Joy for Academy players as we reach Under-17 final
Thu 10 March 2022, 16:19|Tottenham Hotspur
Stuart Lewis praised the “outstanding performance” of our youngsters after we reached the final of the Under-17 Premier League Cup with a 3-1 win over Charlton Athletic on Wednesday night (9 March).
Rio Kyerematen, Jamie Donley and Charlie Sayers were on target at Dartford FC as we continued our impressive journey in the competition and earned a spot in the final against Manchester City.
“We played really well on the night and thoroughly deserved the victory,” said coach Stuart. “It was an outstanding performance in a good game inside a stadium and there was a really good energy around the group.
“We could’ve been a bit more clinical in the final third but we were excellent throughout and it was a real, honest team display, the work ethic and desire was evident and I’m really proud of the boys to get to a final. We want to create that winning mentality for our young players and the boys thoroughly deserve to celebrate and enjoy the moment. It was a really good evening for the players and the Academy and we’re really looking forward to the final against Manchester City now.”
First introduced last season as an amalgamation of the Under-18 and Under-16 Premier League Cups during the pandemic, the Under-17 tournament has continued this term alongside the regular Under-18 games programme in order to provide more opportunities for first-year scholars to play competitive football.
With our Under-18s squad primarily comprising first-years and Under-16s in this season’s league and cup competitions, it’s given the players a chance to pit their wits against more of their peers and they’ve shown their abilities with a series of good performances, including a 9-0 win over Arsenal in the group stage.
“We spoke with the players after the game and we all know there have been some tough experiences in various competitions this season where our first-years have predominantly made up the Under-18s team and we’ve sometimes been playing against second-year heavy teams, but the most important thing is that we’ve learned from those matches and we’ve been able to call on our experiences in the FA Youth Cup and Under-18 Premier League Cup to help us develop,” added Stuart. “It’s all combined to make us stronger and that was in evidence against Charlton where we were able to go and express ourselves and play to the standard that we did with the character and belief that was on show. It was great to see that from the players, even after the game. We’re really pleased with how it went but we have to continue to work hard, with some big games still to come in the Under-18 Premier League, as well as the Under-17 final.”
Wednesday marked the second time we’ve met Charlton in the competition this season – we lost 6-3 against them in the group stage in addition to beating Arsenal and Fulham (1-0), before a 2-1 victory away to Southampton in the last eight set up the semi-final clash.
We took the lead on 26 minutes when Kyerematen swept home Donley’s ball across goal, Daniel Kanu equalised for the Addicks on 35 minutes but Donley restored our lead from the spot just before the hour mark after Alfie Dorrington was fouled in the box during a corner routine. Sayers made it 3-1 with a header from Sam Amo-Ameyaw’s corner five minutes from time.
Spurs: Gunter, Andiyapan, Meghoma (Chaplin 78), Willhoft-King, Dorrington, Sayers, McKnight, Abbott, Donley, Kyerematen (Amo-Ameyaw 75), Williams.