There are a number of reasons for you to be at Barnet's Underhill venue this Saturday for the pre-season friendly against "A Spurs XI" this Saturday (23rd July - kick-off 3 p.m.). Here are just a few:-
1. The match is actually a testimonial for former "Bees" goalkeeper Lee Harrison, aged 39, who will be making a guest appearance for one last time in Barnet colours. Lee is now assistant manager at Newport County, where he will work with Anthony Hudson, a friend of Harry Redknapp. Hudson worked as a coach at Spurs last season. Harrison spent the vast majority of his playing career at Barnet, for whom he played 321 league games.
2. Whilst the Spurs first team squad is in South Africa, the "Spurs XI", which is usually made up of reserves and youth players will have plenty of talent on show. Andros Townsend scored a thunderbolt of a goal in The Algarve in Tuesday night's friendly against Brighton, and the other goal-scorer in a creditable 2-2 draw was new signing from The Ivory Coast - Souleymane Coulibaly. Both of these players will surely form a part of the Spurs XI squad. According to the Barnet FC Web Site, Spurs could also give a debut to another recent young signing - Cristian Ceballos, formerly of Barcelona's under-17s, and destined for the Spurs development squad. Spurs could also have other England Youth stars on show such as Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Tom Carroll. All three of these players have been out on loan to league sides.
3. There will be a short match of 15 minutes each way, starting at 1.30 p.m, which will feature former Barnet players, and one or two with Spurs connections too.
4. Last, but not least, the current Barnet squad includes former Spurs youngsters Mark Hughes and a more recent Spurs Academy player - Sam Cox. Neither player got as far as the first team. Hughes got closest in the 2004 pre-season, when he was clearly liked by the new management team of Jacques Santini (remember him?) and his deputy Martin Jol. Mark is a midfielder who left us for Oldham. He's had a somewhat chequered career, with a couple of short spells outside league football, but has now played two full seasons at Barnet.
Sam Cox played for the Spurs Academy in midfield and at full-back, but he seems now to have settled into the left back position, for whom he made 6 starts and 5 substitute appearances in all competitions last season. Clearly, Sam will be hoping for more chances to impress the current Barnet manager Lawrie Sanchez, who has taken over since the controversial and sudden departure of Martin Allen to Notts County late last season.
5. Special mention is made here of Sam Cox's commitment to two special causes for charity. On Sam Cox's Just Giving Page, he says, "On or around the 10th of October 2011, my 21st Birthday, I plan to cut off my trademark, shoulder length braided hair. I have chosen two charities the first being The North London Hospice (Barnet Football Club's chosen charity). Also Northwick Park Hospital Intensive Care Unit Charitable funds, where my Mum spent 7 weeks on life support. I would like to give something back to them in appreciation of the excellent care they gave to my Mum and for saving her life. She is making steady progress and is still receiving after-care there as a day patient. Please donate if you would like to see me with a shorterned hair style for the first time in over 8 years..."
Well, I'd say whether or not you want to see Sam's haircut, that his causes are two that are very worthy of your support anyway, so go to Sam Cox's Just Giving Page now!
As for Saturday's game, my good friend and Spurs Odyssey reporter Ray Lo plans to be there, so we should be carrying our first full and exclusive eye-witness report of the new season this week-end!
If you'd like to read more about Mark Hughes and Sam Cox at Spurs, why not try a search on www.spursodyssey.com in the below search box:-
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