“The goals have dried up; I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t know, I really don’t know. Like everything else I think getting into the team is all about having that opportunity and the timing is the key. Maybe, just maybe, even though he scored the winner that day the timing could have been too early for him.” That was Tony Carr’s view on Freddie Sears in an interview with KUMB last summer.
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It’s easy to forget that following a good pre season last year (he scored goals against FC Copenhagen and Real Zaragoza) Freddie Sears started the first game of last season at home to Cardiff City. However after an unremarkable 10 months in which he made 12 appearances for West Ham and 11 out on loan, he was released this week and has subsequently joined Colchester United having scored 3 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions. So where did it all go wrong for the young striker from Hornchurch?
Freddie Sears joined the club at aged eleven and after a run of 20 goals in 15 games for the U18’s he made the move to the reserve squad in the 2007- 08 season. In total he scored a record of 25 goals in 24 matches in youth and reserve teams that season and he was capped internationally for the England U19 squad. It was in March of that season that he famously joined the ranks of West Ham players such as Tony Cottee by scoring on his debut against Blackburn Rovers, in March 2008.
However he never lived up this early promise and the in the following seasons he made a number of ineffectual loan spells at Championship clubs Coventry City and Crystal Palace before joining Scunthorpe United. He returned to the West Ham and scored his second and third goals of his career in 2010-11 season and the signs looked encouraging however it wasn’t to be and following a loan spell at League 1 Colchester United he was released and subsequently rejoined Colchester on a 3 year deal this week.
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I think the weight of expectation plays heavy on some players, how many ‘wonderkids’ fail to live up to the hype. Unfortunately Freddie joined this club along with the likes of Cherno Samba. Being touted as the next Tony Cottee and his status as a local lad didn’t help matters, nor did his goal scoring at junior and reserve level – he even signed a new deal before debut! In fact he was given a even more lucrative contract in the 2008-09 season (so lucrative in fact it rumours have been heard that it proved difficult to use him as make-weight in transfers and also put many clubs off trying to sign him this summer.)
Does a young player’s hunger diminish when he receives such a good contract or did it all just come too soon for Freddie? We’ll never know but I’m sure that most fans really wanted Freddie to succeed at West Ham and will want him to prove us wrong and set the third tier of English football alight.
What do you think? Do you think we got rid of Sears too early? Do you think we would’ve matured into a decent player? Why didn’t he spend more time in the gym? Let us know your thoughts.
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