WILL DOHERTY EARN HIS SPURS?
By Phill Othen
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
6ft 2ins Doherty has fought his way through the youth ranks at Kenilworth Road and such is his progress, he has gone on to play for the Republic of Ireland youth side. The 20-year-old has also appeared on the bench for the senior team and Graham obviously considers him a hot prospect for the future.
After recent purchases of Matthew Etherington and Simon Davies - both from Peterborough - along with Anthony Gardner of Port Vale, Graham clearly rates the English talent plying their trade in the Nationwide. The multi-skilled youth personnel in North London are seemingly destined to be augmented by the summer signing of Doherty.
The Irishman has played in defence for the Hatters to great effect this season, winning 54% of his 84 challenges in addition to making over 450 important defensive clearances, interceptions and blocks.
However, the versatile youngster has also performed with aplomb up front - a quality which Spurs have been lacking this campaign - netting six goals this term. Graham`s timing appears impeccable on this occasion. The Donegal-born player has scored in each of Luton`s last five games.
It is a measure of Doherty`s proficiency in attack that he has outshone every other Hatters regular in terms of shooting accuracy, registering a superb 67% of his shots on target. The languid forward has also displayed a capacity for creativity, providing 11 goalscoring opportunities for his grateful team-mates, four of which have been successfully converted. All the more impressive considering the Luton star has spent most of the season in defence.
Undoubtedly, Doherty has an extremely bright future in front of him, both for club and country. The fact that the redheaded all-rounder has exuded such confidence in Division Two has clearly persuaded Graham that his form can be replicated in the Premiership. However, with the glut of young talent currently residing in North London, Doherty may have to be patient to grab his big chance.