Feature

Skipp: Working with Kane only improves you

14 Mar 2019

Spurs' teenage midfielder gives exclusive look back on his journey from the club's Academy to the first team

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Oliver Skipp has spent over 10 years in Tottenham Hotspur's academy, working towards becoming a first-team player.

But he still has to check that his dream really has come true, having made six Premier League appearances this season.

"It's unbelievable," says the 18-year-old, looking through photographs from different stages of his journey.

"You look around and you see the No 52 shirt [in the dressing room]," Skipp says. "You have to pinch yourself.

"It's something you can't really imagine will happen, especially this season. Everything's happened really quickly.

"It's a great achievement for me and something I'm proud of, something I couldn't really believe."

'Hard work's paid off'

The Spurs midfielder made his PL debut as a late substitute against Southampton in December, before his first start against Burnley 10 days later.

"I was just trying to implement what I've been doing for years," he says. "All those years of training have been for moments like this, and it's nice that you can reward your family’s hard work too, bringing you to training.

"The hard work's paid off."

'Great cup run'

Such hard work still included juggling his studies at school with helping Spurs' Under-18s progress in the FA Youth Cup. 

"I remember a game at Newcastle United," he says. "There must have been four or five thousand people there, which was a big deal.

"We got back late and I was back in school the next day. Somehow I made it in!

"We got to the semi-final. It was a great cup run, especially as a 16-year-old playing in the Under-18s."

'Massive honour'

As he seeks to make further progress in the Spurs first team, Skipp does not have to look far for inspiration and to see the rewards of hard work.  

"Playing with players like Harry Kane is a massive honour and something that can only help improve you," he says.

"It's just his attitude towards everything, what he's eating, his professionalism. It's the best, I've not seen anything like it.

"Anything I can learn from him will help me throughout my career."

 

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