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Posted on 16 May 2006  - 12:00

Pat Holland gives his final reflections on our Under-18s season...

Pat Holland gives his final reflections on our Under-18s season...

IT'S BEEN a rollercoaster season and I can put my finger on a number of things that have contributed to that.

The biggest factor though has been injuries. I've never known a run like it in my 16 years at Tottenham. They've caused a lot of problems with key players out – for example, defender Troy Archibald-Henville has missed five months of the season and at one stage we had eight First Year trainees out.

It was also a huge disappointment to go out of the The FA Youth Cup so early after our recent runs to the semi-finals and quarter-finals.

There have been a lot of pleasing aspects as well though. A number of lads have been involved with the reserves and one or two have gone in and done well, that's important.

Joe Martin is one and has had a good season, Simon Dawkins is finally doing the things I always hoped he would do, he's matured physically and mentally as well and has talent. Stuart Lewis is another lad who has had a terrific season. He's a real 100 per cent player, gives you everything and been involved in the reserves as well.

Sometimes people don't like it when we pull lads out of the pack but I think if they've done well we're entitled to say so.

We've got one or two schoolboys who have come up to the Academy team and done well. It's a big stage for them and big step up mentally and physically – they have to learn the art of team work, how defending is such a big part in football and they have to be prepared to listen and learn to improve.