Philip Ifil was the recent recipient of a double boost - a first team recall and a new contract.
Philip Ifil was the recent recipient of a double boost - a first team recall and a new contract.Over two years on from his debut against Liverpool on the opening day of season 2004-05, the full-back was drafted into the team for our Carling Cup 4th round tie against Port Vale.
The nearly 20-year-old admitted that stepping out in front of a full-house at the Lane stirred a few fond memories from when he was marking Harry Kewell on that August afternoon and confirmed his longing for more of the same.
"Getting in and around the first team is my objective, to see how many games I can get and develop from there," reasoned Philip. "Obviously my real aim is to get in the team every week for Spurs.
"The years fly by when you are enjoying yourself. The Liverpool game I will never forget because it was my debut and when I stepped back out onto the pitch against Port Vale it didn't feel like two years ago.
"Just being out there playing again felt great, with my mum and dad in a big crowd - it was an occasion for all of us," added the player who was also on substitute duty for the home leg of our UEFA Cup tie against Slavia Prague.
"Getting on the bench is a big thing, but starting a game is much bigger. I just want to do it more and more. There are a lot of big teams still left in the Carling Cup so Southend at home is a good draw for us, although they will provide tough opposition," continued Phil, who can claim an assist from the Port Vale game as it was his cross that led to Jermain Defoe netting our third in the 3-1 win after extra time.
"The ball came to me and I thought 'just hit it in the box' and Jermain scoring made me really happy."
The England Under-20 international realises that he will have to remain patient with his ambitions over a first team breakthrough, given the competition for places. He feels the award of a new contract offers him the time to reach the required level.
"We made a great signing in Pascal who is doing really well. I will look at his game to pick out his strengths and take bit from him, along with the help of the coaching staff.
"I then want to develop my game towards being in his position.
"I signed my contract and now have time to work on my game. I will work with everyone here towards my aim of getting in the first team.
"I don't put a time frame on anything as you have to be patient. My last big opportunity was two years ago, now I have played in the Carling Cup and whenever I get called upon in the future I want to make sure I do well."