Five For The Future

Football offers the opportunity for a youngster to dream of becoming a professional footballer and when youngsters see talent like those described below playing then the dream edges closer.

I wanted to tell the world about some of the talents making their way in the game and who in my opinion are destined for the top-level in the game.

Hope I’m right and remember who may have told you about them first. Me.

I have chosen five young stars in the game who I have watched recently and have the qualities to make the grade. Have a read about them and then watch them play and you will see for yourself.

Name: Alex Smithies (pictured above)

Age: 19

Club: Huddersfield Town

Position: Goalkeeper

Country: England Under 19 Cap

6 foot 3 inches  custodian who has already played 46 games for Huddersfield. Has a very commanding presence and shouts in a similar way to Peter Schmeichel. Has already attracted the attentions from the scouts of several Premier League clubs and last week he was linked with a £3 million move to Stoke City and Everton.

Has played at every level for England up to and including the current under 19 team. Alex has the potential to be England number one and with quality goalkeepers at a premium it will be difficult for Huddersfield manager Lee Clark to hold onto him should the offers come in.

Name: Nathan Porritt (pictured above)

Age: 19

Club: Middlesbrough

Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder

Country: England Under 17 level

Famously known as one of the cases of poaching young players in the BBC Panorama’s documentary ‘Football’s Dirty Secrets’ when Chelsea were alleged to have tried to poach him from Middlesbrough.

An attacking midfielder with plenty of potential hasn’t made the Middlesbrough team yet but had a brief spell at League Two Darlington earlier this season. Now Middlesbrough are under new management in Gordon Strachan, this maybe the time for Nathan to kick on and prove his potential.

Name: Bradley Johnson (pictured above)

Age: 22

Club: Leeds United

Position: Winger

Country: England, no international experience

The oldest of my recommendations but every time I have seen Bradley play he has been impressive. Can operate on either wing or at full-back and weighs in with his fair share of goals.

Had several clubs prior to joining Leeds back in January 2008 but has settled well at the Yorkshire club. Whilst many of Leeds promising players are being scouted by several clubs, Bradley will definitely take the eye of one of them. His commitment, work ethic and hunger are qualities he offers in abundance.

Name: Adam Matthews (pictured above)

Age: 17

Club: Cardiff City

Position: Right Back

Country: Wales Senior Squad Member

Has burst onto the scene this season with several composed performances at right back for Cardiff this season. This has also seen Adam gain full international recognition though he was an unused substitute against Scotland recently.

Has made the right back position his own in a Cardiff team challenging for promotion to the Premier League and comes from a well-known academy which has recently produced Aaron Ramsey and Joe Ledley. Shame he isn’t English as this is another position we are running low on talent in. 

Name: Henri Lansbury (pictured above)

Age: 19

Club: Arsenal (on loan at Watford)

Position: Centre Midfield

Country: England Under 21 Cap

The most well-known of the five, Henri is currently excelling at Watford in the Championship. He has been instrumental in the middle of the park as Watford march up the table towards the play-off positions. He really is a joy to watch with excellent footballing skills and ability.

One of many products of the Arsenal academy system he may need to move on to make his name in the Premier League. Has all the assets needed to make it at the highest level and has gained England under 21 recognition in recent months.

Hopefully all five will make it at the highest level in the professional game and prove that I actually know what I am talking about.

Thanks for reading as usual.



P.s. Well done (again) to Sachin Tendulkar on scoring his 88th International hundred against Sri Lanka on Friday.

Remarkably it was his 43rd Test ton to go against his 45 in the one-day version of the game.

What odds on him playing on until he reaches 100 hundreds??

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