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Making his Mark

Posted on 29 March 2003  - 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).

Mark Yeates feels that Jamie Slabber's introduction to the first team fold provides the ideal inspiration for his peers.

The skilful midfielder hopes to be treading a similar path some day soon and he took a significant step on Tuesday when he made his first start for our reserve side against Charlton on Tuesday evening.

The 18-year-old was his usual box of tricks, buzzing around the midfield and always looking to carve out an opening. His experience at the Valley was one he enjoyed.

"It's good to get a start after a little while," beamed the youngster. "To play for the ressies is good at any time.

"It was good, we played well and you enjoy yourself when you play well, don't you?

"It's good to get out in the stadiums, we got to play in a few in the Youth Cup, so it is great for experience.

"I need to get a few goals, but they will come in time I suppose. I had a few good chances and was disappointed I didn't score."

Repeats of Tuesday's outing is Mark's aim for the remainder of this and next season, plus the chance to emulate an under-19 teammate.

"To be a regular in the reserves and, like Jamie here, maybe get on the bench or in the squad," he added, explaining that it has given the whole group a boost.

"Yes - it's brilliant. It's great to see one of the lads come through. To be fair, our group - the under-19s - are a close group and get on well.

"To see one of the lads getting pushed on is a lift for everyone. It gives everyone a bit of hope and, please God, a few more of us will come through.

"That's what I'm looking to do."

Mark points to the desperately sad death of his father, Stephen, in September of last year as a personal turning point in his playing career.

He is using the memory of the former Shelbourne, St Pats and Athlone winger as his inspiration to succeed at Spurs.

"I've sort of come into my own - and it's a hard way to do it - since my Dad died really. I've got my head down a bit more and just dug in.

"I think the club knew I had it in me, but I just had to show it myself."

Reward for his efforts has already come in the shape of international recognition for the Republic of Ireland under-19 side and he is now targeting a place in the squad for the forthcoming European Championships.

"I was away last week in Portugal for an under-19 tournament and I played in another game against Slovakia.

"The European Championships are coming up soon and I'd love to be involved in that."

Meanwhile, Mark will be keeping a close eye on the fortunes of the Republic senior side under new boss Brian Kerr in their Euro 2004 qualifiers against Georgia and Albania.

"He's a personal friend of the family as he managed my Dad when he was younger. He's a good man and will do well for the Ireland squad, I reckon."