Although the World Cup is a great chance to see the cream of the world’s full-fledged footballing talent, there are also the matches which offer exciting glimpses of the players which are just beginning to make an impact on the game thanks to the right blend of raw youth and great development at club academy level. Although 2014 may be too soon to see the new generation, we could see some real stars in four years’ time.
One such player who is surely in with a chance of making the senior England squad for the next World Cup is Harry Kane; the Tottenham Hotspur striker has already revelled in the goals for his country at youth level and has already drawn the attention of the Republic of Ireland side that he is also eligible to represent.
Born in Chingford in July 1993, Kane was tipped for great things from just 16 years of age as his Academy profile on the Spurs testified. According to a FootballFanCast.com article from September 2010 Kane had grabbed some headlines for his performances during that summer’s tour of Mexico, where he scored three goals. The Spurs Academy trains students as young as eight in both the physicality and mentality of sportsmanship; it’s just one of many academies which is beginning to earn the plaudits previously reserved for the likes of Manchester United and Leeds, whose graduates went on to enjoy senior-level success in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Before breaking into the main Spurs side Kane was loaned out to other professional clubs lower down the league ladder; in early 2011 Kane appeared for Leyton Orient and scored five goals, including two after coming off the bench in a 4-1 win against Bristol Rovers.
Back at Spurs that summer Kane experienced his first taste of European club competition with a goal in Europa League qualifying. A loan to Millwall followed which saw Kane voted their Young Player of the Year.
Kane was just 19 when he was loaned out to Norwich City, but sadly suffered an injury to his metatarsal. However, being young and fighting fit meant that Kane was back in action just three months later when he joined Leicester City and scored twice in their promotion push.
Now back at Spurs and firmly within the first-team frame whilst still months shy of his 21st birthday, Kane has also impressed for his country at all youth levels and it’ll be just a matter of time before he makes his mark at senior level. His career so far has seen him work with many different coaches at both club and academy, and it’s these versatile methods which have shaped his development as an exciting young player.
The Motors Most Deserving Sports Hero Award was introduced to recognise the work of these coaches, as well as the other behind-the-scenes staff in clubs across the country who help develop these bright young things into successful sporting talents.