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Testing time for Dave

English Barclays Premiership

Few footballers will have walked the same path as Dave McEwen this summer. As the Premiership's finest travelled the globe in search of the world's best beaches, McEwen went back to school.

The young striker delayed joining Spurs full-time last season to complete his business studies degree at the University Of London. Having completed that course in April, he was able to join his new team-mates on a more regular basis at the end of the season.

But once the season was the over, he returned to the serious stuff - exams. McEwen, 22, has just finished 15 days' worth of exams after swapping golden beaches for biros since the end of the season. "All I heard was stories of how everyone was going to these great places on holiday," said McEwen, who made his Premiership debut against Derby in April. "And while they were out there, I'll was here studying. It was quite tough but I did the best I could."

McEwen has juggled his professional football dream with academic life since arriving at White Hart Lane from Dulwich Hamlet in January. "It was a three-year course and I'd already done two-and-a-half years when I signed," he revealed. "If I'd only done a year it might have been different but it seemed a waste to throw all that work away. The club was great about it though and allowed me to join on a part-time basis to start with. It was the right thing for me to do and they've been fantastic."

It promises to be a testing summer for McEwen. After the stress and strain of exams he has to face the rigours of another examination - pre-season training. "I've heard some horror stories," he said. "But I did a pre-season at Brentford and although it is bound to be another step up at Spurs, I hope I'll be okay. It is something you have to do."

Photographs courtesy of Action Images Ltd.