City History - OWAS

Darren Williams - No Regrets?

Well so another of Cityís young starletís has departed. Just a year after starring in our memorable victory over Manchester United weíve shown Darren Willliams the door. OK, he wasnít in the first team, but anyone who saw him play will know that heís got bags of potential. Do we put it down to another young lad who got ideas above his station and lost his way?

He felt he was better than Cityís offer of a one year extension. Sunderland did so too, offering him a 3 year contract. Perhaps thatís the difference.

At 18, out of the intermediate side, City expected to have a fully fledged professional, fighting for a first team place. If heís not in the first team, put him in the stiffs and get some inters and triallists to make up the numbers. Its the first team that counts, the rest can fend for themselves.

Remember Glenn Naylor. He spent several years waiting for a regular place in the team. We kidded ourselves that he would come good next year, a series of managers tried him, he never did get his regular place. The goals never did flow as regularly for the first team as they did for the reserves and intermediates. Are we about to witness the same thing happening again with Richard Cresswell? Should we call in Muldar and Scully to investigate this strange phenomenon of why our youngsters never seldom develop into first team regulars?

I suspect at Sunderland, Darren is with the reserve squad, developing and improving his skills. Heís not expected to step straight into the first team. Sunderlandís coaches are working with him, still getting him ready for first team action. Theyíve given him 3 years to get there. It seems that we canít wait that long.

I know Darren was out of contract, but Iím not too sure if Iím happy with the fee. Admittedly, it is money down and more depending on how well Darren does. The £50,000 up front seems quite reasonable on the face of it, but then I remember how in the summer Sunderland were quoted £350,000 by the tribunal when they tried to sign Hartlepoolís young striker Stephen Halliday. Perhaps Sunderland did the right thing by offering £50,000.

Letís hope we donít come to regret Darren and Chris Tate moving up to Sunderland when we didnít rate them.

This article first appeared in Oh What A Shambles

Ed's Note (1): Guess what, Darren Williams went on to have a long and successful top flight career, including England U21 and B caps.

Ed's Note (2): David Stockdale, Byron Webster, Paul Robinson and Steve Bushell are just some of the many other City youngsters who left us after showing early promise. All went on to have long football careers elsewhere. Others, too numerous to mention drifted out of league footballl after catching the eye in their early appearances for City. Just what went wrong with all these players at City? If anyone can come up with a foolproof plan to convert junior promise into first team star then you are guaranteed a long career with City.