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Where Are They Now? Class Of 2008

8 July 2015


Last week former Palace academy graduate Nathaniel Clyne signed for Liverpool for a reported £12.5 million to continue his rapid rise through the footballing ranks.

The full-back had been capped by England five times during his time at Southampton, whom he joined from the Eagles in 2012 having come through the ranks at Selhurst Park from the age of eight.

Clyne made his debut in red and blue in the 2008/09 season which saw a host of academy products turn out for the club under Neil Warnock's management. Here we take a look at how the teammates' careers panned out after making the move away from SE25.

Nathaniel Clyne - 137 Palace appearances, 1 goal 

Making his Eagles debut against Barnsley in October 2008 Clyne was quickly handed a three year deal with the club. He went on to win the Player of the Year award in 2010/11 as he continued to blossom in the Championship.

After leaving SE25 he signed for newly-promoted Southampton and flourished in the top-flight, and was rewarded with his first England cap in November 2014 against Slovenia before making the move to Anfield this summer.

Ben Watson - 189 Palace appearances, 20 goals

By 2008 Watson had become a relative veteran of the side, having made his debut five years earlier at the end of the 2002/03 season as a 17-year-old. He went on to be an influential part of the side, scoring his first goal in a derby against Millwall before moving onto pastures new.

He would spend the majority of his next six years in the game at Wigan Athletic, apart from loan spells at Queens Park Rangers and West Bromwich Albion. His most famous moment came in the final minute of the 2013 FA Cup Final when he scored the only goal of the game to beat Manchester City. After suffering relegation a week later, he will return to the top-flight this season with Watford.

Victor Moses - 69 Palace games, 11 goals

Like Wilfried Zaha would do a year later, Moses was handed his debut against Cardiff City as a 16-year-old in November 2007 and went on to play a key role as the Eagles reached the play-offs in his first season. A run of six goals in eight games in 2010 made him a hot commodity during the club's period in administration.

Following in Watson's footsteps, he signed for Wigan in January 2010 and after a difficult start his form soon attracted the attentions of Chelsea. He remains on their books but has found chances limited, despite successful loan moves to Liverpool and Stoke City over the past two seasons.

Tom Soares - 162 Palace appearances, 12 goals

Making his Palace debut in 2004 in a 6-3 win against Stoke, Soares went on to establish himself in Iain Dowie's side during the 2004/05 Premier League campaign. He would remain a regular in the heart of midfield where he was noted for his powerful runs into the box which led to plenty of goals.

He made a return to the top-flight when Tony Pulis signed him for the Potters in August 2008 but he failed to make an impact, playing just 13 times in four years and being farmed out on loan to Charlton Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday and Hibernian. He signed for Bury in November 2012 where he currently remains, helping them win promotion to League One last season.

Sean Scannell - 141 Palace appearances, 13 goals

Scoring a 90th minute winner in only his second appearance against Sheffield Wednesday in December 2007, he ended the season as the club's Young Player of the Year. He improved under Dougie Freedman's management where he played all over the front line but struggled to consistently find the back of the net.

Huddersfield Town made him their first signing after gaining promotion to the Championship in the summer of 2012 where he remains a regular as he approaches his fourth season with the Terriers, having clocked up 125 games during that time.

Kieran Djilali - 35 Palace appearances, 1 goal

Making his Eagles bow in 2008/09 against Hereford United in the League Cup, the midfielder would gradually see more gametime for the club without nailing down a regular place, apart from when George Burley gave him a run of games at the start of 2010/11. 

He was allowed out on loan to Crawley Town and Chesterfield during his time in SE25, but eventually made a permanent move to AFC Wimbledon in 2011. Two years later he moved to Ireland to play for Sligo Rovers, Limerick and Cork City, whom he helped qualify for the Europa League this season.

Rhoys Wiggins - 1 appearance

Despite turning out just once for Palace in October 2008 against Nottingham Forest, the former Wales under-21 international opted to join Norwich City, but he quickly moved onto Bournemouth after a couple of loan spells on the south coast. 

In 2011 he returned to south London with Charlton Athletic, whom he still appears for and was recently called up to the full Wales squad without winning a cap.

James Comley - 6 appearances

Warnock handed the midfielder his chance in March 2009 in a game against Barnsley, and would continue to put faith in the youngster as he made four appearances that term, before playing twice against Aston Villa in the FA Cup the following season.

He was released in 2010 and went on to play for Canvey Island and Kettering Town, and is currently in his second spell at St Albans City as well as playing for Montserrat at international level after making one appearance for England's C team.

Kieron Cadogan - 25 Palace appearances, 2 goals

The winger quickly took to life in red and blue when he netted against Coventry City on his debut in April 2009. After not appearing the following season, Burley handed him a chance and he featured much more regularly in 2010/11, but by the end of the following season he was released.

Aldershot Town gave him a chance and then he had a season at Barnet under the management of former Palace team-mate Edgar Davids, but after they were demoted to the Conference he moved to Sweden where he plays for second tier side GAIS.

Nathaniel Pinney - 2 Palace appearances

Making his league bow in the final minute of a 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City in April 2009, the striker would play just once more for the Eagles - a win over Yeovil Town in the League Cup in August 2010 - before being released after loan spells with Woking, Dagenham and Redbridge, Braintree and Ebbsfleet United.

He signed for Croydon and went on to play for Carshalton Athletic, Tonbridge Angels, Dulwich Hamlet and Kingstonian before spending from December last season with Eastbourne Borough.

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