July 29, 2014

Spurs youth round-up

Ledley King appointed Under-18 coach

News that may have gone a little under the radar due to the North American tour was that legendary captain, Ledley King, has been appointed as a part-time Under-18 coach. Academy Manager & Head of Coaching, John McDermott told the official site:

“Ledley has come through the coaching training programme undertaken by a number of senior players in recent seasons, including Scott Parker, Brad Friedel and Michael Dawson.

We are now looking for Ledley to spend 2-3 days a week assisting our Under-18 group with their on and off pitch development.

Using senior players as role models within our Academy is a scheme we are keen to nurture and develop further.”

There are few better people to learn from than McDermott. I wish Ledley well, and look forward to seeing him at Hotspur Way!

Ugo Ehiogu appointed Under-21 coach

Ugo Ehiogu has been appointed as our Under-21 coach, taking over from Chris Ramsey, who left the club after Tim Sherwood’s dismissal. Ehiogu has been working with our young players for some time (Under-16s, I believe) and so knows our set-up. Presumably his work so far has been such that he was deserving of this promotion – it’ll be interesting to see what style the team plays in the forthcoming season.

Assisting Ehiogu is former Spurs Academy player, Matthew Wells. After suffering from a series of injuries which stopped him from ‘making it’, Matthew decided to go into coaching. In his relatively short career (he’s in his 20s), he’s worked at Stevenage as Head of Technical Development, as well as at the Nike Academy as an Assistant Coach.

Under-21 tournament

We recently took a young Under-21 squad to Ploufragan, north-west France to compete in the National Under-21 Tournament.

The travelling party was as per the picture below:

THFC

Back row: Harry Voss, Nathan Oduwa, Jon Obika, Anton Walkes, Dominic Ball, Ruben Lameiras, Daniel Akindayini, Harry Winks, Joshua Onomah, Tom Glover
Front row: Shaquile Coulthirst, Alex McQueen, Will Miller, Filip Lesniak, Aaron McEneff, Emmanuel Sonupe, Kyle Walker-Peters, Cameron Carter-Vickers

Our results were as follows:

Olympique Marseille: lost 1-0.
Lorient: won 1-0 (Onomah).
EA Guingamp: lost 2-1 (Lameiras).
Auxerre: lost 1-0.

Without knowing the ages of the other squads, it’s quite difficult to assess our performance, but it’s worth noting that the majority of our squad were 18-years old or younger, so to be playing against players potentially three years older will stand them in good stead.

Musa Yahaya

The young Nigerian, Musa Yahaya, has been training with us in pre-season, after he signed a pre-contract agreement in March (having reportedly turned down Arsenal and Ajax).

He was unable to sign a full contract as he does not turn 17 until mid-December.

He is expected to join La Liga side, Celta Vigo, on loan in September – he doesn’t have a work permit, and the regulations are sufficiently different in Spain to allow him to play there.

Yahaya is highly rated and is already in the Nigeria Under-20 squad despite technically being an Under-17 player.

This website describes how he signed him in March from Mutunchi Academy for a fee of one million Euros (excluding performance related incentives) and explains his contract situation:

The Nigeria youth international has signed a pre-contract with Spurs, but there is a black and white agreement in place that he will pen a professional deal with effect from January 1, 2016, and by then he would have attained the age of maturity.

For agreeing to sign a preliminary contract with the Londoners, Yahaya would be paid £125,000 in five equal installments excluding his annual wage of £120,000, on the proviso that he remains on the books of his nursery club, Mutunchi Academy until December 31, 2015.

Musa Yahaya’s contract with Spurs will expire on June 30, 2020, and he is set to pocket £50,000 when he makes his first Premier League start for the club.

Rareş Lazăr‏

Meanwhile, we’ve reportedly picked up another young talent in Romanian, Rareş Lazăr‏.

Rares Lazar

Rareş has been signed from FC Vaslui, who play in Liga I in Romania. Last season he became the second youngest player to have ever appeared in Liga I at 15 years, 1 month and 20 days!

The central midfielder had trials at QPR and Liverpool, but has agreed to join Spurs, signing a two-year deal.

This year’s scholars

Spurs have been, as usual, slow to update the Academy section of the official site, but I would expect the new intake to include:

Thomas Glover (goalkeeper)
Thomas McDermott (goalkeeper)
Christian Maghoma (centre back)
Cameron Carter-Vickers (centre back)
Chris Paul (right back)
Joseph Muscatt (left back)
Zenon Stylianides (central midfielder)
Charlie Owens (central midfielder)
Ismail Azzaoui (attacking midfielder)
Armani Daly (winger/forward)
Charlie Hayford (attacking midfielder)
Ryan Loft (forward)

The players moving up to the second year are:

Joe Pritchard
Lloyd Ross
Harry Voss
Anton Walkes
Luke Amos
Anthony Georgiou
Cy Goddard
Kyle Walker-Peters
Joshua Onomah
Shayon Harrison

However, Onomah has been given a professional contract, such is his ability. I would expect him to be with the Under-21 squad, and there’s a fair chance that a couple of others will join him there – Kyle Walker-Peters certainly, but also Carter-Vickers, despite being a first year.

Players to watch

We have a number of impressive players who are close to making appearances for the first team; assuming that we stay in the cup competitions, I would expect to see glimpses of the following players:

Dominic Ball – centre-back who made the bench away at Benfica.
Harry Winks – central midfielder, and another player who was an unused substitute away at Benfica.
Connor Ogilvie – versatile defender who also made the bench away at Benfica.
Nathan Oduwa – tricky forward who normally plays wide.
Joshua Onomah – gifted central midfielder; Martin Lipton of The Mirror recently suggested that he might be in the England team by 2018.

Of course we’ve also seen Mason, Carroll, Ceballos, Falque, Fryers, Fredericks, Archer, McGee and Veljovic in the first team squad in America, and I’d expect that we’ll see more of some of these, whilst others might be sent on loan or sold.

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