Spurs vs Chelsea U18s - Kieran's preview
13 March 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Kieran McKenna expects another high-quality match for our Under-18s against Chelsea on Saturday.
Having played the Blues at their Cobham training base a fortnight ago in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League and again at White Hart Lane last midweek in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup semi-final, we meet our London rivals in the first game of the league’s play-off stage at the Training Centre this weekend.
As was the case in our previous domestic meeting, Under-18s Coach Kieran says our side could differ slightly from that which takes to the field at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of our Youth Cup showdown on Wednesday.
“Every time we play against Chelsea we know it’s going to be a top game with two sides looking to play football the right way and a lot of good players on the pitch,” he said.
“Obviously we’re in the middle of the two legs of the FA Youth Cup semi-final and I’m sure both teams might be a bit different from what they would be for the second leg on Wednesday night, but nevertheless it’s a game we’re looking forward to.”
Saturday marks the first of seven games in the second phase of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League, with the top four sides from the southern division meeting their northern counterparts in an eight-team play-off.
Throughout these matches, Kieran expects to be able to introduce more Under-16s players into the fray as the process of transition between age groups at this stage of the season continues.
“Having qualified for the top group, we’re guaranteed A-grade games from here on in and our last seven league games are all going to fit that bill,” he added.
“We’re in the phase of the season where there’s a lot of movement between squads and one of our primary aims is getting the Under-18s players up into the Under-21s.
“We have some top quality games to look forward to and again they’ll give us an opportunity for some of our best young players who are coming in the door next year to get experience at the upper level.”
We’ll have live updates from Saturday’s game on Twitter @SpursOfficial. Kick-off is at 11am.
Elsewhere, Academy midfielder Ismail Azzaoui was on target for Belgium Under-17s in a 4-0 win over Northern Ireland on Thursday in a UEFA Under-17 Championship Elite Round qualifier.