THEY say footballers get extremely frustrated when they are out of action with an injury, well spare a thought for teenager Aaron McEneff.
The former Institute starlet has been unable to play for Tottenham Hotspur’s since his move to the Premier League giants in August.
The Northern Ireland Under 19 international, who got 90 minutes under his belt on Saturday when Spurs defeated Chelsea U18’s 2-1 at Cobham Training Ground, still has another season and a half remaining on his scholarship at White Hart Lane and because of that he remains confident that he has enough time to shine.
“Yes it has been a very frustrating time for me since I came over in August, training everyday and then not been able to play on match days has been annoying,” stated McEneff.
“Now that everything has been finally sorted out and I have now started to get some match time under my belt, I’m now just looking to hit the ground running and make sure that I do enough in games if selected, to stay in the team.
“I still have the rest of this season and all next season to show the coaches that I’m worthy of getting a new contract and because of that I feel I still have enough time.
“At the end of the day this time last year I wasn’t in the Institute first team then I got my chance in the Craig Memorial Cup final and I did alright and stayed in the team, then I got my chance to move to Spurs off the back of playing first team football with ’Stute, so you never know what can happen.”
McEneff, who continues his studies three days a week at Spurs, concedes that it’s still a bit ‘crazy’ to go out onto the training pitch at the clubs training centre at Enfield and have the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey to name but a few, just walk past.
“You see the first team players all the time and it’s a bit crazy when someone like Gareth Bale or Defoe walk past you at training, to be fair to them they would all say hello and chat to you if you wanted any advice, they are all very good to the young players.
“Because Scott Parker and Brad Friedel are both doing their coaching badges at the minute, they have taken some of our sessions and that has been great, because the experience they have, which they are passing onto us, is brilliant.”
The ex-Don Bosco’s and Maiden City Academy player admitted his recent break back home for Christmas was special, but now he’s looking at keeping his head down and working hard as he continues to settle into life in London.
“It was really great be able to go home at Christmas, because it has been tough staying in London, a lot of the Academy players get home for a few days after a game on a Saturday, but obviously I can’t, so seeing all my family, girlfriend Ellen Coyle and friends at Christmas was great.
“Now I’m back in London and knowing that I can play, now that my clearance is through, is great,” concluded the former St Columb’s College student.