Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Where are they now? – 2012/13 programme special (part two)

As many of you are aware, last season it was my job to write up the player biographies on the opposing teams visiting Underhill, for the matchday programme.
Although I received copy from other contributors, which in a lot of cases meant just sub-editing, there was also a lot of researching involved, particularly when information was out-of-date or incorrect.
I came across a number of former Bees while producing the copy, which brought back a lot of memories and was interesting to see how (in some cases, forgotten) players were getting on. I thought I’d include all of these in a ‘where are they now?’ two-part special.
I previously posted part one: My XI former Bees, so here is part two – or everyone else who didn’t make the cut, including a goalkeeper five-a-side.
JAKE COLE (Plymouth Argyle)
27-year-old keeper Jake joined the Pilgrims in August 2011 as a free agent and went on to play a huge part in helping the team retain their Football League status. On the books at QPR, he acted as understudy to other goalkeepers including Lee Camp, spending time on loan at various clubs including Hayes, AFC Wimbledon and Barnet. He eventually signed for the Bees on a permanent basis and in his first season was named ‘Player of the Year’; he went on to make over 100 appearances in two years. Following his release he joined Plymouth.
Where are they now? Out of contract, rumours suggest he’s off to join Walsall.
Goalkeeper Steve arrived at Spotland towards the end of the January transfer window on non-contract terms. Now at 31, he started his career at Barnet and also had a spell with Nottingham Forest, but first played League football for promoted Yeovil in the 2003/04 campaign. After three seasons at Huish Park, Steve moved on to Southend and has since appeared for several other clubs, including Crewe, Torquay and Northampton.
Where are they now? Signed a one-year deal with Rochdale in May, to act as goalkeeping coach.
ROSS FLITNEY (Gillingham)
Ross began his career at Arsenal before joining Fulham as an apprentice. Released in 2005, he signed for Barnet where he made 58 appearances and will be remembered for that red card after 90 seconds at Old Trafford in League Cup. After two seasons, he dropped down to Non-League football playing for Grays and Croydon, before joining Dover Athletic. The 28-year old shot stopper then moved to Gillingham in 2011 on a two-year deal but knee injuries have kept him out of being first choice.
Where are they now? Released by Gillingham in January, he plays for Eastleigh in the Conference South.
The 28-year-old goalkeeper has a wealth of experience, both at club and international level. Venezuelan-born Mikhael played against the likes of Colombia, Brazil and Argentina. Mikhael began his career with Romanian side CFR Cluj. After an unsuccessful trial at Tottenham Hotspur, Mikhael spent time at Barnet, before earning his breakthrough in English football at Aldershot, where he helped the club into the Football League. A move back to his native Venezuela followed and he put in consistent performances for Premier League team Yaracuyanos. He then returned to England re-signing for Aldershot. Mikhael spent last season at Dover Athletic and joined the Dons in August
Where are they now? AFC Wimbledon but will discuss his future on return from holiday.
SAM WALKER (Bristol Rovers)
Young goalkeeper Sam joins Rovers on-loan from Chelsea. At 20 years old, Sam has already had a season and half of experience in League Two with loan spells at Barnet and Northampton. Last year he spent half of the campaign at League One Yeovil.
Where are they now? Returned to parent club Chelsea, after a spell with Colchester.
Damian Batt (Oxford)
Where are they now? Free agent, following his release from Oxford.
ADAM BIRCHALL (Gillingham)
Striker Adam joined a three-year deal on arrival at Priestfield in 2011, but a cruciate knee injury pre-season kept him out of last campaign. Joining from Dover, Adam was a great success, scoring 63 goals in 93 appearances in all competitions. Starting out at Arsenal, but never making the first team, the 27-year old also had spells with Mansfield and Barnet.
Where are they now? Gillingham.

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