IF TOTTENHAM Hotspur return to Australian shores in the not too distant future, it is entirely possible a local could be wearing their No. 1 shirt.
Former Sutherland goalkeeper Tom Glover joined Tottenham's academy full-time in August, and the 17-year-old will be one of the most interested onlookers on Saturday night.
The English giants take on Sydney FC in a glamorous post-season friendly, with a crowd of more than 70,000 expected at ANZ Stadium.
Glover has been turning heads with both Spurs and the Young Socceroos in recent times, with a bright future predicted at both club and international level.
The 195-centimetres-tall shot-stopper spent last season playing with Tottenham's under-18s and under-21s. He also featured in the prestigious FA Youth Cup and Spurs' semi-final first leg win over Chelsea.
Glover has also stepped up to regular sessions with the first team.
"That's a buzz. All of them are very helpful," he said.
"They give me advice. If I let a bad goal in for example, they're never putting me down. They bring me back up. They're good guys as well: no one is cocky. They're all humble and they all talk to you.
"[Spurs goalkeepers] Michel [Vorm] and Brad [Friedel] are very helpful. Hugo [Lloris] is a great guy. Every time I go up there to train with them I try to get as much info to bring back down for training with the youth teams."
Glover's potential and commitment has also been rewarded with one-on- one shooting sessions with one of the most exciting young strikers in world football: Harry Kane.
"The last two weeks before I left [to play for the Young Socceroos] I was doing extra sessions on Tuesday afternoons with him," he said.
"Just me and him on shooting with the gaffer [Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino] and his coaching staff, getting tested.
‘‘He’s (Pochettino) seen me play. He watched me against Chelsea. I heard from the youth team manager he was really impressed.’’
It has been a busy time for Glover, who made his international debut for Australia against New Zealand earlier this month, and was involved as the Young Socceroos took on Mexico and Brazil this week.
Glover’s goalkeeping coach at Sutherland, former Arsenal player Ron Tilsed, helped engineer the move to Spurs.
A call to his friend, Tottenham’s legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings, was enough to get Glover to England for a trial.
‘‘They absolutely love him over there,’’ Tilsed said. ‘‘They’ve got high hopes to continue his improvement. They’re hoping he goes all the way.
‘‘I told him I’ve got a couple of targets for him — one was an international cap which he’s got now — the other was to be Spurs’ number two keeper at 21. Which is when I was reserve keeper at Arsenal.’’
The successful trial as a 14-year-old saw Glover fly back and forth to England in short bursts before joining the Tottenham academy, which has produced first team regulars Kane, Andros Townsend and Danny Rose.
Tilsed returned to England to watch his protege play an under-18s match against Southampton in November and said the mood around Glover was one of excitement.
‘‘I spoke to Pat and they’re absolutely raving about him,’’ he said. ‘‘Given the right breaks he could go right to the top.’’
Glover said he still had to pinch himself after his whirlwind journey of the past few years.
‘‘Definitely, some days you go to the training ground and think from where I’ve come from — training and playing at Seymour Shaw to their 50-million-pound training ground — it’s ridiculous,’’ he said. ‘‘I always think how lucky I am.
‘‘I love going down to Sutherland. I go down to every home game when I’m back. I always give time to the kids because I was in that position at one stage.’’
‘‘I was always looking up to (Sutherland goalkeeper) Nathan Denham. At 13 or 14 and training with him I wanted to be like him. The way he spoke to me and treated me was amazing. He’s a guy I respect a lot, he’s a role model.’’
Glover said he was prepared to do whatever it took to make it at Spurs.
‘‘I believe I can (make it). I back my own ability. I set goals for myself and that’s one,’’ he said.
It would be a brave person to bet against him.