Sports students were treated to a motivational talk from new Spurs player Eric Dier.

The young defender took part in a question and answer session with teenagers on the BTEC sports course at Barnet and Southgate College as part of a Tottenham Hotspur Foundation event.

Answering questions from the students at the Frederick Knight Sports Ground, Mr Dier revealed that his favourite subjects at school were English and history, and that he still spends his free time “hanging out with friends”.

He said: “My parents always said to me always do your best and then you’ll be fine. School is really important, you’ve got to find the right balance between that and football.”

The player said he had had a “smooth ride” so far, and that settling in at White Hart Lane had been “really easy”.

Answering a question on the pressure of playing in big matches, he said: “You just concentrate on what you’ve got to do. It helps when there’s pressure on me, it helps me concentrate and be more prepared. You fight back.”

The students, aged between 16 and 18, are all on a course run by the college in partnership with the Spurs’ education and football development centres. The programme teaches aspiring players the importance of education.

Grant Cornwell, CEO of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said the project was about “mixing up sport and education”, and aimed to help young people who wanted to continue a career in sport.

Mr Cornwell said the event, billed as “pre-season training” by the club, hoped to inspire young people.

He said: “We want to show them that the players are not that different from them, and that its dedication and hard work that you need to have.”