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I turned down the 'Tom Huddlestone role' at Tottenham to join League One team


TOM CARROLL has revealed he rejected a “Tom Huddlestone role” at Tottenham to join League One side Exeter.

The former Spurs midfielder, 32, left North London in 2017 after injuries saw him play just 56 games across five seasons.

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Former Tottenham man Tom Carroll is thriving with Exeter in League OneCredit: Rex
Carroll left Tottenham in 2017 but returned to train with them during the 2022/23 season

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Carroll left Tottenham in 2017 but returned to train with them during the 2022/23 seasonCredit: —

He had been a part of an influx of Tottenham academy players that included Harry Kane, but was now on a very different path.

He signed for Swansea and went on to feature 67 times in the Premier League for the Welsh outfit, before he joined QPR in the Championship for one year.

That was followed by a season with Ipswich, but Carroll’s body was still not right and in the summer of 2022 he opted to take a year out of the game.

He returned to Spurs to train with their U21s and was offered a player-coach role with the team – the same position Tom Huddlestone held at Manchester United for two years until last month.

Now he has revealed to The Athletic he rejected it because he did not feel his playing career was over.

Shortly after that he was approached by Exeter – who he has gone on to thrive with in the third tier this season.

Impressing on his debut in a 3-0 win over Wycombe, he featured in 42 of the club’s 46 League One matches.

Carroll, now 32, said: “After the game [his Exeter debut], I was like, ‘I’ve missed this feeling’.

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Carroll played 42 of Exeter's 46 League One games in the 2023/24 campaign

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Carroll played 42 of Exeter’s 46 League One games in the 2023/24 campaign

“Winning games, you can’t really replicate it. It’s just a buzz with the boys after, going over to clap the fans. I think that’s special.

“After that game, it made me realise, ‘I can still do this. I still feel good’. So I just wanted to enjoy it and get that buzz back.”

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Carroll is pleased he took the year off to re-charge his batteries and is now excited to see what awaits Exeter next season following their 13th place in his opening campaign at the club.

He added: “Having a year out has made me realise that I should try to enjoy it.

“In football, everything goes so quickly that you can get caught up in it. You win a game, you feel great for maybe that evening, and then it’s on to the next one.

“But I wanted to come back in and try and enjoy it as much as I can, and I’ve done that.

“We have got a pretty good squad now, so it’s just about building on that.”

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