Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Bigger and better things? Like others, your time will come

So it was no surprise that clubs in the summer window were after our winger, Mark Marshall. A number of quality performances last season, as well as the skill and pace he has in abundance was quite clearly noted by a number of teams on scouting missions. After the closure of the transfer window it was revealed that the club had in fact turned down a bid for Mark, who, in essence, is one of our key players – from League One outfit, Charlton Athletic – despite numerous further enquiries from the Championship and League One. The offer rejected because it was “far from what he is worth”, and “not even a proper offer” – Sanchez then went on to say about the midfielder “I have said it before that he will play at a higher level in the future”.
Therefore, I thought it’d only be apt to look back at five ex-Bees that have gone on to bigger and better things. Of course there have been a fair few, but I tried to find various players from my last 17 years as a Barnet fan. To clarify, these are in no other order than alphabetical!

Nicky Bailey
“If there’s anybody else out there, that scores goals and got ginger hair, we’ve got Nicky Bailey…” – except we haven’t anymore, of course. Nicky joined us back in 2004, in our Conference days from non-league outfit Sutton United and is one of very few players taken from outside the Football League who has made it reasonably big – particularly when you look from the perspective of recent years and some of the garbage (may be a little harsh?) we’ve found ourselves acquiring! Nicky was definitely a fans favourite, and in my opinion had one of the better central midfield partnerships we have seen (with Dean Sinclair). Nicky ended up leaving in 2007, when he joined Southend for a sum of £175,000. Since his move he’s only progressed up the Leagues – joining Charlton Athletic, where he was their player of the season (albeit, they were relegated to League One!), and now Middlesbrough. He scored his first ever goal for Middlesbrough – and his first in over two years of football – at the weekend, in their win against Burnley. The £10,000 man from Sutton is now worth millions, not too bad for an ex-Bee!
Dougie Freedman
I’m too young to remember Dougie Freedman really – he played for Barnet back in 1994, his debut club as a professional, young footballer (the same year, in fact, that I started going – at the young age of four years old!). He’s another to go from strength to strength though, which is why he definitely deserves a place on this list. In his debut season, he became the club’s top scorer, and a continuation of good form in the second drew interest from other clubs. He signed from Barnet to Crystal Palace for £800,000 – making him still the club’s record for transfer fees received. Spending two spells at Palace where he was (and still is!) a club legend, he went on to play for other teams including Notts Forest and Southend, where the goals continued. That second spell at the Eagles was an eight-year tenure, where he ended his time with a testimonial for his services to the club. He continues to stay in South East London as the club’s manager – but continues to ‘big us up’ in various forms of broadcast and print media!
Linvoy Primus
Again, like Dougie, Linvoy joined the Bees back in 1994 – when I was more interested when it would be half time, and if I’d be getting more Opal Fruits! – so don’t really recall him as well as some of the others on this list. In his first two seasons with the club he was runner up in the ‘Player of the Season’ award, in the latter year, he was second place to a certain goalkeeper who will be mentioned later on! Despite a rocky three seasons with the club, Linvoy scored more goals at his time with Barnet than any other club (seven; not a bad feat for a defender!). After leaving the Bees, Linvoy joined Reading for a fee of £500,000 – which was where he spent the following three years. However, it most likely his time at Portsmouth where he is best known – joining in 2000 and spending nine years before retiring due to a knee injury. His testimonial was in 2010, and Portsmouth even named one of the stands at Fratton Park after him – in memory of his services to the club.
Jason Puncheon
Jason Puncheon, the much loved winger has the incredible feat of scoring in every tier of the Football League – Barnet of League Two, Southampton and MK Dons of League One, Millwall of the Championship and Blackpool of the Premiership – not bad going! Puncheon joined Barnet back in 2006, and made himself at home almost immediately becoming a huge hit with fans. He scored a number of goals, the majority of which, could only be described as ‘wonder goals’; that 35-yard free kick against Bradford will stay in the mid for a long time to come; as well as being named in the PFA team of the season, at the end of the 2007/08 campaign and the FA Cup’s player of the third round, that same year. He joined Plymouth Argyle for a sum of £250,000 – but his time there was largely unsuccessful, joining MK Dons on loan three times throughout his tenure with the Pilgrims. He then went on to join Southampton, and despite a number of appearances since 2010, he’s enjoyed a number of further loan spells – at Millwall, and then-Premiership, Blackpool. This season he’s joined QPR for half a season on loan, again proving that he is more than capable to play in the top flight of English football. I think it’s only fair to say: we made him!
Maik Taylor
Maik Taylor joined Barnet (then in what was the third division) from Non-League Farnborough for a minimal fee of £700. In one and a half seasons with the Bees, he managed to rack up 70 appearances; as well as winning the Player of the Season award at the end of the 1996/97 campaign. Upon leaving Underhill, Maik made the massive step-up to the Premier League when he joined Southampton for £500,000. Although, his time there was limited and he spent the majority of the time on the bench, he joined Fulham for £800,000. His spell at Craven Cottage was a lot more popular, and one of two long spells in top flight football – the other, more recently, at Birmingham City, where he initially went on loan. As well as making it to the Premier League, Maik also made it onto the International Circuit – as Northern Ireland’s first choice goalkeeper. Despite being born to a German mother, he was eligible to play for any of the home nations – and has racked up over 80 appearances since his International debut in 1999.

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