Stevenage keeper relishing White Hart Lane return

20 February 2012 01:46

For Stevenage goalkeeper Chris Day the FA Cup replay with Tottenham means he will finally get a chance to play a competitve match at White Hart Lane 21 years after signing for his childhood club.

Day was part of the Stevenage team that earned a March 7 replay at the north London ground after holding Harry Redknapp's title chasers to a goalless draw at the Lamex Stadium on Sunday.

The goalkeeper, born just a few miles away from White Hart Lane, came through the youth ranks at Tottenham and seemed destined for a long career at the club when he was called up to Gerry Francis' first-team squad at the age of 16.

He failed to live up to expectations, however, spending most of his time on the bench, with his only full appearances coming in the 1995 Intertoto Cup - a competition in which Spurs fielded a team of youngsters and out-of-contract players.

The club played their 'home' games in the competition at Brighton's Goldstone Ground, meaning Day never got the chance to play at White Hart Lane for the senior side.

"The replay will be my first competitive game there," the 36-year-old told the British Press Association.

"The last time I played there will have been in an FA Cup youth game of some description, because we played our reserve games at St Albans.

"I remember being a schoolboy training at White Hart Lane and our coach used to send us on a lap around the pitch after training and he would say, 'one day you will play here'. Who would have thought that that day would come 21 years later?"

Day's time at White Hart Lane is characterised by two unwanted records.

"I was on the bench the best part of 50 times and I didn't come on once. Someone has told me that's a club record," he said.

"I also played in the 8-0 defeat to Cologne. That's a club record as well."

Despite his unsuccessful time at Spurs, Day bears no grudges towards his former employers, citing the experience as a vital part of his career, which has taken him to Crystal Palace, QPR and Millwall before moving to Stevenage in 2008.

Another reason he refuses to criticise the White Hart Lane club is because he is a Spurs fan through and through.

When time allows Day does everything he can to make sure he is in the stands at White Hart Lane cheering on the team he has supported since birth.

He said: "It will be fantastic. I have been there five times this year when we haven't been training on matchdays.

"I have been getting on the internet and buying tickets at the last minute.

"I spent one game with the West Brom fans.

"I have been begging, stealing and borrowing to get to games and now for this one I will get complimentary tickets and I won't have to pay to get in myself because I will be out there playing so I am really looking forward to it.

"I have waited a long time to have a game like this. There is nothing better than playing under floodlights for a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup."

Day had little to do on Sunday as Spurs put on a poor attacking display despite being huge favourites to progress to the last eight.

The 36-year-old expects a tougher clash in the replay, but still thinks Stevenage stand a chance of causing an upset and setting up a quarter-final clash against Bolton.

"We will be massive underdogs there, but I suppose there is a chance," he said.

"We will have to show the same spirit as we showed yesterday just to even have a chance of getting anything, though."

Source: AFP