Antonio Conte opens up about special history with Ryan Mason

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Antonio Conte has talked about his joy at having Ryan Mason as part of his coaching staff at Tottenham, especially with the unusual story the two have shared.

Conte has taken in seven of his own coaches as he looks to turn around Spurs’ season.

Mason, who is only 30 years old, is also part of the Italian’s backroom staff, after being forced to withdraw from the game after suffering a head fracture when he played against Conte’s Chelsea in 2017.

“It was a strange situation. I went to the hospital to find him and his family because it was a serious injury,” Conte told Spurs media channels.

After his retirement, Mason took on a development role in Spurs academy and took over the first team at the end of the 2020/21 season after Jose Mourinho was fired – a short period that impressed Conte.

“I followed him last season when he was Spurs coach for two months. Then to come to Tottenham and find him – he is a really good guy and I think this can be a good experience for him,” he added.

“To stick together and help me and my staff to adapt and feel the sense of belonging and feel what it means to play for this club. I think it is very important to be emotionally involved in the club that you work for.”

Mason also spoke about the unusual intertwining of his and Conte’s paths and commented that Spurs’ new head coach is a true gentleman.

“It’s pretty weird to be honest. When I had my injury it was against his team at Stamford Bridge,” he said.

“He came to the hospital afterwards to meet me and my family. I do not really remember it to be honest because of the nature of my injury, but there is a photo where he is with me by my bed and I think it shows what type of person he is – a very, very handsome individual.

“Then was my only international match against his Italian team in Italy in 2015, so there is that story there and hopefully we can go together and create some positive history for Tottenham now.

“I am happy and very excited to be part of the team under the manager and also the staff he brought with him. It is an exciting chapter for the football club, we will try to work hard, improve and get some positive results in the football club. short term but also long term.

“I talked to the manager on Tuesday after the first training session, we talked a bit about joining the team and becoming part of the coaching staff and that is something I am very excited about.

“He is one of the best coaches in the world – his record speaks for itself. It is a huge opportunity for me and a huge opportunity for the football club to have the manager here who trains and helps the team.”

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