The Pre-season Lifeline

Another pre-season friendly was announced recently and their director of football spoke about what it meant for his club.

The Pre-season Lifeline

Cambridge United vs Tottenham Hotspur at the  R Costings Abbey Stadium on Tuesday 5th August, the match kicks off at 7.45pm.

Cambridge United Director of Football Jez George revealed how important these games were for lower league clubs or clubs like his just entering the Football League ladder after promotion from the Vauxhall Conference.

"We are very grateful to Tottenham Hotspur for arranging this fixture and agreeing to bring a strong team. They recognise the effect that can have for a club like ourselves and the opportunity it will create for us to attract a really big crowd and generate funds.

"As I have explained since we won promotion, our ability to compete on the pitch from here on will be determined by our ability to generate revenue off the pitch due to the Football League Salary Cap Mandatory Rules.

"This fixture, along with the Absolute Travel Cup and a friendly with MK Dons, gives us the opportunity to generate income and provide high level and varied competition for our players.  We are really pleased with the programme.

"We have a fantastic relationship with Tottenham at youth level which was cemented last year when one of our talented young players, Elliott Thorpe, joined their academy.  We are really pleased that we have extended that to first team level and look forward to hosting such a great club and maybe even welcoming some players to the R  Costings Abbey Stadium that graced the World Cup."

His words reveal the importance of a club like Tottenham where a game attracts a full house even though it is just a pre-season friendly. Supporters don't get to see their teams face local Premier League opposition very often and for the club itself full houses can go a long way to helping to secure their financial viability for the season.

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Cementing local relationships will clubs allows Spurs to keep an eye on youth players that might be coming through the ranks. Developing a relationship with a youngster and his family from an early age, while he remains at the club, can help to secure him signing for Spurs at a later date.

It's about that bond again which I’ve talked about before. We all like to deal with people we feel a bond with, that's why it's so important we do that at youth level throughout the club and have figures within the first team squad who are stalwarts.

Just look at our first team squad now and you have a bunch of youngsters who have come through, plus Dawson and Lennon as senior figures.

Dawson, Lennon 2005
Assou-Ekotto 2006
Rose 2007
Townsend 2008
Obika, Mason, Naughton, Walker 2009
Kaboul, Sandro, Khumalo 2010
Friedel, Ceballos, Coulibaly, Kane, Carroll, Pritchard, Lancaster, Fredericks, Archer 2011
Sigurdsson, Vertonghen, Adebayor, Dembele, Lloris, Falque, Bentaleb, Hall 2012
Fryers, Holtby, Paulinho, Chadi, Soldado, Capoue, Lamela, Chiriches, Eriksen all signed in 2013

Dawson looks likely to go, fans don't want Lennon and while Rose and Townsend can be young role models where is the seniority, the father figure?

The club has got itself in a right pickle with mercenaries playing for their wage packets. It's hard to deny the club is a selling club when you look at that list.

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