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Pat looks back

Posted on 16 May 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).

Pat Holland can look back on this campaign with particular satisfaction.

Reaching the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup is certainly a worthy achievement, as is finishing fourth in the under-19 league with an under-18 side.

But perhaps the most noteworthy, as it is the primary objective of Academy football, is the fact that virtually all of the players who have featured in the under-19s this season are stepping up to join Colin Calderwood's reserve squad - with most on professional terms.

Shwan Jalal, Rob Burch, Stephen Kelly, Ronnie Henry, Paul O'Donoghue, Ben Bowditch, Dean Marney, Mark Hughes, David Galbraith, Walter Thomas, Lee Barnard and John Sutton have all graduated, while younger boys Marcel McKie, Nicky Wettner and Jamie Slabber are likely to combine under-19 and reserve team football.

"It's been quite pleasing really," said Pat, looking back on the season. "To reach a semi-final, and full credit to the kids, is terrific - so I suppose I can take that away, the fact that we got to a semi.

"Saying that, you reflect, look at your self and think 'should I have done it different?' In hindsight I could have done, but then you get to ultra-critical really. You just look at certain areas and think maybe I should have left him out and bought him in.

"But it's all about developing and the fact that we've 11 lads now gone through as pro is full credit to them."

Pat feels that by plunging younger boys into the under-19 environment is definitely to the benefit of both player and club.

"One of the pleasing things for me as well is that I made my stand on basically using under-18 players in an under-19 league and it's worked out in our favour. They've had to go in, at times, and play against more experienced and stronger sides and it's given a little bit of an edge that you need at that age.

"They've not been mollycoddled, and physically they've had to stand up for themselves - that's great preparation for next year when they go with Colin."