FEATURE: Etherington is an exception to the rule governing young Peterborough United debutants

Making your professional debut for Peterborough United at an early age is no guarantee of a stellar professional career.

Wednesday, 19th April 2017, 11:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:32 pm
The youngest Posh player Matthew Etherington went on to play in the Premier League for Spurs, Stoke and West Ham.

Midfielder Andrea Borg and left-back Lewis Freestone made their first appearances for Posh in the Good Friday defeat by Fleetwood, but they have plenty of work to do to turn early promise into long and fulfilling careers

While the club’s youngest player of their Football League era Matthew Etherington did reach the heights of the Premier League, the rest of the Posh top 20 youngest players have experienced mixed careers.

Some like Keith Oakes (7th), Steve Collins (14th), Mark Tyler (19th) and Matthew Gill (20th) enjoyed long spells as strong lower division players, while others like Mark Heeley (6th), Andy Furnell (8th) and Ryan Semple (16th) didn’t fulfil early promise.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The second youngest Posh player Charlie Coulson now plays for Deeping Rangers of the United Counties League.

Some make one appearance and disappear like goalkeeper Steve Zenchuk (11th) who famously deputised for David Seaman in a game at Blackpool, finished on the winning side, and was never seen again before becoming a Peterborough League striker with Perkins.

Charlie Coulson is second on the Posh list and is now at United Counties League Deeping Rangers, while Richard Sutton (12th) started a game at Aldershot, but was substituted after 28 minutes and never selected again.

David Billington (10th) was thought to be on the verge of a top career, but he picked up an injury which forced an early retirement soon after a big money move to Sheffield Wednesday.

Current players Leo Da Silva Lopes (3rd), Jermaine Anderson (4th) and Kasey Douglas (5th) are all in the top 20 youngest Posh players.

Andrew Borg during his Posh debut against Fleetwood.

Andrea Borg has entered the chart at 18th with Lewis Freestone in 21st place.

YOUNGEST POSH DEBUTANTS

(Football League era)

1 Matthew Etherington (15 years, 8 months, 20 days) 1997

Lewis Freestone after his Posh debut against Fleetwood.

2 Charlie Coulson (16 years, 3 months, 10 days) 2012

3 Leo Da Silva Lopes (16 years, 4 months, 25 days) 2015

4 Jermaine Anderson (16 years, 6 months, 1 day) 2012

5 Kasey Douglas (16 years, 7 months, 0 days) 2016

The second youngest Posh player Charlie Coulson now plays for Deeping Rangers of the United Counties League.

6 Mark Heeley (16 years, 7 months, 16 days) 1976

7 Keith Oakes (16 years, 8 months, 6 days) 1973

8 Andy Furnell (16 years, 9 months, 14 days) 1993

9 Jaanai Gordon (16 years, 9 months, 15 days) 2012

10 David Billington (16 years, 11 months, 3 days) 1996

11 Steve Zenchuk (17 years, 0 months, 14 days) 1983

Andrew Borg during his Posh debut against Fleetwood.

12 Richard Sutton (17 years, 0 months, 20 days) 1982

13 Paddy Rayment (17 years, 0 months, 28 days) 1982

14 Steve Collins (17 years, 1 month, 7 days) 1979

15 Paul Bryant (17 years, 3 months, 7 days) 1986

16 Ryan Semple (17 years, 3 months, 22 days) 2002

17 Mick Nuttell (17 years, 4 months, 25 days) 1986

18 Andrea Borg (17 years, 5 months, 2 days) 2017

19 Mark Tyler (17 years, 5 months, 16 days) 1994

20 Matthew Gill (17 years, 5 months, 17 days) 1998

21 Lewis Freestone (17 years, 5 months, 19 days) 2017

Lewis Freestone after his Posh debut against Fleetwood.