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Academy Boy - Ricky Dobson

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).

Most of our young players who are playing for our Academy this season are experiencing a whole new ball game, but for Ricky Dobson it's a familiar situation.

The 17-year-old was a regular face in the Under-17s team last season, making 16 appearances in the starting line-up and two as a substitute. The fact that he was featuring alongside older boys has certainly helped his footballing education.

The left-sided central defender - a rarity in the game these days at the moment - has already played for our Under-19s now that he has joined the Academy at Spurs Lodge and he reveals that he's thoroughly enjoying the whole experience.

"It's great here, I'm having a good time so far," he says. "I was at Millwall and also trained with Leyton Orient before I came to Spurs, but I've been attached to the club for the last two-and-a-half seasons.

"Turning full-time is certainly a lot harder, but obviously it's better. We are here most of the time, training more, playing more football and that helps us learn more," says Ricky.

"Playing for the Under-17s last year was good experience for me, I learnt a lot from that and it does help when you play a year above yourself. I've started that again this year by playing for the Under-19s but I've also been with the 17s on occasions.

"But when I play in the older age group I find that, because the opposition are more experienced and physically bigger, I have to raise my game to a higher level but I think I've done quite well for them.

"My personal aims now are to keep working my way up and improve my own game, do the best I can. I want to keep playing for the 19s and maybe even the Reserves, although I know I'm going to have to work hard to get up to that level at the moment."

Coach's Comments - Jimmy Neighbour

Ricky is a big, strong defender, who played many times for me last year when he was a schoolboy. He's got good pace and he's a left-sided player, which is good.

There are one or two parts of his game which he could improve, one of which is his heading.
But Ricky's got a good attitude and if he works at his game he can go quite a long way. I hope that, while he's playing a year above, he can learn and improve his game, if he can do that we might have a defender on our hands.