Introducing our new Under-18s players
Tue 14 July 2020, 12:00|Tottenham Hotspur
We are delighted to introduce the 10 young players who have joined our Under-18s squad as full-time, first-year scholars.
Goalkeepers Adam Hayton and Aaron Maguire, defenders Dante Cassanova and Jordan Hackett, midfielders Oliver Turner, Jez Davies, Renaldo Torraj, Khalon Haysman and Roshaun Mathurin, plus striker Dane Scarlett make up this year’s intake and have now started work as Tottenham Hotspur players, joining our existing group of 14 scholars who are moving into their second year of full-time football.
With social distancing measures still in place, all of our Under-18s players – like their Under-23 counterparts – have begun their pre-season period working remotely from home, with a view to begin reporting in to the Training Centre from 27 July.
“It’s an extremely exciting time but also it’s a huge opportunity for these young men who are coming up as scholars now,” said Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor. “They’ve got lots of hard work in front of them, the next 12 months are going to go so quickly for them – they’ll blink and it’ll be over – but they’ve got to give everything they can, listen and learn. They’ll get better technically, they’ll become more tactically aware, they’ll understand football better and we’ll help them to become well-rounded young men.
“Currently we’re setting all of their work for them on a daily basis as they work from home – that’s technical, tactical, analysis sessions and education as well, so they’ve got lots to undertake and we’re asking them to show a high level of self-motivation and discipline. It’s been a really pleasing first couple of weeks, considering the position that the world is in at the moment. As a group of players and for us as coaching staff, we’re looking forward to getting back to the Training Centre when it’s the right time to do so and having some interaction with the boys face to face, so we can really start implementing the fundamentals of what it means to be a full-time employee of the Club. The boys understand that it’s a privilege to be wearing the Tottenham Hotspur kit and now to be an employee here. It’s about the players understanding the values and the culture of the football club and if we can mirror player development alongside winning, we’ll be very happy – everyone is raring to go.”
During the 2019/20 campaign, Matt was able to hand match minutes to four of the new recruits in the Under-18 Premier League – Dante and Jordan made appearances at right- and left-back, while Roshaun and Dane featured in the attacking positions. Matt believes that early exposure will benefit them greatly and it’s something he hopes to replicate as the 2020/21 season progresses.
“Those experiences will help the boys but it goes to show that age is irrelevant – if you’ve been training well, you’ll put yourself in with a chance of earning an opportunity to feature for the Under-18s,” he said. “Hopefully we can replicate that and have some of the new Under-16s, when the time is right, come up and play for the Under-18s again because it’s vitally important that we continue that cycle – it represents continuity within the football club. I believe last season’s experiences will make it easier for the first-years to integrate into the group with the second-years and it’s also going to mean that on a daily basis, training is of a competitive nature. We’re very fortunate to have 24 scholars for next season and everything is looking extremely healthy at the moment.”