On Sunday Neil Kengni gave Tottenham a scare when his shot hit the bar in the 20th minute of Marine’s FA Cup tie. On Monday he attended a Zoom tutorial on health and safety for his apprentice plumbing course from his home in Manchester.
The 20-year-old Kengni said he was still digesting his moment in the spotlight, describing it as “a bit surreal” to be playing against some of the top players in the world whom he would normally spend his weekends watching on TV. He recounts chatting to Dele Alli and Lucus Moura, describing them as “sound guys”.
The player from the eighth-tier club says he is “gutted” that his shot didn’t go in though, as he replays the moment over and over again. “I think I hit it too high.” He hopes the Marine players still made everyone proud, despite the eventual 5-0 defeat by Spurs, adding: “We still kept on going until the last minute.”
Kengni’s family moved from Cameroon to the UK when he was 10, settling in Wythenshawe, famously home to United’s Marcus Rashford, another hero of his. “Watching him grow through football to become one of the best players in the world is amazing. And hopefully, in God’s hands, I can do the same.” So Kengni hopes to follow in his footsteps?
“Yes”, he says, “I‘m hoping to be a professional football … and hopefully still, you know, get my plumbing degree.” Maya Wolfe-Robinson