Spurs coach fears Ryan Mason had missed the boat
Former Tottenham midfielder Micky Hazard says he feared Ryan Mason had missed the boat.
Hazard was working as a coach at a soccer school when he came across a six-year-old Mason – prompting him to recommend him to the club.
After coming through the ranks Mason was handed his first team debut in 2008 for a Europa League match but it took another six years for him to make his Premier League debut after he was shipped out on loans to lower league clubs.
But the 23-year-old midfielder’s incredible rise into the Spurs side has now been rewarded with a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s squad to face Lithuania and Italy after Liverpool’s Adam Lallana was forced to withdraw through injury.
Mason revealed he was with manager Mauricio Pochettino when news of his call-up came through.
But Hazard feared he would never even get the chance at Spurs let alone England.
“I always thought if someone put their trust in him they would have a hell of a player,” he told the Star. “But maybe I thought that time had passed for him at Tottenham.
“They’ve shown brilliant patience with him because if you’re 23 and you haven’t cracked it in the first team, you usually never do.
“The most important thing is when you get your chance, you take it. He’s shown a lot of guts and determination. He deserves his breakthrough.
“I’ve watched every game he’s played and I’m hopeful I’ll still be watching him play for Spurs in ten years’ time. I’m absolutely thrilled he’s been picked for England. Despite all his success he’s still a nice, polite young man.
“Hopefully he will make his family proud. I’m sure he will. I’m so, so pleased for him. I started coaching him when he was six.
“The sports centre we were in is now the Spurs training ground. It’s quite ironic he’s still training there.”