Armando Shashoua: “I’m tingling just thinking about the new stadium”
Tue 19 March 2019, 17:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Armando Shashoua first arrived at Spurs over 10 years ago, aged seven. Now 18, and having progressed through the Academy age groups to captain our Under-18s this season, he will walk out of the tunnel as part of the first Spurs team to play in our world-class new stadium on Sunday (3pm).
Unbeaten in the Under-18 Premier League this season and battling it out with Arsenal for the title, our Under-18s take on Southampton in the first Test Event at the new stadium.
Can you imagine what that means to Armando and his team-mates? A central midfielder who has played his part in the team’s unbeaten league campaign – now stretching to 16 games – and run to the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League, Armando told us how he reacted to the news that our Under-18s would play the first match at the stadium.
“It was one of the most exciting things I’ve heard since I’ve been at the Club, and I’ve been here a while!” he said. “I’ve been here for 10 years, so I really feel I’m part of the Club and to be part of the game that makes history by being the first at such a special stadium is a great feeling.
"The stadium is there for us and for future generations. The Club has invested so much into it and to be able to go there and experience playing there ourselves is something special.
“Every player in the Academy has to believe they have a chance to progress and to be part of the first team one day, so to have this taste of what it means to play at the stadium is so important for us all. It’s so exciting.”
One of the key messages from the Academy is not to forget the business in hand - this is a vital match against Southampton as the team continues to pursue the title.
“This is a big game and to play it at the new stadium makes it into an even bigger game,” added Armando. “We know we have to go out there and perform. We know the fans will want to see us win as well. We have to use the stadium opening and the fans there as extra motivation.
“It’s been a great season so far, the players have been brilliant and it’s been an absolute honour to captain the team through most of it.”
And how will it feel to open the dressing room door and see his shirt on his peg - and then take to the pitch for the first time? “That will be incredible. I can’t wait. I’m tingling right now just thinking about it...”