Congratulations to Kane Ferdinand on his move to championship side Peterborough United last week.
Kane was 13 when he signed for this club and was part of a very strong under-16 team which looked like this:
1 Dan Bentley – now a pro at SUFC and has made his debut in the first team; 2 Nathan Simpson - left us at 16 and got in the last ten of Sky 1’s Football's Next Star with Inter Milan; 3 Teddy Nesbit – has made his debut in first team; 4 James Stevens – has made his debut in first team; 5 Kane Ferdinand (yes he used to be a centre back!) - played for 2 years in our first team before being sold to Peterborough for £200,000; 6 Keiran Harris - a very talented player who unfortunately fell short through a bad injury; 7 Femi Orenuga - sold to Everton in March 2009; 8 George Smith – has made his debut in first team; 9 Michael Ngoo sold to Liverpool in September 2009; 10 Freddie Ladapo - pro at Colchester United; 11 Julian Okai – made his debut in first team.
Many squads since have been similar but when you have been at a club since 2006 you can start to put together a library of players who have moved on and progressed. We now have an established system in place with lots of talent in our younger age groups that could follow the pattern of the list below:
Debuts since 2006: Merrick James Lewis; Franck Moussa; Johnny Herd; Charles Ademeno; Harry Crawford; Alex Woodyard; Justin Hazell; Femi Orenuga; Teddy Nesbit; James Stevens; George Smith; Dan Bentley; Kyle Asante. And congratulations to Seedy Njie for his recent debut.
Youth internationals: Ricky Byrne (Republic of Ireland); Luke Chambers, selected for Wales under-19 this week to play Germany; Michael Ngoo England Under-19s; George Smith (Republic of Ireland); Isaac Hayden (England); Callum Whittaker (Northern Ireland); James Stevens (Northern Ireland); Harry Crawford (Republic of Ireland); Kane Ferdinand (Republic of Ireland).
Youth transfers: Kane Ferdinand, Peterborough; Glen Kamara, Arsenal; Dominic Iorfa Jr, Wolves; Lyle Della Verde, Fulham; Isaac Hayden, Arsenal; Jayden Owden, Arsenal; Keith Orenuga, Arsenal; Stephy Mavididi, Arsenal; Femi Orenuga, Everton; Duran Reynolds, Dagenham & Redbridge; Medi Abalimba, Derby County; Michael Ngoo, Liverpool.
The big question for you as a young player in our academy is... who’s next? To make an international debut? To play in our first team? To move on to the next level? As you can see from above it is possible for you if you apply yourself professionally and focus on where you want to go.
The success comes from Ricky Duncan to all involved in our development centres and everybody else in between.
Head of Academy Coaching