Monday 14 October 2019

Tottenham players train at new stadium as opening game gets closer

Spurs host Crystal Palace at the new venue on Wednesday.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will host the 2021 Champions Cup final. (Ian Walton/PA)
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will host the 2021 Champions Cup final. (Ian Walton/PA)

By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport

Tottenham players have finally got their first taste of the club’s new stadium after they trained there on Thursday.

Spurs’ long-awaited move into their new 62,062-seater home is less than a week away as they play Crystal Palace in the Premier League next Wednesday.

The first-team squad sampled the facilities as the group were together for the first time following the international break, building up to Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.

Captain Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min and Jan Vertonghen were among those to get acquainted with their new surroundings, where the home dressing room has leather seats with personalised screens and a charging point.

Alderweireld, who is expected to leave the club in the summer, posted on his Instagram story: “This is special, far beyond my expectations.”

It has been a long wait for the Spurs squad to get into their new home, officially called the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium until naming rights are sold.

They were supposed to be in there for the start of the current season, a date which was then put back to September as the project was beset by delays.

That has at least allowed the stadium to be fully ready and fans got their first peak at what life in their new home will be like as it staged its first official test event last Sunday, when Tottenham Under-18s beat Southampton.

The second one sees a Spurs ‘Legends’ side take on Inter Milan, with an attendance of 45,000 required to get the relevant safety certificates from Haringey Council.

One man was absent from the group training, though, as Harry Kane collected his MBE from Buckingham Palace.

Kane was recognised in the New Year’s honours list for his exploits in the World Cup in the summer, where he won the Golden Boot, and he was handed his gong by Football Association president Prince William.

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Harry Kane received his MBE on Thursday (Yui Mok/PA)

Kane is expected to train separately at the new stadium on Thursday afternoon, where he is likely to take the opportunity to visualise scoring plenty of goals.

But the 25-year-old has not allowed himself to dream about becoming the first player to score there, insisting it is about the team winning.

“I think the most important thing is we want to win the game,” said Kane, speaking to Press Association Sport as he received his MBE from the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.

“You never want to go into a new stadium without getting a result. Of course as a striker I would want to score but the most important thing is we win.”

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