Academy Gems Unearthed But Will They Continue?

Clyne – Moses – Zaha

The Crystal Palace Youth Academy is considered to be one of the best in the English game but does that hold up under scrutiny?

At least that is what we’re told because we’ve churned out gems that litter the game such as… erm… Wilfred Zaha… Nathaniel Clyne… erm… Victor Moses…

Okay, I need to look at this in a little more depth.

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 a gem?

Back in 2001 when our first academy graduate, Wayne Routledge, broke in to the first team, we were grateful for whatever we could produce, especially if we could sell them on for a tidy profit.

Founded in 2000 by former 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 gone on to make 30 or more senior 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 Manchester United’s either.

Today our demands are higher than that of the ‘naughties’ in that we are a Premier League club about to complete it’s fourth consecutive season.

How many of the players on the graduate list from the last 16 years would get game time in our team today if they were coming through the system?

I think 3 of them would, 4 at a push. Those being Zaha, Moses, Clyne and maybe Routledge.

Three players from 16 years years isn’t that good, is it?

Who would you consider to be our most successful graduate during that time?

Would it be Wilfried Zaha because we sold him to Manchester United for £15million? Or would it be Jonny Williams because he’s played 17 times for the Welsh national team making him our most capped player?

Would it be someone else, such as Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne, Chelsea winger Victor Moses or Swansea City winger Wayne Routledge?

Here is the list in full. Appearances and goals are for all senior league and cup competitions;



Years Active

CPFC Games

CPFC Goals

Current Club

Wayne Routledge 2001-05 123 10 Swansea
Scott Gooding 2001-02 1 0 Retired
Will Antwi 2002-03 7 0 Retired
Gareth Williams 2002-04 8 0 Retired
Gary Borrowdale 2002-07 114 0 Retired
David Hunt 2002-03 3 0 Wealdstone
Sam Togwell 2002-06 4 0 Barnet
Ben Watson 2002-09 189 20 Watford
Tariq Nabil 2003-04 1 0 Retired
Gavin Heeroo 2003-04 1 0 Retired
Tom Soares 2003-09 162 12 Bury
Arron Fray 2005-06 2 0 Bromley
Lewis Grabban 2005-08 13 1 Bournemouth
Tyrone Berry 2005-06 3 0 Retired
Lewwis Spence 2006-07 3 0 Thurrock
Lee Hills 2007-20 47 1 Whitehawk
John Bostock 2007-08 5 0 RC Lens
Victor Moses 2007-10 69 11 Chelsea
Ryan Hall 2007-08 2 0 Retired
Sean Scannell 2007-12 141 13 Huddersfield
Ashley-Paul Robinson 2007-08 6 0 Tooting & Mitcham
Ben Kudjodji 2007-08 1 0 Carshalton
Kieran Djilali 2008-09 35 1 Free Agent
Nathaniel Clyne 2008-12 137 1 Liverpool
Rhoys Wiggins 2008-09 1 0 Bournemouth
James Comley 2008-09 6 0 St. Albans
Kieron Cadogan 2008-10 25 2 Free Agent
Nathaniel Pinney 2008-10 2 0 Eastbourne
Alex Wynter 2010-15 2 0 Colchester
Wilfried Zaha 2010-13 251 33 Crystal Palace
Matthew Parsons 2010-14 10 0 Maidenhead
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
Jerome Binnom-Williams 2013-16 2 0 Peterborough
Jake Gray  2014-16 2 0 Luton
Sullay Kaikai  2014- 4 1 Crystal Palace

Information correct as of 13th April 2017


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