Aaron's pride at latest milestone
29 November 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Aaron Lennon pointed to his debuts for Leeds, Spurs and England as stand-out memories after racking up his 400th career appearance against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.
Our long-serving winger enjoyed another fine outing as we saw off the Serbian league leaders 1-0 in the Europa League at White Hart Lane.
It was his 358th showing in our colours which, coupled with his 42 first team appearances for Leeds, took him to the 400 mark for senior matches played.
Making his Premier League debut for the Elland Road side against us at just 16 years of age, Azza also represented his hometown club in the Championship before making the switch to North London in June, 2005.
His Spurs bow against Chelsea followed that August and since then he hasn’t looked back.
“It’s gone so quick!” admitted Aaron, as he assessed his career to date. “You don’t really keep count of the appearances but you keep getting reminded each time you hit one of the milestones and it’s a brilliant achievement for me.
“I’ve enjoyed every game to be honest – they’re all special. Making my debut for Leeds was great, my debut at Spurs as well. Also my first England international appearance, and especially going to the World Cup after my first season at Spurs, was really special for me.”
Taking to the field in all competitions for us over the years – including the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup, in addition to the Premier League – it’s been a wholesome journey for Aaron to date.
As one of the most experienced players in our squad, the speedy wide man says he’s more than happy to be in a position to help our newer arrivals settle in – as well as continuing to learn lessons himself.
“It’s been brilliant, playing in the Premier League and then going to the Championship with Leeds, then playing in all the big competitions with Spurs,” he continued. “Also playing in two World Cups with England – you learn from each competition because they’re all different.
“With the amount of games I’ve played I’m probably one of the oldest in the squad now and I’ve been around here a long time, but I do try and help the younger players – and also the new players.
“I’m still 27 and I’ll be 28 in April, so there’s still some petrol in the tank!”
So does Azza have any specific targets as he looks forward to match number 401 and beyond?
Indeed he does – and it’s a down-to-earth wish: “Hopefully to try to stay as fit as possible and to continue enjoying my football.”