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Youth Profile - Michael Malcolm

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).

Michael Malcolm was watching with interest as Jamie Slabber made his first team debut against Liverpool.

The pair were occasional strike partners for our Under-19s and the Reserves this season and seeing his young team-mate make that all important breakthrough into our senior side gave Michael - and all our younger players - a real boost.

"Obviously it gave me hope to see the manager bringing a young player into the Premiership," says 17-year-old Michael. "It makes me think that maybe if I can hit some good form next season I could be following Jamie and it gives me something to aim for."

Harrow-born Michael started his career with local Sunday League side Belmont and was a schoolboy with Wycombe Wanderers for a couple of years before joining us part-time three years ago.

Last season, while still a schoolboy, he was playing and scoring frequently for our Under-17s, netting 11 times in 26 appearances and also featuring once in our FA Youth Cup run.

And he's continued that impressive progress this term, having played mostly for Pat Holland's Under-19s while also breaking into the Reserves. His reward was a professional contract just days after his 17th birthday last October, something he describes as 'a fantastic personal achievement'.

But he reveals it's been tough going since joining our Academy full-time last summer.

"When I was here last year, I was coming in three times a week, so I thought I knew what to expect this season, but I was wrong! It's been hard work - the training, the fitness work - everything," he says.

"Playing for the Under-17s last year has helped me though, because I'd had that experience already when I started playing this season."

Michael opened his account for the Reserves with our solitary strike in a 2-1 defeat by West Ham United as well as the FA Youth Cup fifth round winner against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

"I've think I've performed quite well but not scored as many goals as I should have done," he says. "I managed to get a few goals and scoring for the Reserves was one of my best moments of the season so far. Playing for the Reserves is very demanding physically, the pace of the game is faster but you do get more time on the ball.

"Another highlight was playing for England Under-18s against France in December, it was my first cap at that level and was a real honour."

It's been a real season of progression for Michael, going from schoolboy to Reserve player within the space of a matter of months, but he's coped well with it all and is looking for more of the same next year.

"Of course it has been a big jump for me and while I wasn't expecting it, I did sort of hope that it might happen. Next season, I've got to be looking at playing regularly for the Under-19s and the Reserves, while keeping half an eye on a possible first team call up."

Coach's Comments

Michael came into the Under-19s this season, but the fact that he is a first-year has meant the physical side of things have been tough, although credit to him because he's dealt with it quite well.

His attitude and work-rate have been good but he knows there are certain aspects of his game which he needs to improve on. He gets into a lot of good goalscoring areas but just needs to increase the percentage of chances that he converts.

Michael is a good student, always willing to learn and he has great pace. Next season, when he's physically stronger, he should be looking for a good year

Pat Holland
Under-19s Manager

By Jon Rayner, programme editor