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Spurs prepare for first test event in new home with old boy Mason in the dugout

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 March 2019

Ryan Mason retired from football in February 2018 (pic: Daniel Hambury/PA Images).

Ryan Mason retired from football in February 2018 (pic: Daniel Hambury/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

Mauricio Pochettino will be in attendance and could watch his son Maurizio take part in the under-18 fixture

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) in the stands at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Images).Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) in the stands at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Images).

Spurs will take a big step towards hosting Premier League football in their new stadium on Sunday when the first test event takes place and it will be special for a variety of reasons.

The next generation of potential stars at Tottenham Hotspur will get the opportunity to play at the 62,062-seater venue first in front of an expected crowd of 30,000.

Watching from the dugout will be the club’s Head of Academy and Player Development John McDermott, who has helped bring through a number of players into the first-team.

And alongside McDermott for the Premier League under-18 game with Southampton will be former midfielder Ryan Mason.

It will be a memorable moment for the Spurs academy graduate and continues his steps towards a career in coaching.

When he was forced to retire on February 13, 2018, many backed Mason to move into that side of the game – including someone who watched him on a regular basis during his youth-team days.

Troy Townsend, Andros’ Dad, told this title following Mason’s retirement last year: “I do believe the ultimate next step for him would be coaching.

“I just think could you imagine Ryan Mason working with a group of under-18s or under-16s at a club like Spurs when he has played at the highest level and is still young enough to put the ball down and show them.

“He would have so much to offer from a coaching aspect or just as a mentor for young people. He is so in touch with the game, hopefully it would be something that is a natural progression for him.”

Since Mason’s retirement, he has been shadowing the academy coaching staff and regularly been involved on under-18 matchdays.

Following Matt Wells’ exit to Fulham earlier this month, it felt fitting the one-time England international would help McDermott out for this landmark occasion.

Mason is not the only link with the first-team for the eagerly anticipated 3pm kick-off at Tottenham Hotspur’s Stadium.

The son of Mauricio Pochettino, forward Maurizio, is likely to be part of the academy squad after he played 90 minutes in the 3-0 win at Norwich City on Saturday while the Argentinian manager himself will be in attendance.

Spurs’ under-18s have enjoyed a tremendous campaign to date and are unbeaten after 16 league games.

Under Wells, they also reached the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup and Sunday will see them enter the history books.

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