Lawrence takes next step on his life-changing journey
A former Tottenham Hotspur Foundation student has been given his first taste of international football after being selected for Chile's Under-20 squad.
Young goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux, a first year professional with the club, was handed his country’s number 22 jersey as they competed in the Copa Sudamericano U20 Tournament in Argentina.Making his debut in Chile’s build-up friendlies against Chilean Premier League sides Rangers and Union Temuco, Lawrence is yet to make an appearance as Chile have blazed a trail in the tournament, securing a place in the final group stage having won four out of four matches so far in the group stages.
Six teams progress into the final group stage with the top four qualifying for FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey in June.
Copa Sudamericano U20 Tournament runs until February 3.
The 19-year-old’s story is an inspirational one, as only two years ago Lawrence was completing his GCSEs at St Thomas More School in Wood Green having been released by Brentford earlier that year.
It was after enrolling on the Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre (EFDC) programme that Lawrence’s talents were spotted and the North Londoner’s life changed, signing professional contract at Spurs.
He's since impressed in eight starts - four each in the NextGen Series and the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.
The EFDC programme, which was nominated for a 2012 Sport Industry Award, aims to directly address high levels of unemployment among young people within the local area.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation works in partnership with three local colleges to encourage 16-18 year-olds who are classified as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) back into education using the hook of Academy-standard football coaching and regular matches with other colleges.
Tony Tillbrook, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s EFDC Manager, said: "Lawrence's journey since progressing from the St Thomas More EFDC continues to astound those who have been fortunate enough to have worked with him.
"I'm of course extremely proud of Lawrence's achievements and long may they continue.
"He is an example to those either currently on the programme or to those wishing to apply for a place at one of our EFDCs, showing what is possible if they're prepared to work hard on and off the pitch."
The Education and Football Development Centre are holding the following trials:
- St. Thomas More Catholic School, Friday 25 January, 4-6pm
- Barnet and Southgate College, to be held at the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre, Tuesday 19 February, 8.45am-12pm
- Waltham Forest College, to be held at Wadham Lodge Sports Ground, Friday 22 February, 8.45am-12pm
To find out more about the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Educational and Football Development Centre Programme, visit www.tottenhamhotspur.com/foundation