Shayon Harrison… from the first team of Tottenham to the second division in Romania

Shayon Harrison… from the first team of Tottenham to the second division in Romania
Shayon Harrison… from the first team of Tottenham to the second division in Romania

“I was in the dressing room crying, it just exploded,” said young England striker Shayon Harrison after what had to be the best night of his footballing career, when he made his first-team debut for Tottenham against Liverpool at Anfield at the age of 19. In tears because I knew what that moment meant, and what it meant to squander this opportunity. Harrison participated as a substitute in the fourth round of the League Cup, and had a clear opportunity to score the equalizer, but he was unable to receive the cross ball that Eric Lamela sent him, so Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet caught the ball, and Tottenham lost the match. After that, Harrison did not play any more matches in a Spurs shirt. Now, Harrison is 25 years old and plays for Boli Iasi in Romania’s second division, which is the fourth country in which the young English striker plays.

Shion Harrison’s bizarre career has its ups and downs (B.A.)

“It feels like it’s been light years away,” Harrison says. Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino put his arm around me and helped me as best he could. I felt like everything was leading up to that moment, I’ve been with the first team for a long time, I travel with the team during matches, I train with them regularly, and then I had this opportunity, which I had to take advantage of, if I had this opportunity ten times I will record it in nine times ». “It took a long time for me to forget what happened,” he added. I just remembered it a month ago and went back to YouTube and watched the clip a few times, and I think about it now and then.”

It was a defining moment for Harrison, who believes he would have had more chances at Tottenham had he taken advantage of it and scored the equalizer for Spurs. Instead, Harrison left Tottenham on loan to Yeovil and Southend, then Harrison’s career with Tottenham finally ended in 2019 after six years with the team when he moved to Dutch club Almere on a free transfer. Harrison played for Almere for 18 months and then returned to England and played for Wimbledon and Morecambe, but his football career was greatly disrupted by injuries. “The past two years have been very difficult for me mentally,” says Harrison. It was psychologically difficult because I didn’t enjoy football, even though I was involved in matches but I didn’t really know if it was something I wanted to do or not. I did not reach the stage that made me think about retiring from football, but I was not waking up with great enthusiasm to participate in matches, as was the case in the past.

Eventually, Harrison moved to amateur league club Hayes-an-Yidding in order to regain his fitness, but found it very difficult to adapt to the environment. Last summer was decisive in Harrison’s football career, after he participated in only five matches at the professional level during the past year and a half, the next step was very important for him. After his experience with the AFC Field team, which plays in the Northern National League, Harrison did the same in the northern Romanian city of Iasi and got a contract there.

“I needed to take a risk,” Harrison explains. I think the experience of playing abroad before has helped me a lot. I played in Australia (at Melbourne City) on loan from Tottenham, then I went to Holland. I was comfortable being outside on my own, and I knew it wouldn’t be so bad.

It was a risk coming here, but I decided to try and do my best to take advantage of this opportunity and see what I can do. I’m just trying to revive my football career again. There was a big gap in my career, due to injury and other things, and this was an attempt to revive my career again.”

Harrison succeeded in this experiment, scoring five goals in 15 matches, and Iasi club is close to promotion, and the club wants to extend his contract for another season. It’s a completely different environment than he grew up in at Tottenham. Harrison was promoted to the Tottenham first team after impressing Pochettino when he was called up to replace the England squad who were training at Tottenham’s training ground.

Harrison was promoted from the youth academy alongside Kyle Walker-Peters and Harry Winks. Another young player on the bench for Tottenham’s game against Liverpool at Anfield was Anton Wax, a midfielder who would end up playing in Major League Soccer. Wacks died earlier this year in a boat crash in Florida at the age of 25. “Anton and I were very close when we were playing at Tottenham,” says Harrison. He was a fun guy and a great person, easy to talk to. I was shocked and deeply saddened when I heard the news of his death.”

Now, Harrison does not suffer from any injury, feels great confidence in himself and his abilities in Romania, and is now working to restore his level and revive his career again after playing in a Premier League club. “This was the level I wanted to reach,” he says. My path has taken a different turn, but I still completely trust myself and my ability to reach what I want.”

He concludes, saying: “I always believe that football is about adventure and courage, and it also involves ups and downs in a way that you do not find in any other field. One has to work hard and focus fully on one’s work, and that’s what I’m doing here.”

– «Guardian» service