Ricketts: Dawkins desperate to produce the goods for Villa
Former Tottenham ace Rohan Ricketts has hailed Simon Dawkins as an "extremely talented footballer blessed with lovely balance, fantastic smooth control, good pace and an eye for goal."
Club Deportivo Quevedo midfielder Ricketts swapped boots for blogs as he gave a very personal account of the prodigious talent of Dawkins via Eurosport.
Ricketts believes there are reasons why Dawkins has yet to make it on the Barclays Premier League stage.
But he's backed the loanee to produce the goods in claret and blue because of his immense hunger for the challenge ahead.
He said: "Simon has been at Spurs since he was 12 years old. He came through their academy while I was at the club and went on to sign a professional contract in 2008 with the opportunity to force his way into the first team. Something Simon, for some strange reason, did not and still has not achieved.
"You may think that it's normal for a young lad to go all the way through the academy ranks of a big Premier League club and never make his debut, which is very true.
"But the unique thing about this story is that Simon Dawkins is 25 years old and is still at the club yet has never made an appearance.
"There can't be too many players in the history of football that have had such a career at any club let alone a top one.
"So the question arises, why? Why have Spurs not released Simon, a player who has been a pro at the club for eight years and never managed to make his debut for the first team?
"Well there are two reasons. The first is that Simon is an extremely talented football player who is blessed with lovely balance, fantastic smooth control, good pace and an eye for goal.
"The second, and by far the most important reason, is the influential support from former player Tim Sherwood.
"Sherwood, some would say, has saved Simon from the lower league nonsense that beckons for most of the players that get released by Premier League clubs.
"When Tim arrived at Spurs in 2009, Simon had been released by the club due to a severe knee injury that coaches and officials at the club thought he would struggle to recover from.
"As a result, Simon found himself trialling around Britain and Europe to find a new club that would give him a chance.
"After numerous unsuccessful trials with teams such as Celtic, Bournemouth and Strasbourg, Simon returned to Spurs where he was training on a non-contract basis.
"No promises were made but after Tim, newly appointed head coach of the development squad, had a chance to work with Simon, he was left dumbfound as to why such a talent had been released.
"When he quizzed people who were around at the time, nobody wanted to take responsibility for the decision.
"Immediately Tim requested Simon be handed a two-year contract. He was sent on loan to MLS side San Jose Earthquakes where he made a big impression with plenty of goals and assists and gained a lot of first team experience.
"While I was training with Spurs, Simon expressed to me his gratitude towards Tim and the rest of the club but said he needs to be given a real chance to show he belongs in the first team of a big club in the biggest league in the world.
"Sadly he has not got that chance at Spurs but he now has at Aston Villa.
"I know a lot of Aston Villa fans have no clue who Simon Dawkins is, and I totally understand why. But let me tell you this, for Tim to put his neck on the line and request Spurs re-sign a player who they had released two years prior speaks volumes.
"Support him, he is very hungry and wants to produce the goods for your club. He is a true gent and humble guy.
"A footballer's current status is not always based on his ability.
"So think before you analyse Simon Dawkins and why he is yet to explode on the scene, when he is already 25 years old."
Make sure you read the whole blog from Ricketts.
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