Archive project: Where are former Derby County academy players now?

This is an archive project and so by its nature, a work in progress, which I will try to keep updated as much as possible.  At this stage, I don’t have any plans to try to go further back than the turn of the millennium….. 

If you have any suggestions for adding to or improving it, contact me @derbycountyblog

Farrend Rawson
Joined Forest Green Rovers on free transfer, January 2018

Will Hughes 
Sold to Watford, summer 2017
(Reported fee £4.5m – 5m, potentially rising to £8m – £9m)

Alefe Santos
Released 2017
Signed by Yeovil Town

Jeff Hendrick
Joined 2008 from St Kevin’s Boys (Ireland)
Sold to Burnley, summer 2016
(Reported fee £10.5m – club record)

Shaquille Mcdonald
Signed as free agent, 2014
Released summer 2016
Signed for Nuneaton Town (National League North)
Current whereabouts unknown

Kwame Thomas
Released summer 2016
Signed by Coventry City

Ross Etheridge
Released 2015
Went on to play for Accrington Stanley, Doncaster Rovers

Luke Hendrie
Signed as a free agent from Manchester United, 2013
Released 2015
Joined Burnley

Josh Lelan
Released 2015
Went on to play for Northampton Town, Crawley Town

Mark O’Brien
Released 2015
Went on to play for Luton Town, Newport County

Rhys Sharpe
Released 2015
Went on to play for Notts County, Swindon Town, Matlock Town, Tamworth (National League North)

Ross Atkins
Released 2014
Went on to play for Gresley, Leamington, Mickleover Sports (Northern Premier League)

Callum Ball
Released 2014
Went on to play for St Mirren, Corby Town, Barwell, Nuneaton Town
Current whereabouts unknown

Kane Richards
Released 2013
Went onto Ilkeston, Chester, Dover Athletic (National League)

Stefan Galinski
Released 2013
Went on to play for Boston United, Stalybridge Celtic, Alfreton, Grantham Town (Evo-Stik League)

Miles Addison
Sold to Bournemouth, 2012 (fee undisclosed)
Went on to play for Peterborough United, Kilmarnock
Whereabouts unknown 

Aaron Cole
Released 2012
*Cole played for a few non-league teams, but apparently only half-heartedly and is now pursuing an alternative career in social care, working with young people with autism, Asperger’s and challenging behaviour.  Good on him!*

James Severn
Released 2012
Went on to play for Scunthorpe United, Worcester City, Ross County
Whereabouts unknown

Alex Witham
Released 2012
Went on to Wembley, Biggleswade Town
*Witham came from Arsenal’s academy, but failed to make a break-through at Derby.  I can find no evidence of him still being involved in football, but he did take time out to comment on Gary Rowett’s appointment as Rams manager…*

Medi Abalimba
Joined 2009 from Southend (reported fee £25,000)
Released 2011
Went onto Oldham Athletic, Farnborough, Corby Town, Perpignan
Imprisoned for fraud and dishonesty, 2014
*Sadly, Abalimba became one of the many young footballers who turn to crime, after the big time is denied to them – a phenomenon which Michael Calvin examines in his book ‘No Hunger in Paradise’.  In 2014, Abalimba was jailed for four years, having posed as the then Chelsea player Gaël Kakuta to run up thousands of pounds in expenses at hotels and VIP nightclubs.  The Independent reported that he had been on £20,000 per week with the Rams, which, given that he joined as a 17 year old and never played for the first team, sounds truly outlandish.  But whatever wage he was actually on, the taste of money certainly did him no good in the end*

Mitchell Hanson
Released 2011
Went on to Oxford United, Eastwood Town, Gresley

Kallum Keane
Released 2011
Went on to play for Alfreton, Exeter City, Eastwood Town, Granthan Town, Carlton Town, Belper Town (Evo-Stik League South)

Greg Mills

Released 2011 – signed by AFC Telford United
Went on to play for Worcester City, Boston United, Barrow, Corby Town, Tamworth, Nuneaton Town, Darlington (National League North)

Mark Dudley
Released 2010
Went onto St Patrick’s Athletic, Hinckley Town, Brigg Town, Rainworth Miners Welfare (National League North)

Jake Kean
Joined Blackburn Rovers, 2009
Went onto Norwich City, Sheffield Wednesday

Lewin Nyatanga
Left to join Bristol City, 2009
Went on to Barnsley
Current whereabouts unknown

Paris Simmons
Released 2009
Went onto Eastwood Town, Carlton Town, New Orleans Jesters (MLS Development League)
Current whereabouts unknown

Lee Holmes
Released 2008
Went on to Southampton, Preston North End, Exeter City
*Lee was the youngest ever player to play for Derby, until Mason Bennett made his debut*

Lee Camp
Sold to Queens Park Rangers, 2007 (£300,000)
Went on to Nottingham Forest, Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion, Bournemouth, Rotherham United, Cardiff City

Nathan Doyle
Sold to Hull City, 2007 (nominal fee)
Went on to Barnsley, Bradford City, Luton Town
Current whereabouts unknown

Lee Grant
Released 2007 – signed by Sheffield Wednesday
Rejoined 2013 as free agent
Sold to Stoke City, January 2017 (reported fee – £1.3m, potentially rising to approx £2m)

Lionel Ainsworth
Released 2007 – signed by Hereford United
Went on to play for Watford, Huddersfield Town, Shrewsbury Town, Rotherham United, Motherwell, Plymouth Argyle

James Meredith
Released 2007 – signed by Sligo Rovers
Went on to play for Shrewsbury Town, York City, Bradford City, Millwall

Marcus Tudgay
Sold to Sheffield Wednesday, January 2006
Went on to Nottingham Forest, Coventry City
Current whereabouts unknown
*The ever-popular “Tuggy” even managed to come back to Pride Park with the Red Dogs and, unlike Camp, conduct himself with dignity, for which he deserves real credit*

Pablo Mills
Left to join Rotherham United, 2006
Went on to Crawley Town, Macclesfield Town, Rotherham United, Bury, Brackley Town, Mickleover Sports
*Mills was part of the non-league Crawley side which knocked Nigel Clough’s Derby out of the FA Cup in 2011*

Steve Elliott
Joined Blackpool 2004
Went onto Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Bath City
*Steve’s move to Bath ended within days, as he returned to Cheltenham to act as assistant caretaker manager, following the dismissal of Paul Buckle*

Lewis Hunt
Released 2004
Went on to Southend United, Wycombe Wanderers, Bradford City, Hendon, Sutton United

Ian Evatt
Released 2003
Went on to Chesterfield, QPR, Blackpool, Chesterfield
*Still skippering the Spireites at 36, the durable Evatt played in every game of Blackpool’s 2010/11 Premier League season*

Marvin Robinson
Released 2003
Went on to Chesterfield, Notts County, Rushden & Diamonds, Walsall, Stockport County, Lincoln City, Macclesfield Town, Oxford United, miscellaneous non-league teams
*Currently assistant manager of Hednesford Town*


Players from outside the UK, or currently playing abroad

Alban Bunjaku
Joined as a free agent from Arsenal
Released 2016
Joined Dordrecht (Dutch Eerste Divisie)
Whereabouts unknown

Mats Mørch
Signed 2010 from FK Mandalskameratene
Released 2016
Whereabouts unknown
I’m told by a Scandinavian pal on Twitter that Mørch has now retired*

Jack Tuite
Joined 2012 from Cherry Orchard (Ireland)
Released 2016
Returned to Ireland
Whereabouts unknown

Adam Wixted
Released 2014
Went onto Drogheda United, Bohemians, Bray Wanderers, Drogheda United, Sligo Rovers (League of Ireland)

Luke Adams
Joined 2012 from Waitakere United
Released 2013
Returned to New Zealand – now playing for South Melbourne (Australia, NPL Victoria)

Ryan Connolly
Joined 2010
Released 2012
Went on to play for Sligo Rovers, Galway United, Shamrock Rovers

Graham Kelly
Joined 2008 from Lourdes Celtic (Ireland)
Released 2011
Returned to Ireland, now at St Patrick’s

Arnaud Mendy
Joined 2008 from FC Rouen
Released 2011
Went onto Macclesfield Town, Luton Town, Lincoln City, Whitehawk, Hemel Hempstead Town, Naxxar Lions (Maltese Premier League)
*Mendy has two caps for the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau*

Aleksandr Prijović
Signed 2008 from Parma (undisclosed fee)
Sold to FC Sion, February 2010 (nominal fee)
Went on to play for Djurgårdens IF, Boluspor, Legia Warsaw, PAOK (Greek Superleague)
*Having represented Switzerland at under 21 level, Prijović made his full international debut for Serbia in 2017*

Giles Barnes
Released 2009
Went on to play for West Bromwich Albion, Doncaster Rovers, Houston Dynamo, Vancouver Whitecaps, Orlando City (United States, MLS)


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