6ft Elf set to face the big boys

By Danny Caro, November 27, 2008

Barnet youth team keeper Alex Elf has set his sights on playing against one of the Premier League giants in the FA Youth Cup.

The Spurs fan has helped the Bees reach the third round proper following victories over Basingstoke and Havant & Waterlooville. They await the winner of the tie between Bristol Rovers and Brighton & Hove Albion knowing that victory could set up a tie against Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal.

Spotted playing for Woodside Park in the AJY and Maccabi Primary Leagues at seven, Alex of East Barnet quickly established himself in the No. 1 shirt and at 14, he advanced into the Hadley Wood and Wingate FC team in the Watford Friendly League. He broke into Wingate & Finchley Under 18 team a year later and represented the Blues in the FA Youth Cup.

Elf, now 16, helped the Team England Under 16 futsal side win gold at the 2007 European Maccabi Games in Rome and trained with Crystal Palace for three months earlier this year.
He left JFS to pursue his footballing career and is currently playing in the Under 19 South East Puma Youth Alliance League.

Elf said: "Football is a hard game. The training and discipline means I can't always see my friends, especially the night before a match, but that's all part of the game.
His mother, Suzanne, said: "Alex's training regime is so intense. I can't believe how quickly his physique has changed."

Last updated: 2:35pm, December 1 2008