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Meet our first year scholars...

Posted on 28 July 2017  - 10:11

On the first day of pre-season, a bumper intake of 16 young players joined our Under-18s squad under new coach Scott Parker.

Our first-year scholars with coaches Scott Parker and Matt WellsOliver Skipp in table tennis action during pre-training activities earlier this monthArmando Shashoua tries his hand at badminton

Coming in as first-year scholars, the group has since spent time integrating into our full-time Academy set-up, meeting their new colleagues and working hard on the training pitches at Hotspur Way in preparation for the new season.

The group is made up of one goalkeeper, three defenders, six midfielders, four wingers and two forwards.

England youth international keeper Josh Oluwayemi is joined by centre-backs Maxwell Statham, son of ex-Spurs defender Brian Statham, and Jubril Okedina, plus full-back Brooklyn Lyons-Foster.

Midfielder Oliver Skipp brings a healthy amount of experience at this level, having played 18 times in the Under-18 Premier League and five matches in the FA Youth Cup last season while still a schoolboy, and he joins fellow midfielders Jamie Bowden, Paris Maghoma, younger brother of development squad centre-half Christian Maghoma, Maxi Tainio, son of our 2008 League Cup-winning midfielder Teemu Tainio, Wales youth international Elliot Thorpe and Armando Shashoua, brother of Under-23s star Samuel Shashoua, in the squad.

Wingers Dilan Markanday, Phoenix Patterson, Maurizio Pochettino, who arrived in England with his dad Mauricio, and Rayan Clarke will be looking to provide a supply line to forwards Jeremie Mukendi and Rodel ‘RJ’ Richards.

With just over a fortnight until the start of the Under-18 Premier League season, coach Scott says the new arrivals are settling in well.

“It’s been a busy first few weeks of pre-season but we’ve seen a lot of positive things from these boys – including their willingness to integrate with the more experienced second-year players that we have in the group,” he said.

“Certainly there seems to be a willingness to listen and learn and they’ve been very receptive to what we’re doing so far. We had a training camp in Belgium earlier this month, two very useful friendlies against Millwall (3-1 defeat) and Ipswich (4-4 draw) last weekend, we’ve got a tournament at Manchester United this coming weekend and before we know it we’ll be into the league season, so there’s a great deal of hard work to do but so far the signs are positive.”