Harry Kane, five years on from opening-day top flight bow at Newcastle
Wed 09 August 2017, 16:25|Tottenham Hotspur
Five years ago we travelled to Newcastle United on the opening day of the season and a young striker from our Academy came on for his Premier League debut.
This year we go back to St James’ Park for our top flight curtain-raiser with that same player looking for his 100th Spurs goal.
For Harry Kane, the last half a decade has flown by, while his career path has also taken off in breathtaking fashion!
“It doesn’t seem that long ago but it was an amazing feeling,” said Harry as he recalled his first steps onto the Premier League stage as a 19-year-old, 85th-minute substitute for midfielder Sandro with Andre Villas-Boas’ team 2-1 down and looking for a way back into the contest.
“I remember I was itching to get on the whole game. Being on the bench, I just wanted to get on! It was exciting for me and it was a fantastic stadium to make my league debut in – Newcastle have got great fans so it was a nice place to do it. I think I came on trying to get the equaliser but obviously it wasn’t to be.”
Above: Flashback to Harry Kane's Spurs TV interview after his 2012 Premier League debut at Newcastle.
Hatem Ben Arfa’s penalty with 10 minutes to go ultimately proved enough for the Magpies to win the game after Jermain Defoe had cancelled out Demba Ba’s opener.
Nevertheless, that afternoon represented a landmark occasion for a likeable young lad who has gone on to earn superstar status for club and country. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing from there, as Harry, now 24, explains.
“At that time (the start of the 2012-13 season) I wanted to try to make my way into the team, try to start in the Premier League and become a first-choice striker but it wasn’t to be,” he said. “It wasn’t a great year for me personally – I went on loan to Norwich and got a couple of injuries, then went to Leicester and didn’t really play as much as I’d have liked so it was a tough year but one I learned a lot from and it made me a better player for it.”
Harry began the following campaign with our Under-21s and ended it with a little run of goals at senior level under Tim Sherwood before his career skyrocketed under Mauricio Pochettino during the 2014-15 season, to the point that he’s now scored 99 senior goals in our colours and captained England in their most recent matches against Scotland and France.
Thinking back to that day at Newcastle in August, 2012, could Harry have imaged he’d be where he is now – one of the most respected strikers in European football and loved by fans wherever he goes?
“I always wanted to (have that status) and always worked hard for it,” he admitted. “I probably didn’t think it would happen so quickly but that’s why you work hard, that’s why you put the extra sessions in and that’s why you do what you do away from football as well. Obviously I’m really proud of where I am now and I hope to go on even further and keep getting better.”
Kicking-off the new season by bringing up his Spurs century would surely be an ideal way to do that!