Tottenham Hotspur midfield John Bostock may hold the record for youngest Spurs player in the UEFA Champions League (he made his debut at only 16!) but in Toronto FC, the 21-year-old attacker gives his MLS club, Toronto FC, a veteran’s presence. Toronto FC signed Bostock on loan from Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the season. The 21-year-old has played in five games so far with Toronto, in both the regular season and in the Amway Canadian Championship tournament, similar to the F.A. Cup.
Bostock spoke about how the realities of Major League Soccer matched up to his expectations, and with some good advice by a close friend, his performances have benefited from embracing MLS for what it is.
“A good friend of mine, Simon Dawkins who’s at Tottenham, obviously he spent a couple season over here in the league, and he informed me that, you know, the mistake of a lot of European players coming over here, they think it’s an easy league, but he told me if you come here and work hard, you can really do well and improve and become a better player,” said Bostock.
Bostock has been used as a winger, often switching sides with another former Ipswich Town winger Reggie Lambe. The two take on battling fullbacks and Bostock in particular, has earned a reputation for being able to beat his defender. This competition within the team, and outside of it, is something Bostock has noticed.
“I just found that it’s a very, very competitive league,” said Bostock. “Everyone is hungry to win. There’s a lot of up and coming players so they want to prove themselves in the game and there’s a lot of experienced players; today, we played against Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill as well.”
One of the main differences he’s noticed is in the style of play.
“It’s a very physical league,” said Bostock. “I’m enjoying my time here, so hopefully if I can get more games, I hope to improve.”
Bostock has played much of his career on loan to different outfits across England, including Brentford, Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town, and in Toronto, he faces competition for a starting role with Queens Park Rangers’ Hogan Ephraim. Bostock spoke about what he needs to succeed and earn a starting spot.
“I think for me, just consistency and to be a threat in the final third,” said Bostock.
“I am an attacking player but my natural position is centre midfielder. There’s a lot of competition in the midfield at the moment so I’m happy to play wing for the team but I’ve grown up in centre midfield.”“I like to attack,” said Bostock. “I like to play on the wings as well.”
When Bostock finds playing time in the red shirt of Toronto, he embraces every game as a chance to improve.
“For me, I’m working on my game week in and week out, working hard for the team, just listening to what the manager says and try to follow that as best I can,” said Bostock.
The manager of Toronto FC is a familiar face to many Tottenham fans: former QPR and Spurs defender Ryan Nelsen. The two share a player-coach relationship that Bostock is very happy with.
“I think it’s a blessing to be honest with you,” said Bostock, of Nelsen as manager.
“[Nelsen] is fresh from playing and having a career as a footballer, so he knows exactly what we need. The way he speaks, encourages us, gives us a lot of confidence, and on a personal note, he gives me a lot of confidence. As long as I work hard, he gives me freedom to express myself in the right places.”
“I really, really enjoy working under the manager here,” Bostock concluded.
Listen to the full interview here!