Silverware for Under-17s in Germany
Sun 09 September 2018, 20:44|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-17s lifted the Euro Youth Cup in St Wendel, Germany, on Sunday after another successful international tournament campaign.
Several players came out in credit over the two-day event as Harvey White's penalty gave us a 1-0 victory over Galatasaray in the final, a match that followed on from an excellent 3-0 win over Belgian side Anderlecht in the semis.
Defender Luis Binks caught the eye throughout the competition, as did midfielder White, winger J'Neil Bennett was named Player of the Tournament and coach Matt Wells singled out Rayan Clarke for praise after the wide attacker captained a young squad that included 10 scholars and a number of impressive youngsters from our Under-16s.
“It's been a very good tournament and a special mention goes to Rayan because he captained the team throughout the weekend brilliantly,” he said. “His attitude and mentality was superb and that was one of the catalysts for us winning the competition. Josh Oluwayemi in goal also did well in that respect – both of those were a credit to the group.
“In general, this win has been a culmination of the individuals improving their skills and habits. They're a willing group who've made a positive start to the season but it is only the start – the boys are desperate to continue that level of improvement and coming out to Germany and winning such a high-quality tournament should give them extra belief and confidence as we move into a period now where the cup games start to come in, the UEFA Youth League starts to come in and soon enough we'll be competing in four different competitions.”
Matt described our performance in the final as “really mature” as we dominated for large spells and won by a solitary goal to lift the trophy. With all games played over 40 minutes, we took the lead after 12 minutes when Clarke cut in from the right and produced some good skill in the box, resulting in him being fouled by a Galatasaray defender. The ball fell to Nile John who scored, but the referee pulled play back and awarded a penalty for the offence on Clarke. Thankfully, White stayed composed to score from the spot. Having controlled the vast majority of the game, we had to defend a handful of aerial attacks late in the game, but held firm to claim the silverware.
Earlier on Sunday we beat Anderlecht 3-0 in the semi-finals. Having drawn 0-0 with the Belgian side in the group stage on Saturday, we improved on that performance to register an emphatic win with Rafferty Pedder, Chay Cooper and substitute Max Robson on target, following a big save from Oluwayemi when the game was still goalless.
We qualified for the semi-finals as the second-placed team in Group A, following the draw with Anderlecht and an opening 3-1 triumph over local side 1. FC Saarbrücken on Saturday, where White's early penalty was added to by goals from Tarrelle Whittaker and John, before Saarbrücken pulled one back late on.