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Sutton’s Ben Goodliffe claims Tottenham’s release was ‘the best thing that has happened to me’ as he is shocked at the promotion

BEN GOODLIFFE thought it was the end of the world when he was sacked by Tottenham as a child.

But now the Sutton United Defender understands the North London giants have spotted something in his game that he is now benefiting from.

Sutton United star Ben Goodliffe has been switched from attacking to defending by Spurs

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Sutton United star Ben Goodliffe has been switched from attacking to defending by Spurs
Goodliffe in action for the League Two team

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Goodliffe in action for the League Two teamPhoto credit: Rex

Goodliffe, 22, was signed by spores as a center forward, but they made him a defender.

And the Watford-born ace has endured a whirlwind three seasons since joining the United States.

First he was in a side that successfully held their own in the National League, then for the first time in boy’s history he won promotion to the EFL before making it Wembley Final in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Now he has a chance to win promotion to League One while the team is in the thick of it as hosts Bradford.

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In the club’s first EFL season, they can still snag a third automatic promotion spot or one of the four play-off places with two games left.

They are in seventh place, the final play-off position, three points behind third-placed Northampton – but just two points clear of Swindon and four ahead of Salford and Tranmere.

It’s all a long way from the day he was told he wasn’t good enough for Tottenham.

He told SunSport: “When you get sacked by a club like this you suddenly have doubts about yourself.

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“I have good family who picked me up and told me to keep enjoying my football and get back into the habit of getting a smile on your face again.

“In the end, we get into football in the first place because it’s something we love.

“It wasn’t me then – but it was the best thing that happened to me to leave Tottenham.”

Goodliffe explains, as he now thoughtfully understands, that all the years he’s spent climbing through the youth ranks weren’t wasted.

And indeed, his game probably would never have developed to where it is today if it weren’t for the sharp-eyed Spurs coaches.

He said: “I had signed at Spurs as a centre-forward. I was an attacking player and at that age everyone wants to score goals.

“But it was recognized that I had some defensive qualities in me.

Ben Goodliffe previously played at Wembley when League One beat Rotherham Sutton to win the Papa John's Trophy

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Ben Goodliffe previously played at Wembley when League One beat Rotherham Sutton to win the Papa John’s Trophy

“I moved to middle half after six years and played right-back and as a little kid I wasn’t happy with that myself, but Spurs could see something in me.

“My performances weren’t great because people were physically stronger and I got fired because of that.

“I can’t get excited because that’s the position I’ve played for the last five years and I’m thriving from that.”

Goodliffe played alongside defender Japhet Tanganga at Spurs and goalkeeper Brandon Austin, both of whom are still at the club.

He also played with midfielders Marcus Edwards, currently in Portugal with Sporting, and George Marsh, who plays for AFC Wimbledon, as well as Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Keanan Bennetts.

But many of them are not in the professional ranks and Goodliffe himself moved to the non-league where Boreham Wood snapped him up for their academy before signing a two-year professional contract with Wolves.

Sutton United celebrated promotion to the EFL last season

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Sutton United celebrated promotion to the EFL last season

However, it was on loan to Dagenham in the National League where he cut his teeth and played 33 games before Wolves released him and he joined Sutton.

He hasn’t looked back, adding: “There’s a lot of pressure when you’re at a club like Tottenham… not just from them, but from your friends and family to do it too.

“The proportion of players who come out of the academy and make it to the top is small.

“You just have to keep your cool and enjoy your football – play your best football and your time will come.

“I’ve made 150 appearances now and what we’ve achieved at Sutton is nothing short of remarkable.

“My ambition in the game is to continue to be good at the job I set out to do – but you never know where the club can take you.

“Everyone wants to play higher and we are on the verge of promotion.

“If we can get back-to-back promotions from the National League to League One that’s another step up and you never know how far you can go.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/18393609/tottenham-ben-goodliffe-sutton-united-league-two/ Sutton’s Ben Goodliffe claims Tottenham’s release was ‘the best thing that has happened to me’ as he is shocked at the promotion

Ashley

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