Spurs Youth Players - Where are they now?

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Have a discussion with a fellow Spur about youth and the phrases "haven't had a player break through from the youth setup since Ledley King" and "Bostock and Parrett prove our youth system doesn't work" tend to come up or something along those lines. Harsh comments in my view seeing as we just sold one of our squad players and youth products for a cool £8-9m which would make that about the 8th highest transfer fee received in our history.

I started taking more of an interest in our youth team when I read an interview a few years back @ WindyCOYS WindyCOYS conducted along with one of the admins over at GG with John McDermott our academy manager. It was basically a discussion about our new youth setup (set up around the Jol/Ricardo Moniz era), how successful we expected it to be and went on about Alex Inglethorpe's and Chris Ramsey's role and how the aim was for them to be the best youth coaches and how progressing to a first team manager shouldn't necessarily be seen as the be all and end all.

One thing that came out of the interview, which took place around the early tenure of Harry Redknapp, was how even with Moniz gone his methods remained and with the number of youth team players who have since made first team apperances it does seem something is working. Unfortunately I've lost the link to that interview now, it was posted on COYS a few years back so if anyone is registered there please quote it here for reference.

Since the Premier League is now over 20 years old let's try and look back at the players who tried to make it through from the youth team and were around even for a bit during the Levy era (2001/02). All the below were at some point at least on the bench with the club. For argument's sake I won't be including people like Huddlestone and Lennon who were bought in their teens and had already first team game time behind them, therefore Anthony Gardner, Rohan Ricketts and even John Bostock will also not be included in this!

Stephen Carr (1991-2004) - The other successful academy product along with Ledley King, now retired after a final season with Birmingham last season. Left Spurs to join Newcastle on bad terms for £2m. Probably regrets doing so ever since.

Jonnie Jackson (1999-2006) - Left sided midfielder and England U-20 international who made 20 odd appearances for us, released by us at the age of 23 and has had a decent lower league career notably with Colchester and Charlton.

Stephen Clemence (1994-2003) - Incredibly made almost 100 apperances for us during the dark days of the late 90s in central midfield. A few major injury setbacks meant he was sold on for about £1m to Birmingham City where he made 120 appearances.

Alton Thelwell (1998-2003) - The new Ledley King? Sadly not, after 18 appearances for us was last seen making an appearance for Carshalton Athletic. He is 32 years old and only had a short first team career playing for Leyton Orient for 2 years.

Ciaran Toner (1998-2002) - This now 32 year old midfielder is without a club having last played for Guiseley in the Conference North in 2011/12 having failed to make a first team apperance for Spurs in the 2 years he was promoted to the first team.

John Piercy (1999-2002) - 8 apperances for Spurs and 30 for Brighton. Can't find any more information for this midfielder!

Yannick Kamanan (1999-2002) - There were high hopes for this foreign youth import with the fancy name. A striker no less. No appearances for Spurs and a fairly low key career in France, Israel and Turkey ensued.

Mark Yeates (2002-2007) - A winger with great potential who went out on several loan spells and even managed to get a contract extension with us. Managed a few appearances with Spurs before finally being sold to Colchester and then was snapped up by a relegated Middlesbrough before further stints in the Championship with Sheffield United and last year with a relatively successful Watford team. His contract was not renewed and has re-joined Phil Parkinson at promoted Bradford City in League One at the age of 28.

Jamie Slabber (2001-2005) - Another striker, therefore more high expectations, his one 10 minute cameo appearance in place of Gary Doherty saw him assist a Teddy Sheringham goal but was all the game time he got for Spurs. Released and has had a career mostly in the Conference league, currently playing for Sutton United at the age of 28.

Stephen Kelly (2000-2006) - Republic of Ireland international of who we had high hopes for in replacing Stephen Carr but ended up being an understudy to Paul Stalteri. Made 40 odd appearances for Spurs before being sold to Birmingham for around £1m, going on to play every single Premier League game for them in 2007/08. Had an unsuccessful 4 years at Fulham and now finds himself playing for Reading at the age of 29.

Ronnie Henry (2000-2003) - Released by the club this now 29 year old defender has gone on to make 280 apperances for Stevenage and currently find himself playing for Luton in the Conference.

Dean Marney (1993-2006) - Those two goals against Everton on New Year's Day 2005 in a 5-2 win earned him an U-21 cap a month later. A total of 8 games for Spurs saw his chances of breaking into the first team disappear with the signings of Jenas and Davids that summer. Hull City took him off our hands for an undisclosed fee and he went on to play for 125 games including their 2 Premier League campaigns before leaving for Burnley where he has made a further 100 or so appearances. He is now 29.

Rob Burch (2002-2007) - Goalkeeper, 6 loan spells whilst at Spurs without a first team game. Released from his contract, joined Sheffield Wednesday but didn't get any regular game time until he signed for Lincoln City where he made 92 apperances in 2 years. Has been without a club since released by Notts County in May 2012. Now 29.

Philip Ifil (2004-2008) - Thrown in at the deep end at right-back against Liverpool on the first day of the 2004/05 season following Stephen Carr's departure. Played another 90 minutes in a 1-0 win against Newcastle that season before getting his third and final appearance in 2007. He joined Colchester United for a six figure fee with add-ons and was last seen in January 2013 having a trial with Wrexham in the Conference league.

Lee Barnard (2002-2008) - Banging them in for fun for the reserves there were again high expectations from this striker, however a series of injuries when it looked like he would finally break through to the first team meant only 3 substitute appearances were to come. He joined Southend United where he scored 37 goals in 75 appearances, was then snapped up by Southampton where he scored one in every 3 games. Still on the books at Southampton but unlikely to get any more game time, has been out on loan a couple of times and is now 29 years old.

Jamie O'Hara (2003-2011) - Became a regular under Juande Ramos before being loaned out by Harry Redknapp to Portsmouth where he won player of the season for them. A back problem the following year meant he failed to get any more game time with Spurs, bringing his total games for the club to 34. A fee of £5m was thought to have been received from Wolves for his services.

Tommy Forecast (2002-2008) - Goalkeeper who made some excellent apperances in the FA Youth Cup. Made the bench 6 times for Spurs before moving on to Southampton for an undisclosed fee. Has only made 25 professional apperances in various loan spells whilst at Southampton. Has now been released by them and is without a club at the age of 26.

Andy Barcham (2005-2009) - Goal scoring winger who made a League Cup appearance for Spurs. Has had a good career getting plenty of game time at Gillingham and Scunthorpe and has signed up with Portsmouth for the new season.

Dorian Dervite (2006-2010) - Another foreign name therefore increased expectation especially as he was a France U-21 international. An appearance in the League Cup alongside Michael Dawson was as good as it got for him in a Spurs shirt, whereas a loan spell with Southend saw him voted player of the season for them. Moved to Villareal B and is now plying his trade with Charlton in the Championship.

Troy Archibald-Henville (2005-2010) - Having won a new deal with Spurs in 2009 he was finally sold to Exeter where he had previously had a couple of successful loan spells. Now playing for Swindon Town where 21-year old Spurs loanee Grant Hall is playing in his position.

Dean Parrett (2007-2013) - Heavily hyped due to having cost a transfer fee, a decent loan spell with Charlton and Aldershot aside he did not live upto expectation even though he was called up to the 2011 England U-20 World Cup squad.

David Button (2005-2012) - Surprisingly sold by Spurs to Charlton for £500,000 towards the end of the 2012 summer transfer window. Tony Parks just a few weeks earlier said he expected him to be challenging for the first team jersey in a few years as he had made steady progress in his 13 loan spells from League Two to the Championship. There were rumours a lot of the coaches were not happy with him being sold but as Hugo Lloris was signed only a few days later this meant we had 4 senior goalkeepers on our books with Lloris, Friedel, Gomes and Cudicini. Only made one appearance for Spurs in August 2009 coming on in the 81st minute against Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup for Carlo Cudicini. Only made a few apperances for Charlton last season and has since signed for Brentford. Even created a blog on this player: http://spursplayers.blogspot.com/2012/08/david-button.html

Steven Caulker (2007-2013) - Arguably our most successful youth product since King and Carr. Surprisingly sold to Cardiff for a reported £8-9m after breaking into the first team last season and has already had 1 England cap.

Jake Nicholson (2008-2013) - An injury that kept him out the whole of last season meant this young midfielder didn't get a new contract this season. Managed to get one Europa League appearance under Harry Redknapp for the club however and has been picked up by Premier League Crystal Palace who obviously see something in him.

There have been plenty other youth products that never really got close to making the first team and who were also released or moved on in recent years such as Mirko Ranieri, Oscar Jansson, Jesse Waller-Lassen, Kudus Oyenuga, Callum Tapping, Paul-Jose M'Poku, Jack Barthram and Jack Munns.

Players currently at the club
Danny Rose (2007-) Was signed for our reserve squad and never actually made a first team appearance for Leeds. Has since made a number of first team apperances for Spurs and now at 23 years of age is expected to get some more game time for Spurs after his successful loan spell with Sunderland last season.

Simon Dawkins (2004-) Unlikely to ever break into the first team, is now 25 years old and our longest serving player. Surprisingly snapped up by Aston Villa on loan last season and got some game time. Has been successful in the MLS and likely to end up back there this season if he can't get another loan spell in England.

Jonathan Obika (2006-) Obika is now 22 years old and has 2 UEFA Cup appearances for the club in 2008/09 and an FA Cup and League Cup appearance last season. His contract was extended last year until 2014 so this year is likely to be his make or break season. If he cannot get a squad number then a Cup appearance will be his final chance. Likely to be moved on.

Ryan Mason (2007-) One of 4 loanees at Swindon and one of our better prospects should he remain injury free. Playing for a new contract but already 22 years old.

Jake Livermore (2006-) After 6 loan spells finally broke into the team for the 2011/12 season under Harry Redknapp and earned a contract to 2016. Has since seen less game time under AVB and is expected to move on eventually for more game time.

Cameron Lancaster (2009-) One sub apperance against Wigan in 2011/12. Spent 2012/13 injured and with his contract expiring this season he will need to work hard to earn a new one at the age of 20.

Adam Smith (2007-) 22 year old right back with great potential, surprisingly joined a Championship club again on loan this season after a successful loan spell with Millwall last season. He was expected to make the jump up and get a Premier League loan this time round. Signed a contract in January 2013 until 2016 so the club clearly rate him.

Tom Carroll (200:cool: Has had two decent years at Spurs and now has over 20 appearances for the club and is hoping to get even more game time this season at the age of 21. Club have given him a contract to 2016.

Massimo Luongo (2010-) One of our best youth players and one which is expected to break into the first team squad in the coming years. Currently one of four players on loan at Swindon and probably the best of the lot. 20 year old defensive midfielder with a bright future. Even created a blog on him: http://spursplayers.blogspot.com/2012/09/massimo-luongo.html

Ryan Fredericks (200:cool: Got Europa league appearances under Harry Redknapp earning him a new contract to 2014 but has seemingly gone backwards after an unsuccessful loan spell at Brentford last year. At 20 years old this may likely be his last season at the club.

Harry Kane (2009-) Another stiker, another ridiculous amount of expectation from our fans. Played in 6 Europa league games under Harry Redknapp at the age of 18 which earned him a contract to 2016. Only just turned 20 years old and even though he had an unsuccessful loan spell with Norwich last season he faired a bit better at Leicester in the Championship. Hopefully a loan spell which is the right fit for him as the Millwall one was will come along again.

Andros Towsend (2000-) Joined Spurs at the age of 9 and, alongside Tom Carroll, one of the few youth products, at 22 years of age, expected to get some game time for the club this season after his man of the match performances for QPR last season on loan.

Jordan Archer (2009-) Should Gomes finally leave this transfer window Archer is expected to be our 3rd choice keeper. Excellent shot stopper with great reflexes, more about him on this blog: http://spursplayers.blogspot.com/2012/09/jordan-archer.html

Others which have yet to have a sniff but could do in the coming seasons include Jonathan Miles, Alex Pritchard (on-loan at Swindon), Kevin Stewart, Grant Hall (on-loan at Swindon), Milos Veljkovic, Cristian Ceballos and Souleymane Coulibaly. I'm sure Windy will be able to provide more information on any others I will likely have missed.

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Fingers crossed, Adam Smith, Massimo Luongo, Harry Kane & Jordan Archer will all be squad players for us next season.
I think Kane gets far too much stick from Tottenham fans, he'll never be a world class player like Bale, but he could be a great component to our title winning squad 2014/2015 ;)

Hands up who thought Bale was a world class player at the age of 19 or 20.

Now hands up who wouldn't have blinked had we sold him on to Forest.


Before your excellent analysis, we had a few academy guys who went on to great things, but very few. Most recent was Crouch, who we actually sold for £60k!!!!! Didn't think he would make it. The most famous is Des Walker, who we sold for a pittance or perhaps released, and he went on to get a shitload of England caps and be perhaps Englands finest defender for many, many years. And then there's a young fella we let Manure take from us when he was young, you might have heard of him, Beckham. So compared to the previous decades, this is fucking fantastic!

Graeme Souness as well was one. Did not know about Des Walker!

With regards to Peter Crouch we made more than the £60k when he moved to Portsmouth and then to Villa


"Spurs have revealed that they have received £500,000 for the two moves Peter Crouch has made since leaving Queens Park Rangers. The transfers to Portsmouth and Aston Villa have included cuts for Tottenham from a sell-on clause."

Add to that the £10m + £2m in add-ons we sold him to Stoke for and I think we've made up for selling him for £60k !


The Fighting Cock
Great stuff, @ zin zin !

FYI Stewart has been an unused substitute once (vs PAOK), and Coulthirst was on the bench a few times.

Your comment about the transfer fee for Caulker proving a point is one I agree with. We're at a level where developing players for our first team is going to be exceptionally difficult, but if we develop one a season that is sold for a seven figure fee, the Academy will likely pay for itself. And let's face it, we're easily maaging that. Answering a couple of questions on this subject in my update this week, so listen out for it.


Shelf Side Tottenham
Fingers crossed, Adam Smith, Massimo Luongo, Harry Kane & Jordan Archer will all be squad players for us next season.
I think Kane gets far too much stick from Tottenham fans, he'll never be a world class player like Bale, but he could be a great component to our title winning squad 2014/2015 ;)


wharrgarbl 💫
All in all, people do seem to forget we have put out a few decent players. Not enough mind you.

I'm very excited to see what is going to happen with players like Luongo, Bentaleb, Couthirst, Dombaxe... The list just goes on. We have to find a couple of squad players at least out of this batch... Well, we already have in Carroll and Townsend. You've got to be happy with it really.
Great post

At a club our size with our aspirations, opportunities for the kids will become fewer and fewer, with immediate success crazed at all times. Gone are the days of big teams producing a large batch of players from their own academy ala United's 90's vintage of Giggs, Beckham, Nevilles, Butt and Scholes.
Majority of youth will be produced by the smaller clubs now, although the FFP could balance it a bit more.
Tommy Fourpast has signed for Chelmsford Town in the conference South. Was on loan at Gillingham all last season and had a trial with Leyton Orient in pre season.
Phil Ifil was registered with Kettering Town last season but didnt turn up, one because of financial problems and 2 because there were rumours of debt collectors turning up looking for him.
He was very, very technical and gifted, but he made a decision that in the PL it was more important to be fit and strong than gifted, and concentrated on that side of his game. Perhaps he went too far and lost the technique?
He also fell heavily for some reality star/tit model who went through the team at WHL first adn went off and married it, probably had a bearing.

Think the injuries must have had something to do with it too.

I remember a game, must have been the 2007/08 season where he played at full back against Man U. Was really impressed with him in that one and thought he could go on to be a big player for us at the time.
Fantastic post! I too was gutted about Button leaving, was sure at one point that he could become our homegrown #1. I'd also like to nominate Calum Butcher, who saw some European bench time in 2009, for the list- he's had a pretty bizarre career, playing for a year in Denmark and then Hayes and Yeading before getting a contract with Dundee this season. Was moderately interested in his development with us before Caulker came along and blew everyone else away.
Think the injuries must have had something to do with it too.

I remember a game, must have been the 2007/08 season where he played at full back against Man U. Was really impressed with him in that one and thought he could go on to be a big player for us at the time.

Had Ronaldo in his pocket iirc, pretty much convinced me he was one hell of a footballer that day

LLB Part Deux

"The man who fucked up TFC" - Mick Cooper
Hands up who thought Bale was a world class player at the age of 19 or 20.

Now hands up who wouldn't have blinked had we sold him on to Forest.

Bale was a truly poor left-back. God knows why we persisted in playing him in that role but I guess it was the belief that he'd develop positional and defensive awareness in the same way Ashley Cole did (who was still a very poor defender when he got his first England caps). Lets face it, only injuries forced our hand into playing him in left midfield.

As for Carr regretting leaving Spurs for Newcastle, it was a very contentious transfer at the time but injuries had ravaged the attacking dimension of Carr's game and left him no better than an 'OK' right back. Before those injuries Carr was an exceptional player - he used to win the man of the match award nearly every week back on the days of Spurs Update forums (before they turned into Glory-Glory). They player we sold to Newcastle wasn't the player we had two seasons beforehand, not even a pale shadow.
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