Saints and Pompey, the two Hampshire rivals with vastly different youth programme success rates (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Saints and Pompey, the two Hampshire rivals with vastly different youth programme success rates
8:02am Tuesday 10th December 2013 in Sport
Despite being separated by around only 20 miles of the M27, Saints and Portsmouth have enjoyed vastly different fortunes when it comes to producing young players down the years.
While the list of top names to be churned out of the Saints academy is extensive, Pompey’s is considerably shorter.
There has been the odd high profile international star over the past 30 years.
Southampton-born Darren Anderton came through the Pompey youth system and went on to have a fine career with Tottenham and England.
Likewise, Kit Symons played for Pompey, Manchester City, Fulham and Crystal Palace, as well as for the Wales national team in a long footballing career.
In more recent times the successes have been a little more hit and miss.
Since the turn of the millennium arguably the very best they have produced is midfielder Gary O’Neil, currently at QPR, and Asmir Begovic, the Stoke keeper who famously scored against Saints earlier this season.
Striker Rowan Vine has also come through the system while Marc Wilson, also of Stoke, has graduated and gone on to win full caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Lewis Buxton is currently at Sheffield Wednesday while a host of their most recent youth players are now figuring in the club’s first team squad on a regular basis as needs must.
There is one player in recent times to have graduated from the Pompey academy and gone on to later sign as a professional for Saints.
That is Anthony Pulis, who was at Saints for almost three years before being released without having made a single first team appearance.
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