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Young Spurs show the way

Posted on 22 August 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).

Coaches Pat Holland and Jimmy Neighbour agree that the likes of Stephen Kelly, Jamie Slabber and Dean Marney have shown the way for the club's youngsters as our Academy campaigns kick-off on Saturday.

All three alongside Rob Burch, Mark Yeates, Ronnie Henry and Lee Barnard featured in first team plans in pre-season while both Marney and Slabber have made their Premiership debuts - Marney at Birmingham City on Saturday.

It's the dream our new intake of Under-17 boys are chasing while their Under-19 counterparts will be looking to catch Colin Calderwood's eye and break into reserve teams plans this season.

U17 coach Jimmy said: "It's nice to see the Academy boys getting somewhere - what we'd like to see now is one or two get in on a regular basis, but that's up to those boys.

"It certainly gives an incentive to the lads coming in. If they see the likes of Stevie Kelly, Dean Marney, Jamie Slabber on the bench and getting games for the first team, they know they have a chance here."

"I think the lads will get opportunities and it's up to them to take those opportunities when they come along," reasoned U19 coach Pat.

"You can't beat being around senior players. It's an education and you learn so much from being on the park with them. That is what these lads have to aim for."

Their first target is Wolves at home on Saturday as both age groups kick-off their FA Premier Academy League campaigns.

"The lads have worked hard," reported Jimmy of his new boys. "It's a new thing in their lives, doing it full-time, but they've had a good pre-season, one or two decent friendlies and we're looking forward to it starting now.

"Three or four of the group have already been pushed on to Pat and that's good for us and means I get the chance to bring schoolboys into my group.

"We start with Wolves and we don't know too much about them to be honest but that's not the important thing - the important thing is how we perform.

"Again, winning isn't everything. We want to win and play to win but the important thing is that the lads improve. If they do that they might have a future here."

Pat added: "I'm sure Wolves will be on a high because they've moved into the Premiership and that would lift the whole club.

"I'm sure this season will be a test. We won't have the pick of the Under-19 players, a few will go to the reserves and we'll basically go into it with an Under-18 side.

"We've worked well in pre-season, the trip to Belgium was successful and we're looking forward to get started now."

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