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Ledley goes Dutch

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).

Ledley King says it is vital for England Under-21s to follow Sven Goran Eriksson’s senior team’s lead and qualify for the European Championship Finals next summer.

Our outstanding defensive prospect looks certain to be part of the U21 team that will face Holland in play-offs next month for a place in the finals on May 16-28, 2002.

England will be confident after beating the Dutch 4-0 in a friendly in August.

Ledley explains: “It is very important to get through to the finals. English football is on a high at the moment with the senior team reaching the World Cup and it’s important we qualify as well.

“It will be difficult. We will be confident though because we played them recently, I didn’t play, but we played well against them in the 4-0 win.”

The big question, of course, is whether or not Ledley will find himself involved in a certain tournament in Japan and Korea next summer.

He says he is taking little notice of newspaper reports pondering which players will make a late run into England's World Cup squad.

It is a bi-annual subject matter for football writers, who say every squad for a major tournament generally features one or two young players who did not play in qualifying and bursts onto the scene in time to press for late inclusion.

Names thrown into the hat recently include the likes of Manchester United's Luke Chadwick, Arsenal's Francis Jeffers, Derby's Seth Johnson and, of course, Ledley.

His form at the heart of our defence has certainly caught the eye and it is surely only a matter of time before he attracts the attention of Eriksson. Whether this is before or after England's trip to the Far East remains to be seen.

Ledley rightly says thoughts of that nature have not entered his thinking. He is determined to keep performing for Spurs and see what reward that brings.

"I just want to continue to play for Tottenham and, hopefully, if I'm doing that, I'm confident I'll play well enough and if that did happen it would be a dream.

"My main though is to keep playing for Tottenham and see what happens."

Ledley, meanwhile, continues to make his mark as part of the U21 side that is now bossed by former England star David Platt.

Platt only took up the reigns four games ago and has enjoyed a 100 per cent record so far, winning three qualifiers and a friendly against Holland.

The pick of the qualifiers was 2-1 win in Germany, but top place was sealed last Friday with a win, by the same scoreline, against Greece at Ewood Park.

The former Villa, Sampdoria and Arsenal midfielder certainly seems to be getting the best out of the players and Ledley feels that his fresh approach is paying dividends.

"The new manager has come in with new ideas and it seems to be working well. I think it is the fresh ideas, we are enjoying it with him and it shows in the results.

"Sometimes it is a boost when a new manager comes in and everyone wants to impress to get in the team. Everyone has been playing well."

By Richard Hubbard