With the creation of the new U-21 Premier League, we are going to be having a lot more youth updates here on Cartilage Free Captain. This weekend saw the debut of the Spurs U-21s, in addition to the return of the U-18s. Both squads saw their seasons kick off against Newcastle United's respective youth teams.
The Under 21s: The U-21s participated in a 10 goal thriller that saw them fall 6-4. The team boasts a bevy of young attacking talents, as Nathan Byrne, Tom Carroll, Ryan Mason, Iago Falque, Cristian Ceballos, and Souleymane Coulibaly all started and went 90 minutes. However, the defense was seriously lacking in experience, with Adam Smith (who left after just 18 minutes with apparent injury) the only experienced professional on the backline.
The defense was undone early, as Tottenham fell behind 2-0 within five minutes and 5-1 by halftime, with Ryan Mason giving the only respite. A 67th minute goal saw Spurs fall 6-1, but the youths made a response. Iago Falque and Christian Ceballos combined to get Spurs back in the game. Ceballos assisted Falque on the second goal, Falque assisted Ceballos on the third, and Ceballos assisted Falque yet again on the fourth to make a more respectable scoreline.
Obviously, the young central defensive duo of Dutchman William Troost-Ekong and Grant Hall were not ready for prime-time in their debut U-21 performance. However, seeing older, more heralded players like Ceballos, Falque, and Carroll get consistent playing time should be worth watching this season. The U-21s resume their season August 29th away to Manchester United.
Spurs U21s (4-2-3-1): Miles; Smith (Bush, 16; Onomah, 70), Ekong, Hall, Byrne; Carroll, Mason; Falque, Munns, Ceballos; Coulibaly.
The Under 18s: The Tottenham Hotspur U-18s got off to a much brighter start than their older counterparts, as they defeated the Toon U-18s 4-0. Four different Tottenham Hotspur players got on the score sheet.
Laste Dombaxe opened the scoring with a free kick curler, followed by Shaq Coulthirst getting on the end of a long ball for the second. The team went up 3-0 in the second half as Kenneth McEvoy (a young Gareth Bale look-alike) finished from the left. Keeper Luke McGee saved a penalty, then Darren McQueen got the fourth and final goal on the break.
Shaq Coulthirst stands out as the man to watch in this competition. A breakout star with the U-18s and NextGen teams, the seventeen year-old striker looks one of the brighter attacking prospects to come out of the academy in recent years.
Spurs U18s: McGee, A McQueen, Ball, Gardiner (Ogilvie, 74), Smith, Dombaxe, Lameiras, Winks, D McQueen, McEvoy (Zapata-Caicedo, 86), Coulthirst.