Often Partisan

Where Are They Now – Part XXIII

As many of you will know I’ve always been interested in the younger players at Blues who have progressed through the academy. Today, I thought it would be interesting to look at a couple of players who didn’t make it with Blues but who have made careers for themselves elsewhere. Both of these players were released in 2011 having not made the grade and both have made their professional debuts abroad. They are Alpaslan Ozturk and Luke Rowe.

Alpaslan Ozturk

I saw Alpa play a few times for the Academy in a right back or right midfield slot and he always looked half decent to me; he had a nice touch, could get forwards and knew how to cross the ball. Despite being given a squad number he was released in 2011 as Blues couldn’t agree a compensation deal with Germinal Beerschott, and poor old Alpa wasn’t too happy – something I covered on here at the time.

However, it seems to have turned out for the best for the young Belgian. Alpa returned to his former club Germinal and in January 2012 made his debut for the first team in the top flight of Belgium in 2012 against Cercle Bruges. He did well, and kept his place in the team, ending the season with fifteen appearances to his name and a call up to the Belgian u21 side.

This season has continued in much the same vein with Alpa scoring his first goal for de Mannekes on the opening day of the new season in Germinal’s 2-4 home defeat to Lokeren. Alpa has gone on to make a further seven appearances. In February of this year Alpa signed a four-year extension to his contract to keep him at Germinal until 2016. As unhappy as Alpa was with his release from Blues it might just be that it was the best thing that ever happened in his career. You can follow Alpa’s progress on Twitter.

Luke Rowe

I have to be honest and confess I can’t remember much about young Luke Rowe. A left-back by trade, Leamington-born Rowe was released by the club in 2011. Rather than seek another club on these shores, Rowe decided to chase the dream of playing in the Olympics and went to the land of his father – New Zealand. Rowe went to Team Wellington in the New Zealand Premiership, and played 15 games in what was described by stuff.co.nz as a standout season.

Despite this, Rowe was unfortunately overlooked by the Oly-Whites manager, former Wolves player Neil Emblen and he had to watch from the sidelines with his family rather than take his place on the pitch. Rowe also missed out on a pro-contract with Team Wellington, but like Alpa that seems to have turned out in his favour as Rowe is now with Australian A-League side Wellington Phoenix (yes, there is one NZ team in the Aussie League).

Phoenix, shorn of seven players thanks to international duty were forced into playing their fourth string keeper along with several kids in their second match of the 2012-13 A-league season and this meant that Luke Rowe got to make his debut in the pro leagues – and was part of a very creditable 1-1 draw against Melbourne Heart. Rated as a capable left-back there is talk that Rowe will step up into the full international team when veteran Tony Lochhead finally hangs up his boots – which is a bit of a step up from being released from Blues reserves. You can follow Luke’s progress on Twitter.

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14 Responses to “Where Are They Now – Part XXIII”

  • Micky says:

    Ozturk looked a decent prospect….I remember when he was released I feared the worst for the club, was only a few grand to keep him on I think, clubs on the up now tho hopefully wit a new decent stable owner

  • BCFC Steward says:

    I remember a defender called Lee Vaughan a few years ago who seemed highly rated at the time. I think it was under Brucey any ides what happened to him?

    • Grim says:

      From what I remember, he was at AFC Telford for a bit, and then went to Kidderminster. Not sure where he is now.

  • Cal says:

    What happened to krystian Pearce I know he went to county but I thought at one point he was tipped for a very very bright future

    • Blueboy 88 says:

      & a young Polish Goalkeeper Artur Krysiak. who Terry Westley rated at the time..

    • oldburyblue says:

      Good job I’m not a betting man because I was CERTAIN that Krystian would be a big star…in all ways. Wasn’t his nickname “Chief”? As a teenager he had everything that a centre half could want; size, strength, speed and the confidence to organise older pros in the reserves.

      I know nothing of his background…or whether he was injured. I just hope his lack of progress was not caused by bad attitude.

    • RichardM says:

      Was at Scunthorpe last I heard and I think is still there, playing 1st team football.

  • Masaccio says:

    On loan at Barnet?

  • TonyB says:

    Asa Hall did well last year at OXford and is now at Shrewsbury. Jay O’Shea playing , usually off the bench, at MK Dons. Robin Shroot similar at Stevenage and has a knack for scoring, saw a beauty on TV a couple of weeks ago.

  • downpour says:

    Hello Alimajir, is there any chance of you doing a Where Are They Now, on Andy Saville. I’m sure like myself, other Bluenose’s would be interested to see where he finished playing, and where he is now. Thanks also for the great job you do, keeping us well informed of all whats happening at the Blues, you really do put Peter Pannu to shame.

    • DoctorD says:

      According to Wikipedia, he had spells at PNE, Wigan, Cardiff and Scarborough:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Saville

      It adds that he had the rare distinction of “becoming top scorer for two clubs in the same season, scoring 20 goals in all competitions for Hartlepool United[5] before moving to Birmingham in March 1993, where his ten games produced seven goals, a total which no other Birmingham player bettered over the whole season.”

      Seven goals made him our top scorer that season — incredible!

      • RichardM says:

        I seem to recall him and Paul Moulden kept us up that year (and were then ditched by Barry Fry the next season)

  • RichardM says:

    Heh Almajir – who are all these chicks at the top of the page?? Are these the faces behind the new mystery consortium from the Far East? If so I have to ask – what football experience / know-how does the very attractive 20 year old “Vicky” from Ho Chi Minh city bring to the table? (Probably knows more than 19 year old director Ryan Yeung!!)


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