Gills midfielder Emmanuel Osadebe
Ahead of this week’s EFL Cup match between the two sides, Gills midfielder Emmanuel Osadebe returned to Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre programme at Barnet & Southgate College for a special visit.
Osadebe joined Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s college programme in 2014 to study a Level 3 BTEC in Sport, before securing a professional contract with the Gills last summer.
During the visit, Osadebe talked to the students about the opportunities he’d been given as a result of studying on the Foundation’s college programme at Barnet & Southgate College, and the importance of hard work on and off the pitch.
The young player also shared his story of what it was like to be named Man of the Match in his first ever game as a professional, when the club beat Sheffield United in August 2015, and spoke about his 2015/16 Goal of the Season against Bury.
Osadebe said: “It was great to be able to return to Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre programme at Barnet & Southgate College. I will always be thankful for the opportunity I had to study there, as it provided me with the knowledge to help me progress as a footballer, as well as helping me greatly in my personal development.
“I hope that by visiting, current students will be inspired to reach their full potential during their time on the programme, and the years after leaving it.”
The 19-year-old passed on invaluable and inspiring advice to those students wishing to fulfil their dream of becoming a professional footballer.
“Playing football isn’t about making money and having fun. You’ve got to really want it,” he added. “Players need to be humble. You can’t do anything good in life without being like that. You need a good mentality – you always need to want more. When I got signed by Gillingham, I wanted to get in the first-team. Once I’d made my debut, I wanted to make sure I kept my place in the team. Once I kept my place in the team, I pushed myself to score more goals and set up more.
"And there’s no substitute for hard work; if you believe in yourself and continuously push, you’ll be the best you can be.”
Grant Cornwell MBE, CEO of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “A special thanks to Emmanuel for coming back to Barnet & Southgate today to share his inspirational story with the students who have just started their studies with us and are hoping to one day follow in Emmanuel’s footsteps.”