John McDermott: Academy players 'part of historic moment'
Mon 11 March 2019, 17:39|Tottenham Hotspur
John McDermott has revealed the 'indescribable' feeling among our Academy players when they were told they’d be part of history at our new stadium.
As announced last week, our Under-18s - unbeaten in the league this season - will take on Southampton in the first ever football match to be held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday 24 March.
It serves as the first of two high-profile Test Event matches in advance of the first Premier League fixture to be held at our world-class new home and, for Academy chief John, the excitement among players, staff and fans alike is palpable as tickets continue to be snapped up.
“It’s indescribable, the reality that our young players will have this opportunity,” said John, who is preparing his young charges for another tough away day against FC Porto in the UEFA Youth League this week.
“The excitement is going to hit so many different people. It’ll be fantastic for the players, for the fans and for the staff to be in our new home. We’ve all seen the growth of the stadium via the webcams, you can drive past it, you can see it from the train, but to actually be in there for the first game will be an incredible sensation.
“When I first mentioned it to the players and staff, it was wonderful to see the looks on their faces and then quickly their realisation that they can be a part of an historic moment for our club. It’s both an honour and a responsibility.”
Always highly-motivated to learn and develop their talents, our young players will have the added support of nearly 30,000 fans behind them when they take to the field against the Saints. Please come and support us and help us test the stadium so we can open it.
“When you look back, so far this year we’ve played a lot of games and there’s always a special excitement and a good pressure that comes with playing in a first team stadium in front of a crowd, but this takes that up another level,” added John.
“There’s no doubt that a stadium, a crowd and, on this occasion, the fact that we’ll be testing out our new stadium gives a taster to the players for what is possible for them in the future. For us as coaches, it also demonstrates who is currently capable of dealing with high-profile situations. It’s going to be an unbelievable experience for both sets of players and we’re all determined to produce an exciting game, one that all Spurs fans can be proud of.”