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Tottenham academy transform talent spotting policy

Tottenham have transformed their talent spotting policy in recent years.

Spurs are now focusing on ignoring a player's birthdate.

"The best talent spotter is able to spot the player with most potential for the future and not necessarily the player having the biggest impact in the team at the moment," John McDermott, the head of the Tottenham academy, told the Guardian. "At Tottenham we've introduced strategies to try and combat the bias [which include] putting the seven-, eight-, nine- and 10-year-olds together, therefore a player moves up to the older group on his birthday. In that way he experiences being the youngest and eldest as the year progresses.

"Tom Carroll, an outstanding prospect, trains regularly with our first team and is on loan at Leyton Orient [but] he couldn't cope physically in matches with his own age group as he was a late developer and [had a] summer birthday. But he had outstanding perception, technique and aerobic capacity.

"Of the [many] boys out on loan recently, Ryan Mason [Doncaster Rovers], Harry Kane and Carroll [Orient], Nathan Byrne [Brentford], Danny Rose [Bristol City], Jake Nicholson [MyPa], Kyle Walker [Aston Villa], and Andros Townsend [Millwall] are all summer babies."

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