Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong, who started his football career at Tottenham Hotspurs before moving to Dutch side FC Groningen in 2013, has recalled his experience with the first team of the North London club during his youth days.
Troost-Ekong’s stay at White Hart Lane could be described as unexciting having failed to make any first team appearance for the North London team all through his stay.
The 23-year-old has now opened up on his experience as a youth player in London, revealing how he actually polished shoes for some stars while he struggled to make it into the senior team.
He also shares memories of how he joined Tottenham Hotspur amidst interests for Liverpool and Manchester City.
Troost-Ekong could not hide his regular routine of work as a youth player in England – admitting he polished Ledley King, Younes Kaboul and Michael Dawson's shoes.
He explained that Spurs pressed every button to make his transfer possible as they even provided transport for him from school to training sessions once in a week.
"At Liverpool I went to see yet, but when City did already gone. I had in fact been selected for Tottenham Hotspur. The club did everything to attract me,'' Troost-Ekong told Elf Voetbal.
He added: “They flew my mother to London to talk and even wanted to fly to Nigeria to look for my father. When I was there pretty quickly. They came to my school to arrange that I would rather have one day a week to train with older boys, and every day I was with picked up a taxi.
"As youths we had to polish the shoes of the players of the first team. Everyone had that my teammate Harry Kane for example. I was responsible for the shoes of Ledley King, Younès Kaboul and Michael Dawson. Real charts at the time. Shoes I was brushing it off well, thanks to the boarding school. I thought finally be starting ... haha.
"At first I thought to make it nice, but over time it became annoying. Because you would do it every day, only to go home when you brush the shoes had put in their lockers.
''If it was not good enough, you would be told to get the equipment manager. At Christmas, you ever received an envelope from the player whose shoes you had polished. As a thank you."