Here’s what happened to Posh’s youth after they left London Road
With the season still suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we took a look at how Peterborough’s academy graduates are fairing elsewhere.
Chairman Darragh MacAnthony has always seen the importance in promoting youngsters from the youth ranks during his tenure at the club and vocal in his support of academy players.
However, for those that have now moved on, they have seen varying degrees of success – some more surprising than others.
Here’s how five of Posh’s most notable academy graduates of recent years are getting on…
Defender Frankie Kent spoke to Posh’s YouTube channel from his home while on lockdown. See his interview below.
Newell has certainly been one of the better exports from Peterborough United in the MacAnthony era, based on his success at London Road and with Rotherham United.
Transfermarkt report the deal to have been worth around £180,000 for Posh, which was a bargain for the Millers for whom the midfielder made 150 appearances, which also included a promotion to the Championship in 2018.
Having initially linked up with former Posh boss Steve Evans, Newell, who had enjoyed “four memorable years” at the South Yorkshire club, then decided to move onto a fresh challenge with Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership last summer.
With 15 goals and a promotion to him name, Newell told the Hibernian website: “It’s a big decision for me to come up here and leave home but I’m really happy.
“I came up in May for a look and the first impressions were really good. I’d obviously heard about the city and how big the club is.
“It got me straight away. It was really exciting.”
With a goal to his name for Hibs in the League Cup the 27-year-old, who is in the peak of his career, can look forward to coming up against Scottish giants Celtic and Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.
Worth the hype? 7/10 – Not a big money maker for Posh, but proved in his final season for the club that he could make the cut and went on to win a promotion elsewhere.
The one-time South Africa international’s athleticism at left-back was a striking memory of what was otherwise a career of moderate success at Posh.
Ntlhe was allowed to leave for Stevenage at the beginning of the 2016-17 campaign, having made no appearances for the club that season, but was released after the campaign.
However, the 26-year-old endured better fortunes with Rochdale where he signed a two-year deal, making 39 league appearances before joining League Two Scunthorpe United last summer.
Making a total of 21 appearances and scoring once so far this season, the South African will be hoping to do enough to extend his stay with the Iron for the long-term.
Worth the hype? 5/10 – Unfortunately the left-back just hasn’t managed to settle at a club since leaving Posh, and will be desperate to prove his worth.
The London-born midfielder enjoyed a relatively successful spell at Posh, but it became clear his future lay elsewhere when signed on loan for Doncaster at the beginning of last season.
He was subsequently snapped up by Bradford City on a short-term deal in January last year and couldn’t help them avoid relegation, but signed a one-year extension in the summer.
However, he’s since made just nine appearances, scoring once, which doesn’t make good reading for someone who’ll be keen to prove his worth higher up the football pyramid.
But at 23 years old, all hope is not lost yet.
Worth the hype? 5.5 – Despite being highly rated amongst senior staff at Posh, Anderson has struggled to prove his worth elsewhere. Although, time is still very much on his side.
There’ll always be some that’ll claim they saw this one coming, but who honestly thought the Surrey-born winger would enjoy so much success by 23.
Former Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley claimed that Harry Anderson had “lived the whole of the Lincoln City journey”, helping the Imps to promotion from the National League and into League One as well last season.
Cowley also claimed that the Posh academy graduate has the credentials to make it in the Championship.
“He’s unbelievably hardworking and incredibly resilient and robust,” Cowley told Lincolnshire Live.
“He’s as determined as they come and is a really enthusiast learner.
“He’s got great athleticism and would literally run through a brick wall for the team if it gave us a better chance of winning.
“I can always sleep well before a game knowing he’s going to give me everything he’s got.
“There’s no doubt he’s got a number of qualities to play in the Championship.”
Worth the hype? 7.5/10 – With two promotions, experience and a long-term contract to his name, Anderson’s future, not only at Lincoln but prospects at a higher level, look very promising indeed. Posh may regret letting their winger go at such a ripe age.
Leonardo Da Silva Lopes
Many Posh fans laughed when they saw Wigan had splashed out £1.5 million for the midfielder in the summer of 2018 and, to an extent, they were fair in doing so.
While having impressed the vast majority of the Posh faithful to a fair extent, the staggering fee the Latics spent on the youngster still seemed a stretch.
And it turned out he wouldn’t even come close to seeing out his four-year deal and seemed like a big blunder for Wigan after they sent him on loan to League One Gillingham months after signing the Portuguese.
But all hope wasn’t lost when Posh legend and Hull City boss Grant McCann showed his faith in the 21-year-old and signed him for the Tigers for £500k – a fraction of what Wigan paid Posh – last summer.
However, while many may have anticipated Lopes would struggle – given his misfortune at Wigan – the midfielder has gone on to make 26 appearances, scoring twice in the Championship.
With McCann showing his faith in the youngster and getting Championship football under his belt at a young age, Tottenham may show their interest again, having been chasing Lopes since his time at London Road.
Worth the hype? 7/10 – It’s too early to truly tell how much Lopes can achieve, but with McCann’s guidance, the Lisbon-born midfielder can be confident of having a successful career in the Championship. Perhaps we can be guilty of not giving him enough credit at times.
All in all, it’s fair to say Peterborough’s academy graduates have not all lived up to expectations, while Harry Anderson and Leo Da Silva Lopes are both young and appear to have bright futures ahead of them.
In Anderson and Lopes, the likes of Ricky-Jade Jones and co. can hold hope that their careers have also got plenty of potential for bigger opportunities on the horizon, too.