Positive steps for Academy
Tue 28 July 2020, 16:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-23s and Under-18s are stepping up their pre-season preparations this week as they begin to report back to Hotspur Way.
Having seen their 2019/20 league campaigns curtailed by the outbreak of coronavirus, players from both age groups kept themselves busy at home during lockdown with specially-tailored exercise programmes and tasks set remotely by our team of Academy staff.
Following their usual summer breaks in June, they officially started their pre-season period on 1 July under similar circumstances but, as of yesterday (Monday), they’ve begun the process of returning to work at the Training Centre in accordance with Premier League guidelines, enjoying initial small group training sessions under the tutelage of our coaches with social distancing measures in place.
“What we’ve got are a lot of young, enthusiastic, talented footballers who are pleased to be back at work and hungry to get out there with a ball at their feet,” said Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor. “We’ve been pleased with the standard of work we’ve seen from them remotely over the last few weeks and now it’s important that we as coaches can spend some time on the grass with them to really start the process of getting back to playing football.”
Among those taking to the pitches this week are our new intake of first-year scholars, who Matt spoke glowingly about earlier this month. We are also pleased to confirm the signing of young midfielder Alfie Devine from Wigan Athletic. The 15-year-old, who featured for Wigan Under-18s in their FA Youth Cup run last season, including a substitute appearance against us in the fourth round, has joined our Academy set-up as a first-year Under-18s player.
“Alfie comes to us hungry to develop and make progress, just like the 10 young men who have moved up from our Under-16s this year,” added Matt. “It’s an exciting time for these players as they start this new chapter in their lives as full-time employees of the football club and begin to understand what’s expected of them, taking on board the DNA of Tottenham Hotspur. Now it’s about listening, learning and working as diligently as they possibly can under the circumstances, while we continue to follow the Premier League protocols around returning to training. There’s a really positive mood around the place at the moment and we’re all looking forward to the start of the new season.”