Success Stories

Javaun Splatt

Paul McCallum

McCallum started to play football professionally at the age of 15. He made his name at Isthmian League Division One club Dulwich Hamlet breaking through from the youth team to the senior team in October 2010. Over the course of the 2010–11 season, the striker scored a total of 15 goals in 7 games in the FA Youth Cup, including a hat-trick to produce a shock 3–2 victory over Football League One side Yeovil Town in the Second Round. The club faced Newcastle United in the Third Round but were ultimately thrashed 6–2. Although McCallum did not score himself, he was able to provide an assist for one of the consolation goals.[5] His prolific goalscoring attracting the interest of 14 clubs, including Premier League giants Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and West Ham United. The striker ultimately chose West Ham United, signing a professional contract with the Hammers on 31 January 2011, citing their reputation for bringing young players through as a key reason for his decision.

West Ham United[edit]
McCallum formed part of the Hammers Under-21 development squad during the 2011–12 season. He was loaned out to Rochdale on 31 January 2012. However, the striker returned to his parent club on 9 March 2012 without making a single appearance for the then League One strugglers. McCallum’s first involvement with the West Ham United senior squad was on 28 August 2012 as an unused substitute in the Second Round of the Football League Cup, in which the Hammers beat Crewe Alexandra 2–0. On 7 January 2013 McCallum signed a new deal with West Ham United extending his contract with the club for a further two-and-a-half years. He was released by West Ham at the end of the 2014–15 season.

Stefan Payne

Payne played for the Croydon youth team during the 2008–09 season and broke into the first team towards the tail end of the campaign and impressed Sutton United officials during a Southern Youth League cup final against them.[4] In the summer of 2009, Payne signed a contract with Sutton for the 2009–10 season. He made an immediate impact, scoring a hat-trick in the club’s first league game of the season, a 4–0 win over Margate.

He quickly attracted attention from Football League scouts. In September 2009, Fulham offered Payne and Sutton a contract. It was thought to be worth a six-figure-sum for Sutton.[5] Although Fulham could not officially sign a player outside the transfer window, Payne joined the reserve squad in October. He played many games for the reserve team but did not break into the first team.

During the 2010 close-season, Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler revealed his eagerness to sign Payne,[6] eventually joining Gillingham on a free transfer in June 2010, signing a two-year contract.[7] Payne played several pre-season friendlies and made his first professional football appearance in the first league game of the season, against Cheltenham Town.[8] In February 2011, Payne went to Braintree Town on a one-month loan,[9] and scored a hat-trick in his second appearance to help beat Basingstoke Town 5–2.[10]

Payne scored his first goal for Gillingham in the 6–1 away win over Hereford United on 17 September 2011.

On 27 January 2012, he signed for Aldershot Town, and in February the club’s official website announced that he had been sent out on loan to Sutton United until the end of the season. Aldershot manager Dean Holdsworth said that Payne needed to play regular football,[11] but on 22 February, the Sutton Guardian announced that Payne’s contract at Aldershot had been cancelled and that Sutton had got the player for nothing.[12]

Payne signed in August 2013 for AFC Hornchurch in the Isthmian League, scoring twice on his debut away at Dulwich Hamlet.[13]

On 3 June 2014, Payne signed for Dover Athletic.[14] He was the club’s top scorer in both of his seasons with the Kent club, and was named Players’ Player of the Year for the 2015–16 season.

Daniel Carr

Early career[edit]
After being released by the Reading academy,[3] Carr dropped down to the Conference South with Eastbourne Borough before joining Dulwich Hamlet in 2012, and scored 25 goals in the season, which led him to being scouted by many higher-level clubs including Chelsea and Liverpool.[4][5] Carr also previously went on trial at Liverpool, Leeds United, Charlton Athletic.[6]

Huddersfield Town[edit]
On 13 April 2013, it was announced that Carr had joined Football League Championship side Huddersfield Town for an undisclosed five figure fee on a two-year deal (with the option to add a further 12 months).[7] Upon joining the club, Carr believed joining Huddersfield Town could give him a Football League career.[8] and was given number twenty-six shirt.[9]

His first foray into the Town first team was when he appeared on the bench in Town’s 0–0 draw against Doncaster Rovers on 14 September 2013.[10] He made his début for the Terriers in the Football League Cup game against Hull City at the KC Stadium on 24 September 2013.[11] He made his league début for the club as a 75th-minute substitute for Keith Southern in the 2–1 defeat against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on 2 November 2013.[12]

On 19 November 2013, Daniel signed on loan for Football League Two side Fleetwood Town.[13] Carr made his debut for the club on 14 December 2013, in a 2–1 win against Rochdale.[14] Carr then extended his loan spell with Fleetwood Town for another month.[15] He scored his first goal for the club on 1 January 2014, in a 3–1 win against Accrington Stanley.[16] His loan spell ended on 21 January 2014 after making five appearance and scoring once.[17]

joel ledgister

Tony Sinclair

Dean McDonald

Calaum Jahraldo Martin

Frazer Shaw

Tobi Coker

Shawn McCoulsky

Shabazz Ofome

Dan Sweeney

Ethan Pinnock

Pinnock progressed through the youth ranks of Dulwich Hamlet, and reached the FA Youth Cup Third Round.

He made his senior debut for the club at the age of 16 in August 2010, and scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 win at Walton & Hesham to clinch a play-off spot. He went on to make over 200 appearances for the club, and made a clean sweep of the club’s Player of the Year awards in his final season.

Forest Green Rovers
On 21 June 2016, Pinnock signed a two-year contract with National League side Forest Green Rovers for an undisclosed fee.

On 30 July 2017, Pinnock joined Championship club Barnsley for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut in a 4–3 EFL Cup victory against Morecambe on 8 August.

Domingos Quina

Foday Nabay

Pedro Neves

Kieron Cadogan

Ahmed Deen

Gavin Tomlin

Jermaine Udamaga

Afolabi Coker OP

Tyrone Sterling

Panutche Camara

After playing for Barnsley and Dulwich Hamlet, Camará signed a two year professional contract with Crawley Town in June 2017. He scored his first goal for Crawley on his debut in a 5–1 EFL Cup defeat at Birmingham City on 8 August 2017.

Michael Chambers

Kenny Beaney

Sanchez Ming

Nyren Clunis

Mohamed Mohamed

Quade Taylor

Erhun Oztumer

Following nine years in the youth set up at Charlton Athletic, and a season with Fisher Athletic, 16-year-old Oztumer joined Manisaspor in 2008, who at the time were in the Turkish Süper Lig. Despite featuring mainly for the Manisaspor youth team, in 2009 he earned a move to Sivasspor, also of the Turkish Süper Lig, where he signed his first professional contract. Oztumer never played for the first team at Sivasspor, but played 29 times for the reserve team in A2 Ligi, scoring eight goals. In 2011, Oztumer left Sivasspor to join Anadolu Üsküdar in the TFF Third League, the fourth tier of Turkish football, where he played senior football for the first time, playing 35 league games in 16 months, scoring five goals.

Before the start of the 2012–13 season, Oztumer returned to England, joining Isthmian League side Dulwich Hamlet. He went on to score over 60 goals from midfield in all competitions over two seasons, during which time Dulwich won promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division.

In June 2014, he moved back into the professional game, joining Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee, leaving with the best wishes of Dulwich Hamlet manager Gavin Rose.

He played one friendly in pre-season, scoring a free kick against St Neots Town, before suffering an injury which kept him out of the early part of the 2014–15 season. He made his Peterborough debut as a substitute in a 2–2 draw with Oldham Athletic on 4 October 2014. He made his first start for the club on 13 December 2014, scoring the winning goal away to Leyton Orient.

On 17 June 2016, Oztumer signed for Football League One side Walsall on a two-year contract upon the expiry of his contract at Peterborough. He scored on his debut in a 3–1 win over AFC Wimbledon on 6 August 2016.

Jamie Mascoll

Craig Barret

Braham-Barrett began his career with Charlton Athletic before he was released in 2007. He played non-league football with Eastleigh, East Thurrock United and Welling United before joining Peterborough United in October 2008 for a fee of £10,000. He failed to make an impression at London Road and re-entered non-league football with Grays Athletic, Farnborough Town, Havant & Waterlooville, Sutton United before joining Conference Premier side Macclesfield Town in July 2012. After a season at Macclesfield he joined Cheltenham Town on loan in July 2013. He made his Football League debut in a 2–2 draw with Burton Albion on 3 August 2013. He made his transfer permanent on 20 August 2013.

Following Cheltenham’s relegation from the football league in 2015, Braham-Barrett joined Ebbsfleet United. He was loaned to Woking, then had two further loan spells at Whitehawk before signing permanently for Dover Athletic in March 2016.

On 14 October 2016 Braham-Barrett re-joined Welling United from Braintree Town on a one-month loan.

On 14 June 2017, Braham-Barrett joined National League South side Chelmsford City.

Orlando Demelo

Simeon Jackson

Jackson was born in Kingston, Jamaica but grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. At the age of 15, he moved to England, where his talent was immediately identified by the ASPIRE coaching staff. He joined Rushden & Diamonds in 2004 following trials with Manchester United and Manchester City, and was the club’s top scorer in the 2006-07 season, scoring 20 goals.

On January 4, 2009, Jackson scored an equalising goal for Gillingham in their 2–1 FA Cup Third Round defeat by Aston Villa. His impressive performance resulted in him being linked to a £1m move to Villa.

Jackson has seven caps for the Canadian Men’s Youth (U-20) team. His first game was a friendly against Brazil in May 2006. His most recent action was at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup when he played in all three of Canada’s games. On November 14, 2008, he received his first call up for the Canadian senior squad for a match against his country of birth, Jamaica. He received his Canadian passport in June 2007.

Notably Simeon will go down in Gillingham history as the man who scored the goal which took the club into League One, following his last minute headed goal in the Play Off Final against Shrewsbury Town which secured promotion for the Gills.

Albert Jarrett

Albert Jarrett is a Sierra Leonean international, and is currently playing for Gillingham.

Jarrett started his career as a schoolboy at Arsenal, but when not offered a scholarship with them he joined Aspire and was offered a professional contract in the summer of 2003, at MK Dons. He played 10 games for the Dons in the 2003–04 season, but was released at the end of the season and during the pre-season of that year trained with us and ASPIRE assisted him to source a trial with then Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion, where gained a contract.

In his two year spell at Brighton, He played 25 games in all for the Seagulls, scoring one goal, and had loan spells with Conference side Stevenage Borough in March 2005 and League One side Swindon Town in January 2006.

On being made available for a free transfer by Brighton at the end of the 2005–06 season he went on trial at Watford. After impressing in several pre-season friendlies, Jarrett was signed on a one-year deal on 16 August 2006.

He made one league appearance for Watford, as a substitute against Bolton Wanderers. In February 2007 he was loaned to Boston United for a month. Having returned from Boston, he was immediately loaned to Milton Keynes Dons for the remainder of the season.

On 30 September 2006, Jarrett received his first call up for the Sierra Leone national team.

On 18 September 2008, he joined Gillingham on a one month contract, and made his debut as a substitute in a home win over Port Vale on 27 September. Since then he has signed with Gillingham until the end of the 2008/9 season.

George Elokobi

Elokobi joined ASPIRE after arriving in England from Cameroon in 2002, he was a valued member of a successful youth team before stepping up to league football with Colchester United in 2004 after being spotted by scouts whilst representing us in a Kent Youth League fixture.

He did not feature for the team in his first season and was loaned to Chester City for a month in early 2005, working under Ian Rush. He made five appearances for Chester, including his professional debut against Swansea City on 29 January 2005.

The defender then returned to Layer Road where he made twelve league appearances in a season that saw the club promoted from League One. He scored his first goal in a 1-1 draw against Huddersfield Town on 24 September 2005.

He made a further ten league appearances in the 2006-07 season as the team stabilised in the Championship, and went on to establish himself as a regular first team player in the early months of the following campaign. However, he was later dropped from the team for several matches, prompting him to hand in a transfer request. This alerted fellow Championship club,

Wolverhampton Wanderers to sign him in a two-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee on 31 January 2008.

Elokobi quickly became first-choice left-back at Molineux but his run in the side was ended when he suffered a knee injury just three games into the 2008/09 season. Unfortunately injury will keep him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. George regularly seeks advice from us and is constantly held up as an example to current participants as to what can be achieved if you dedicate yourself to technical and tactical improvement.

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