Bolton beckons for Academy
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).
Pat Holland takes an under-18 side to the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, on Wednesday night as our Academy seek to secure a place in the 5th round of the FA Youth Cup.
A clash of dates means that while the first team are jousting with Chelsea for a place in the Worthington Cup final, our youngsters will be battling for their own cup destiny some 250 miles away.
Bolton keeps cropping up for us this season. We had a first team league and cup double-header in early December, we've now got them in the Youth Cup and, what do you know, Sam Allardyce brings his side back to the Lane on Saturday for the 4th round of the FA Cup.
Walsall were overcome by a 5-1 scoreline at the Bescott Stadium in round three and the boys already know the prize on offer should they beat Bolton - another away trip, this time to Leeds or Middlesbrough.
Under-19s topple Saints
While blanket television coverage means there is little in the way of secrets at senior level, it is not quite so easy to get the up-to-date lowdown on opponents in youth team football. However, coach Pat says both teams are not completely unaware of each other.
"We've got a video that was kindly sent by Crewe who played them three weeks ago," said Pat. We've looked at it and it looks as if it is actually their youth team.
"In fairness to Bolton, they've also done their homework as they sent two scouts to watch us play on Saturday.
"We'll have a rough idea about each other - at least formation wise."
The futuristic Reebok Stadium awaits for the boys, an experience pat feels they will relish.
"It will be excellent for them to play there and I'm sure they're looking forward to it. I've never been there, but it looks a nice stadium and a nice pitch - hopefully we'll get something out of it.
"It's all part of their education."
The coaches 'it's not just about winning' mantra no doubt goes out of the window for the prestigeous Youth Cup. Pat says, for his part, winning is the key all the time, but you must reflect and make allowances when results go against you. Such as when teams include older boys - all of our boys, bar one, are under-18 players and qualify to play in the Youth Cup.
"Every game you want to win. You don't go into games wanting to lose, it's just sometimes you want to reflect a little bit, especially at under-19, where certain sides will play with four or five under-19 players - like Charlton last week who played seven to our one.
"You've got to balance it off. It is about getting players into the reserves and hopefully, one day, into the first team. So you have to think about it a little bit more or otherwise there would be too much pressure all round.
"But we are in a winning game. That's football, whether you like it or not. If you get results people are pleased and it goes on from there."
Happy return for Under-17s
Pat has a full squad to pick from with the exception of goalkeeper Shwan Jalal, who falls slightly outside the age bracket. Striker Lee Barnard (pictured) returns after recovering from a cracked toe.
"Everyone is fit," reported Pat. "Lee will come straight back into the squad - he's done all his fitness work, it was just that he couldn't kick the ball with a crack to the toe. He'll come back into contention, but Shwan it too old for it. Other than that we've got all the lads to pick from."
Up & Comer - Shwan Jalal