Windy COYS has taken this piece and highlighted some important elements in John McDermott's words, elements that are overlooked by many a fan who isn't interested in anything below the first team.
John McDermott on the support at the U18 match last night. Well done to everyone who made the effort to go & sang themselves hoarse! #COYS
The football at Development levels is a world away from first team football and yet a player has to come through that and be prepared for first team action. That can't be done with fingers crossed, we have to build their character, their temperament, their mental approach and decision making.
Football isn't a game where you just pick 11 players send them on the pitch and see what they can do. The coach is arguably the most important element, he is the one who decides how his team are going to play each game. Every player is tasked with duties, different roles in different defensive positions and different roles in attacking positions, a lot of it, work without the ball.
You look at any coach on the sidelines and he is continually giving instructions, giving directions and then his half-time changes to counteract the opposition often make a marked difference, as they did for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. That certainly explains why we took so long finding the right man.
A young player has to learn to take all this on board, he must know his role and the roles of his teammates. The crowd adds a different factor altogether, it adds nerves, tension, fear. Skill simply isn't enough, if you can't handle the mental side you can't be a top footballer and it is the creme de la creme we want to bring through for ourselves.
These games at first team grounds are designed to give them a taste of playing on the big stage with a crowd present. The more the crowd can replicate the signing the better so you have to applaud every Spurs fan that went along to QPR and sang. It is another new experience that they suddenly have to respond to. Concentration levels can drop when you hear fans signing about you, your mind can wander, but it must stay on the job in hand. The pride at hearing your name sung must be put to good use and channeled into a players performance.
The result, a 4-1 win at Loftus Road, suggests our lads were not overawed but took it all in their stride and I bet they talked about the atmosphere in the changing room.