2009 is set to be a fine year indeed for football fans. And no less so for these ten players; ten players who all have the potential to excite audiences across the country.
Big moves could well beckon for these young stars in 2009:
Jamie Ward — Chesterfield
The diminutive striker has notched 14 goals in 22 starts for Chesterfield this season, and is attracting the interest of a number of Championship clubs. Pacy and with an eye for goal, The Northern Ireland U21 international may be due a big move sooner rather than later with his current contract due to run out in June.
However, a summer move could be the more likely option, with Ward looking increasingly likely to review his options at the end of the season.
Tommy Rowe — Stockport County
With five goals already this season, Rowe is a big part of the Hatters second successive push for promotion, with the 20 year old left winger having all the physical and technical attributes to make an impact in the higher echelons of English Football. Rowe is one of many young starlets attracting interest at Edgeley Park, with the likes of Kevin Pilkington and Jimmy McNulty also being monitored by scouts across the country. Manager Jim Gannon will certainly have a job keeping his young side together over January to maintain their playoff charge.
Joe Lewis — Peterborough
England have already come calling, what next for the Peterborough goalkeeper? Everton and QPR have expressed an interest in the past for the 6’6 keeper, who commands his area well and can pull off spectacular saves when required. The Posh won’t let him go easily though, and have the financial clout and big ambition to convince Lewis to stay at London Road.
Victor Moses — Crystal Palace
The sky is the limit for Moses, who has bags of pace and ability. A regular for England’s Under 19 squad, Moses is equally at home on either wing, and after bursting onto the scene so successfully last season, the winger was the subject of much transfer speculation, with the likes of Arsenal expressing an interest in the player. However, after signing a 4 year deal with Crystal Palace, it appears Moses has committed his future to Palace — for now at least.
John-Joe O’Toole — Watford
Watford’s fans haven’t had much to cheer about this season, but in O’Toole they have a proper player. The midfielder has come through the ranks at Vicarage Road, and at 6’2 is a great athlete as well as a great passer of the ball, with eight goals to his name already this season — not a bad return for a 20 year old in only his second season as a professional. With international football at senior level for the Republic of Ireland surely beckoning, will Watford be tempted to cash in on another of their assets when the big clubs undoubtedly come crawling?
Scott Davies — Reading (on loan at Aldershot)
After leaving his mark on the Blue Square Premier, the on loan Reading youngster is now setting his sights on the Football League, and Gary Waddock’s Aldershot are once again reaping the benefits of the winger’s services. A player with a great work rate and accurate delivery, Davies is also quite capable of producing the spectacular. However, it remains to be seen whether the 20 year old will be given the chance to show off his obvious talents at his parent club, Reading. If not, other clubs will be sure to express an interest in the midfielder.
Sam Baldock —Milton Keynes Dons
Born and bred in Milton Keynes, the emergence of Sam Baldock from promising youngster to first team regular has surprised almost everyone at Stadium: MK. A player with great pace and movement; Baldock is also very composed in front of goal, as his 9 goals in 21 starts this season would testify to. Celtic are rumoured to be interested in the 19 year old hitman, but MK will want to keep hold of their sole home grown talent as long as possible.
Kyle Naughton — Sheffield United
A product of The Blades youth academy, Naughton has made the right-back spot at Sheffield United his own this season. A player comfortable in defence but just as adept going forward to support the attack — Naughton is a fine player, with blistering pace and skill to boot — not traits you’d necessarily associate with a defender. A lifelong Blades fan, Naughton will be hoping to take his hometown club back to the Premiership this season — before the Premiership comes to him.
Scott Dann — Coventry City
Strong, brave and good in the air, The 21 year old has shown maturity beyond his tender years for Coventry during this campaign as captain as one of the youngest backlines in the Championship. After making a successful into the England Under-21s set up, the future certainly looks bright for the young centre-back, who has played at every level in the Football League pyramid so far.
Will Buckley – Rochdale
Premier League scouts have been flocking to Spotland to watch this exciting winger for quite some time now, and the 19 year old has duly obliged with some splendid performances. With six goals to his name already this season, it seems like a matter of time before Buckley moves on to pastures new. But after losing top stars such as Grant Holt, Glenn Murray and Rickie Lambert over the years, Rochdale will be determined to hang on to their man for a while yet as they strive for promotion from League Two.