Akpan bounces back to the Premier League

I’ve often wondered what happens to youth players when they get dropped from their clubs.  Do they give up completely and get a different job?  Do they turn to crime? Or do they continue to play but tumble down the leagues? Sometimes the first, unfortunately occasionally the second but mostly the last one, is the answer. But every now and then there is a fourth option; they get released, do brilliantly at a League One club and bounce back to the Premier League and score the winning goal against their former side. 

Well most of option four has happened to Hope Akpan (the rest is just me being romantic, or strange, or maybe even both).  He is in the process of signing for Reading after a spell at Crawley Town and his chance to fulfill the other part is on 2nd March when Reading face Everton at Goodison Park.

When I heard that he had been released by Everton I was a little upset. Another quality English youngster not quite making the grade with his home town club, however I clearly wasn’t as upset as Hope himself. I have a friend who saw him trudging home through the back streets of Liverpool still wearing his kit, he looked so miserable that my mate nearly offered him a lift home, but now Hope’s prayers of a career in the Premier League seem to have been answered.  

The powerful, young midfielder played only once for Everton‘s first team, making an appearance in the Europa League before moving on loan to Hull City and ultimately to Crawley Town where he has played forty-seven times, establishing himself as a fans favourite and clearly their best player.

So that’s what can happen when youth players get released from their clubs… There’s always hope.

Peter Stickney