striker was oblivious to the interest of the Division Three outfit and had just finished training as normal when John Gorman approached him to ask if he fancied a spell at St James Park.

He did not have too long to think about it as Exeter were preparing for a weekend game away at newly promoted Boston, but the chance of gaining League experience greatly appealed to the 18-year-old.

He now joins Johnnie Jackon (Swindon), John Sutton (Carlisle), Steven Ferguson (Motherwell), Gavin Kelly (Kettering) and Shwan Jalal (Woking) in temporarily playing their football out of a Spurs shirt under the watchful eye of the club's staff.

"I was in training on the Wednesday and, at the end of that, John Gorman called me over and asked if I would go to Exeter for a month's loan," recalled Lee.

"I said 'yes', went down there that night, trained Thursday and the manager asked me if I was happy to stay for a month. I signed on Friday and played on Saturday against Boston away."

Unfortunately, while he made a good impression, Lee's Exeter debut only lasted 45 minutes as a troublesome groin forced him off at half-time. However, he did enjoy his first experience of League football.

"It wasn't too bad. There wasn't as much football played, obviously, but it was a good experience and I enjoyed it. It was just a shame about the groin really.

"I had to come off at half-time and they reckon it's linked to a little problem with my back."

Lee noticed the slightly more physical nature of League football and suspected that the defenders could have had him marked down as 'the flash little git from Spurs' and treated him accordingly.

"Probably - the full-back gave me a bit of jip. I got booked, but it wasn't my fault and I was the one that came out with a nose bleed!

"I was on the ball now and again. I tried to keep it simple really and didn't try anything too hard. I just found it hard with my groin and could feel it all through the game."

Lee's groin injury ruled him out of Exeter's defeat to Hartlepool last weekend, but he made his home debut for the Grecians in the LDV Vans Trophy against Cardiff on Tuesday.

While the team suffered a 3-0 defeat to the Division Two high-flyers, Lee was named Man of the Match.

"I got Man of the Match, but we didn't do too well," reported Lee on Wednesday. "The manager (Neil McNab) wasn't too pleased and had everyone in and gave us a right rollicking.

"I did alright. I made a few good runs, but it's a case of getting back into it really and my groin is feeling okay now. It was a difficult game against Cardiff."

While Lee will undoubtedly reap the benefit of playing competitive football, he has to learn to deal with hotel life and being away from familiar surroundings.

"I'm staying at a hotel. It's not too bad and the food is good. A bit lonely, but there is a couple of players there from Portsmouth who are on loan so I've got people to talk to.

"It is a bit lonely though."

Colin Calderwood can only see positives in players from his reserve side having a spell away from the club and feels that Lee has the ability to cope with a change of environment.

"I've said before that there are advantages to the boys going out and learning a wee bit more," said Colin".

"I think he'll handle the physical side of it well. He's just got to be mature enough not to get involved in anything that happens and not get himself booked in stupid situations.

"We feel he is a good prospect and we want to see how he does somewhere else. Put him in a different environment for a bit and see how he gets on.

"It is an advantage to us, an advantage to them and, hopefully, to the clubs they go to. It's almost a no-lose situation apart from the fact that we won't have them for reserve games."