Search

Alex Pritchard’s thrilled to end season with Spurs debut at the Lane

12:02 12 May 2014

Tottenham

Tottenham's latest debutant Alex Pritchard

EMPICS Sport

Tottenham’s 21-year-old midfielder Alex Pritchard became the club’s latest debutant yesterday, and Harry Kane says his fellow youngster is one to watch in the future.

Harry Kane (left) in action during Spurs' final game of the Premier League season against Aston VillaHarry Kane (left) in action during Spurs' final game of the Premier League season against Aston Villa

Given Tim Sherwood’s passion for youth development, and the fact that he was seemingly taking charge of his last game yesterday, it was fitting that Spurs finished their campaign with five academy graduates on the pitch.

Twenty-three-year-old Danny Rose and 20-year-old Harry Kane were both in the initial line-up – the latter making his sixth successive start in the Premier League.

And, with Tottenham holding a comfortable 3-0 lead over Aston Villa on the hour-mark, Sherwood gradually introduced 18-year-old Milos Veljkovic, 19-year-old Nabil Bentaleb and 21-year-old Alex Pritchard into the midfield.

It was Veljkovic’s second appearance for the Lilywhites following a brief run-out in last month’s 5-1 home win over Sunderland, while Pritchard became the club’s latest debutant.

The diminutive midfielder has spent the season on loan with League One outfit Swindon Town, establishing himself as a key player and making 44 appearances while contributing eight goals.

Pritchard turned 21 on May 3, and under to the terms of his youth loan agreement he was therefore unable to play in Swindon’s final game against Rotherham that day.

Instead, he found himself on the Spurs bench at West Ham. And, although that proved to be a dark day for Tottenham – no time to introduce a youngster - he made his Premier League bow in the 83rd minute of yesterday’s victory over the Villans.

“Coming back from Swindon, I thought to myself ‘I’ve got to get on to the pitch this season, just to see what it’s like’,” said Pritchard. “To come on in front of thousands of people, I enjoyed every minute of it.

“When I heard I wasn’t going to be playing in the last game of the season at Swindon, with my birthday being on that day, I thought I was going to come back to Spurs and just train.

“Then they said I was training with the first team so I always thought in the back of my mind that I might get a chance on the pitch, and I did.

“The time at Swindon has been great for me. I’ve loved every minute of being there, being with the boys – and a few of them being from Spurs.

“I needed to get out and play proper football, men’s football, first-team football and I’ve done it this year.

“I like to get the ball in the pockets, a bit like Christian Eriksen, but obviously he’s got a bit more on me! I’ve just got to keep plugging away and hopefully more games will come.”

Kane was delighted to see Bentaleb, Veljkovic and Pritchard coming off the bench and joining the party at the Lane, after their time together in the academy.

The striker said: “It’s great to see your mates that you’ve grown up with getting on the pitch – especially Pritchard getting on for his first Premier League game.

“He’s a top player. He’s very neat and tidy, he’s nippy, he’s hard to tackle – and he’s got a great strike on him as well. He’s one for the future and it’s a very proud day for him.

“I told him before he came on to express himself. He knows he’s a great player and everyone knows he’s a great player, so I just said ‘get on the ball and don’t be shy’.”

Kane has certainly finished his own season on a high with a string of starts and a recent run of three goals in consecutive games against Sunderland, West Brom and Fulham.

“I knew [at the start of the season] that I was going to stay here, I wanted to break through,” he said. “I had to be patient early on but I’ve got my chance at the back end and I’ve taken it.

“I’ve got my goals so hopefully I can take that into next season, see what happens and hit the ground running.

“I think we’ve got to go for the Champions League. We’ll come back for pre-season and if we put in performances like this last one then it’s there for us - but we’ve got to work hard and we know it’s going to be a long season.

“We’ve got to play better against the bigger clubs, I think it’s as simple as that. We haven’t beaten enough of them this season and we’ve got to perform better against them. If we want to be in the Champions League they’re the games you have to win.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 22:18
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur turns away to celebrate after scoring the opening goal at Chelsea  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge was ended by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after they threw away a two-goal lead in a fiery and ill-tempered London derby.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he felt compelled to confirm his commitment to Tottenham to prove to the club’s current stars and prospective signings that he will be staying at White Hart Lane.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates Danny Welbeck's winner against Norwich

Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United and create his own legacy at Tottenham after announcing he has agreed a two-year contract extension.

Dele Alli (right) appeared to punch West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob during Monday's 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane and has been banned for three games

Dele Alli will continue to take part in training until the end of the season, even though he cannot play for Tottenham, to maintain his fitness ahead of this summer’s Euro 2016 Championship.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has announced he has verbally agreed a two-year contract extension at Tottenham, extending his stay at White Hart Lane until 2021.

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe  (back row, centre) visited Haringey Police Boxing Club on Tottenham High Road. Pic: Dieter Perry

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe visited Haringey Police Boxing Club to meet a contingent of fighters who are hoping to compete in the Haringey Box Cup in June.

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla of Arsenal (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Although they spurned the chance to win the league title, Arsenal Under-21s still have a chance to reach the top tier of second-string football via the play-offs.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe