The Crystal Palace academy is considered to be one of the best in the English game. At least that is what we’re told because we’ve churned out star players such as… Erm… Wilfred Zaha… Nathaniel Clyne… Erm… Okay, I need to look this up!
The fact is the academy hasn’t churned out as many gems as you might think, certainly not by Premier League standards.
So, what would be considered to be a gem? Back in 2001 when our first academy graduate broke in to the first team, Wayne Routledge, we were grateful for whatever we could produce, especially if we could sell them on for a tidy profit.
Founded in 2000 by ex-chairman Simon Jordan after he took the club out of administration, the academy has gone on to produce 38 players who have made appearances for the first team. Of the 38, just 11 of them have made thirty or more appearances.
Can you name all 11? Can you name 5 of them?
Of course, this isn’t to say our youth academy is shit but on the other hand it isn’t like Man United’s either. Today our demands are higher than that of the 2000s. How many of the players on this list from that time would feature in our team today? Maybe 3 of them. Three from ten years isn’t that good, is it?
So, who would you consider to be our most successful graduate? Would it be Wilfired Zaha because we sold to Manchester United for £15m, then bought back for £3m rising to £6m? Or would it be Jonny Williams because he’s played 17 times for the Wales national team?
Would it be someone else, such as Chelsea player Victor Moses? Swansea player, Wayne Routledge? Let me know in the comments below.
Here is the list in full. (correct on 10th August 2016)
|John Bostock||2007-08||5||0||RC Lens|
|Ashley-Paul Robinson||2007-08||6||0||Tooting & Mitcham|
|Kieran Djilali||2008-09||35||1||Free Agent|
|James Comley||2008-09||6||0||St. Albans|
|Kieron Cadogan||2008-10||25||2||Free Agent|
|Wilfried Zaha||2010-13||221||27||Crystal Palace|
|Ibra Sekajja||2011-14||3||1||Hemel Hempstead|
|Jonathan Williams||2011-||69||1||Crystal Palace|
|Kyle De Silva||2012-15||10||0||FC Eindhoven|
|Hiram Boateng||2013-||3||0||Crystal Palace|
|Sullay Kaikai||2014-||2||1||Crystal Palace|