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Silver lining for Burch

Posted on 11 June 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).

Rob Burch would certainly concur with the theory of being stronger as an individual after experiencing the lows in football.

The young goalkeeper was thrust into Conference action with Woking back in February only to concede 10 goals in the first two games of his loan spell.

That might have buried a lot of 18-year-olds but not 'Burchy'. He remained strong and was soon picking up the plaudits as struggling Woking produced draws against runaway champions Yeovil and Farnborough.

It was a happy ending for both parties. Woking escaped relegation from the Conference while Rob has gone from strength to strength - he's hoping to cap his season with an appearance for England in the Toulon Tournament in France, the first group game is tonight against Portugal in Nimes.

But he remembers his first two games for Woking - a 4-2 defeat at Gravesend before a 6-0 home stuffing by Morecombe - and accepts he's a better goalkeeper for the experience.

He recalled: "It was hard because I didn't know until the Thursday, played Saturday, lost 4-2, was bruised all over and thinking 'what am I doing?' to myself.

"Confidence was low at the time but coming back here and training with Perry (Suckling) and Hans (Segers) picked me up.

"I couldn't do anything about the goals so you have to keep going.

"I played against Yeovil soon after, my home-town team and enjoyed that. I knew a few people in the crowd and heard them shouting at me! That was great though.

"I feel stronger and more confident dealing with crosses now. My handling's been good but the decision making, whether or not to come for crosses, to stay or go that sort of thing.

"It was more physical as well, I was covered in bruises after the first game.

"I'd like to go out on loan again next season, perhaps a bit higher - Second, Third Division and see what I can do."

Before that, Rob will battle it out with Preston's Andy Lonergan for the number one spot in Toulon.

England are scheduled for four group games and Rob hopes he'll feature in a couple.

He added: "It's all kicked-off for me since Christmas really. I went to La Manga with England for a training week and they were impressed enough to give me a chance against Germany, I then started against Switzerland and Italy.

"It's good for me, nice to get a break and go to Toulon, which is a big tournament. Hopefully I'll get a game against the best in the world. There are a couple of goalkeepers there so hopefully I'll get a couple of games."

WATCH THIS INTERVIEW BY CLICKING THE LINK ABOVE