Palace Man Facing “Make Or Break” Few Months For His Future

1 Posted by - February 7, 2018 - News

Crystal Palace academy man Andre Coker is facing a “make or break” few months on loan at Maidstone, with his current contract at Selhurst Park set to expire when the 2017-18 season comes to a close.

Having always kept a close eye on Andre’s development, I was a little taken aback to see him heading out on loan at first but once I discovered the reasons for the move, I couldn’t help but admire the attacker’s desire to prove himself to those who matter most.

Clearly, with time running short, Coker is desperate to make a mark and sees a short-term move to a club like Maidstone as the perfect opportunity to earn a new deal in SE25 whilst others stay within the bubble of U23 football.

It’s not a path that would suit everyone but after being selected to take part in a first-team pre-season friendly against the same opposition by Frank de Boer over the summer, Andre clearly got a taste for it and was keen to experience competitive football on a more regular basis. There is no way around it, the feel of an academy game is totally different to that of non-league football and I feel as though Coker should be applauded for seeking out a change of scene in a bid to alter his long-term prospects as a professional.

I may be a tad biased but I’d love to see him offered professional terms with us over the summer. Quite how Hodgson and the rest of his coaching staff feel about our most mature crop of academy lads is unknown at this stage but you need only ask a handful of Palace fans to learn that we as a club absolutely love to see academy boys making their way through into the first-team as and when they can.

I dare say the vast majority of you will have never seen Andre kick a ball before but I will readily admit to having always been impressed with his game. Yes, he’s still a tad raw and remains something of an unknown quantity at the professional level but with boys of his age and potential, it’s impossible to know how they’ll truly fare at the highest level until you throw them in and find out.

There are plenty of supporters who feel that the financial pressure of Premier League survival is killing any opportunity for youngsters to flourish and they’re probably right but from time to time, I’d love to see us put our faith in one or two new faces from the academy set-up, particularly when they’ve shown the sort of drive to succeed that Andre has by moving away temporarily.

We’ll keep you updated on his progress.

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10 Comments

  • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh February 7, 2018 - 12:07 pm Reply

    Love this article HLTCO! Really nice to see an academy lad show drive rather than rot in the u23s, keep up the gret work.

    • admin February 7, 2018 - 12:42 pm Reply

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the extra academy content I’ve been trying to slot in here and there. It’s not easy to know if there’s a real hunger for it but comments like this are hugely encouraging.

      • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh February 7, 2018 - 1:22 pm Reply

        I think all Palace fans are in agreement that not only is Wilf our best player, he is also one of our most committed. Whilst not all graduates will be as skilled (Borrowdale) or committed (Bostock) as Wilf, buy and large they are cherished by fans and bring fans, club and community closer together and forge a better team identity. Any news on good prospects is always welcome!

        I for one hope Lokilo and Lumeka are given a chance in next few weeks. PVA has made LB his own so it would be a shame to move him to accommodate Souare. Wan-Bissaka moving back to the wing is also an option.

        If you haven’t already, i’d check out Rory Smith’s piece on TAA as to why these guys are so important to clubs.

  • Pete Burch February 7, 2018 - 4:07 pm Reply

    Thanks for that link JFb, it was a good read.

  • Pete Burch February 7, 2018 - 4:10 pm Reply

    And another vote for any academy news Hoppo, I enjoy it too.

    Any idea if it’s actually working for Coker at Maidstone?

    • admin February 7, 2018 - 4:52 pm Reply

      They’re down in 18th but he came off the bench a couple of weeks ago and has started the next two games.

      No goals to his name yet, sadly.

      • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh February 7, 2018 - 5:54 pm Reply

        The fact he is starting bodes well but i think it is a shame he hasn’t been able to find a league club.

        One decent academy player to have vanished is Luke Dreher. I know he has been unlucky with injuries but at this rate he will be Joniesta 2.0!

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