Season 2008/9

By Dan Buxton
Last updated : 08 May 2010

Vincent Pericard - Released
#15
Striker
d.o.b:03/10/82
Signed/Left: June 2006/May 2009
Games in last season: 5/3
Goals in last season: 1
Total club games: 26/19
Total club goals: 4

Joined from Portsmouth after being released and was Tony Pulis' first signing of his second stint in charge.

Started out his career at St Ettiene before being snapped up by Italian giants Juventus at 17, where he started training with the French national team during there get together sessions.

He stayed at Juventus for 2 years before joining Portsmouth after finding it difficult to break into the Juve team due to injuries.

Injuries also stopped his Portsmouth career from fully blossoming and he was loaned out to Tony Pulis' Plymouth in the 2005/6 season where he scored 4 goals in 14 games in a team which struggled to create chances.

He signed for Stoke days after Pulis was announced as the new manager.

Impressed to a degree at the beginning of the season scoring the Potters first goal of the season at home to Derby with a good finish and then repeated it 7 days later in the Carling Cup against Darlington.

Netted the winner against Sunderland in October but didn't find the net again after that as he struggled with his footing and form.

Confidence was boosted pre-season 2007/8 as he netted four goals but by this time was well down the pecking order and 6 outings failed to produce anything productive and Stoke eventually loaned him out to Southampton to finish the season on the south coast.

Was sent to prison to serve a four month sentence for perverting the course of justice from August to December 2007.

One disappointing league start at Blackburn coupled with a few cup games was all the action he saw in 2008/9 before being loaned out to Millwall and then released at the end of the season.

Tom Thorley - released
#37
Centre midfield
d.o.b: 05/04/90
Signed/Left: Academy/May 2009
Games in last season: 0
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 0
Total club goals : 0

Stoke born midfielder who progressed through the Academy ranks to earn himself a 12 month contract at the end of the 2007/8 season.

Left put on out on loan at Burscough to gain some competitive match experience after spending three months at Stafford Rangers where he shone through as the 'Boro's best performer. He later returned to Marston Road for another loan spell as he helped the club through the financial crisis that robbed them of their best players and saw them drop down the table before just avoiding relegation.

Busy midfielder who also possesses an eye for a good pass and a great penalty record. 

Jimmy Phillips - released
#36
Right winger, Left winger
d.o.b: 20/09/89
Signed/Left: Academy/May 2009
Games in last season: 0
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 0
Total club goals : 0

Stoke born winger who progressed through the Academy ranks to earn himself a 12 month contract at the end of the 2007/8 season

Spent time out on loan at Stafford Rangers gaining some competitive match experience after an unsuccessful loan at Alferton Town. He consistently performied week after week for Stafford and the Rangers fans tok to him for his great work rate, dribbling, crossing and ability to create something out of nothing.

Possibly one of the most talented players to come out of the academy for a long while he got released at the end of the 2008/9 season.

Spent the latter pace of the season back at Stoke but couldn't force a new contract.

Does have the talent to be a pro and has been watched by Oldham.

Marc Grocott - released
#35
Striker, Centre midfield, Right winger, Right back
d.o.b: ??????
Signed/Left: Academy/May 2009
Games in last season: 0
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 0
Total club goals : 0

Utility player who progressed through the Academy ranks to earn himself a 12 month contract at the end of the 2007/8 season

Went out on loan at Stafford Rangers and gained some competitive match experience after unhappy short loans at Alfreton Town and Solihull Moors at the start of the season.

Started his Stoke life as a striker before being pushed deeper into midfield due to his composure on the ball and the moved to the wide right with word being that the club believed a competent right back to be in there somewhere.

He finished the season at Stoke where he played a few reserve and academy games before being released.

Henri Camara - returned to Wigan after loan
#27
Striker
d.o.b: ?/?/??
Signed/Left: January 2009/May 2009
Games in last season: 0/4
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 0/4
Total club goals: 0

Joined on loan for the rest of the season on deadline day in February 2009.

Striker with proven top flight pedigree at Wolves, West Ham and Wigan aswell as a successful spell at Scottish Champions Celtic.

Competed with Ricardo Fuller, Mamady Sidibe, Dave Kitson, James Beattie, Richard Cresswell and Vincent Pericard for one of the two spots up front but failed to get himself a start during his short stay at Stoke.

Was brought in as competition for Fuller and it is maybe no coincidence that Fuller's form picked up after the loanee's arrival.

Pace caused problems whilst he was also not afraid to shoot yet never found the net during his time.

Stephen Kelly - returned to Birmingham after loan
#22
Right back
d.o.b: ?/?/??
Signed/Left: January 2009/May 2009
Games in last season: 2/4
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 2/4
Total club goals: 0

Signed at the very last minute on deadline day in a 6-month loan move.

Should take up the right back position when fully settled in and has good top flight experience having played every minute of every game last season for Birmingham, winning their player of the year award.

Provided cover at both full back positions and although struggled to get much game time his availability will have calmed a lot of nerves when Wilkinson and Higginbotham picked up injuries. 

Dominic Matteo - retired
#16
Centre back, Defensive midfielder
d.o.b: 28/04/74
Signed/Left: January 2007/May 2009
Games in last season: 0/1
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 24/1
Total club goals: 1

Ex-Leeds and Liverpool star signed a short term deal in January 2007.

Started ok and scored a vital goal at then table toppers Derby, before later being subbed and chucking his shirt to the floor as he departed.

That show of indiscipline didn't affect his relationship with the manager and he continued to deputise for the injured Salif Diao.

Was another told to name his price regarding a new contract as the Potters shape there squad for another promotion push.

Added vital experience in his defensive midfielder role when Diao was absent at the start of 2007/8 and was a good squad member to boost numbers before being struck down with an achilles injury in November 2007 that finished his season and his time with Stoke as a regular squad member.

Was released at the end of 2007/8 but couldn't get a deal anywhere so returned to the Potters in a player/coach role although he was never likely to play unless there is a real emergency and a back operation is sure to have him call time altogether on his playing days this summer.

Demar Phillips - Alesund(Free)
#27
Left wing, Left back
d.o.b: 23/09/83
Signed/Left: August 2007/February 2009
Games in last season:0/2
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 0/4
Total club goals: 0

Arrived on deadline day in August 2007 with a reputation as a pacey out and out winger.

Debut was delayed until the televised home game with Sheffield United when he came on for the final 15 minutes and made a good impression creating two chances and looking solid and good on the ball but only got another brief outing that season as manager Tony Pulis had doubts over his ability to cope with the physical nature of the game.

In his last season he has just two substitute appearances in the Carling Cup and moved on in the January transfer window joining top Norwegian side Alesund on a free transfer. 

Lewis Buxton - Sheffield Wednesday(£500,000)
#22
Right back, Left back, Centre back
d.o.b:10/12/83
Signed/Left: December 2004/January 2009
Games in last season:2
Goals in last season:0
Total club games:46/14
Total club goals:1

Joined in December 2004 and made his debut in dull 0-0 draw with Preston after an early injury to a City defender.

Mainly played the season under Johan Boskamp at right back where he wasn't at his best but improved dramatically when he was put on his favoured left foot when he switched to left back.

Not a player who will currently be a regular in a team that wants to go for promotion but one who is a good back up player to fill in for injuries and suspensions.

Played one game in 2006/7, against Ipswich away where he put in a solid 60 minutes in centre defence on his comeback from injury but got struck down again shortly after and failed to make another appearance before the end of the season.

Only played 4 times the following season, most notably the final 75 minutes against Leicester on the final day as Stoke confirmed promotion.

Started a couple of Carling Cup games before being loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday, a move that was made permanent in January 2009 in a deal costing the Owls £500,000.

Richie De Laet - Manchester United(Performance related deal)
#20
Right back, Left back, Centre back, Right wing
dob:
Signed/Left: August 2007/January 2009
Games in last season: 0
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 0
Total club goals: 0

Can play anywhere across the defence or right wing but prefers the centre.

Belgian Under-21 international who was brought for £100,000 from Royal Antwerp.

Signed a four-year deal and is one for the future.

Very highly rated at his former club and was the first time Tony Pulis as Stoke manager had dipped into the foreign market.

Was caught between first team and not being needed in his debut season and, although he only made the bench once, away at Leicester, he wasn't allowed to go out on loan as he was needed as cover incase of injuries to a small squad.

Stoke saw him being a right winger and he was gradually been moulded into one for the reserves, where his performances in numerous positions showed that he holds a lot of talent, composure, pace and versatility.

Went on loan to Wrexham where he is impressed the locals before returning due to a hernia problem.

Sensationally joined Manchester United in January 2009 on a 3-year contract, with the Potters inserting clauses dependant on the player and clubs future success together.

Anthony Pulis - Southampton(£100,000)
#26
Centre midfield
d.o.b: 21/07/84
Signed: December 2004
Games in last season: 0
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 2/4
Total club goals: 0

Joined Stoke from Portsmouth but didn't feature in his first 18 months in the squad.

Was loaned out to Torquay at first and then to Plymouth the season after where he joined up with his father again, namesake Tony, who was the manager who signed him upto Portsmouth and then brought him to Stoke.

Went out on loan to Grimsby with Martin Paterson in late 2006 and although didn't grab the headlines like his fellow loanee he produced steady displays in the centre of midfield.

2007/8 seemed to be more of the same as he made just 4 appearances, including 1 start, before being shipped out on loan to Bristol Rovers, but he returned early due to an early injury.

Moved to Southampton in August 2008 for a small fee, believed to be around £100,000, after impressing during the Potters pre-season friendly win over the Saints.

Adam Rooney - Inverness Caledonian Thistle(£50,000)
#34
Striker
d.o.b:21/04/88
Signed: Youth Team
Games in last season: 0/0
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 2/17
Total club goals: 4

Signed from an Irish club at start of 2005/6 season.

Made rapid movement through youth team and reserve and made his debut in January 2006 in FA Cup tie away at Tamworth where his first touch set up Paul Gallaghers equaliser.

Scored his first goal away at champions Reading and then scored a hat trick away at Brighton on last day of the season to become the youngest post war player to do that for Stoke after barely turing 18.

Suffered a bad injury in pre-season for the 2006/7 season which hampered his progress that season which ended with a spell on loan at Yeovil where he played 3 games before returning early as Yeovil stuck with there tried and trusted strikers for there play off campaign.

Has a great youth international record of 19 goals in 23 games for the Republic or Ireland.

Spent the 2007/8 season out on loan, initially at Chesterfield where he struck 8 goals before moving onto Bury for the end of the season where he hit 2 goals to help them avoid relegation.

Move to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in August 2008 for an initial £50,000 after Stoke's promotuion to the Premier League.

Jon Parkin - Preston(£500,000)
#8
Striker
d.o.b: 30/12/81
Signed: June 2007
Games in last season: 1
Goals in last season: 1
Total club games: 12/27
Total club goals: 6

Arrived initially as a loanee as the Potters struggled to sign a striker to help them push for the play-offs in the 2006/7 season.

Started with fans wondering whether he was a wise choice up front due to his apparent large frame but he trimmed down during his month at the Britannia and managed 3 goals in his last three games.

Was recalled by Hull and played there next game, ironically against Stoke at the Brit, but looked disinterested and rarely took to the field again before securing a transfer to the Potters in June 2007 for an initial fee of £275,000 rising to £400,000 dependant on players and clubs success during his time with Stoke.

Has a clause in his contract that forced him to move to Stoke to get away from his friends in Barnsley, that were apparently blamed for his weight and fitness issues. The weight issues surrounding him returned for the 2007/8 season and the club had to accept that that is who he is.

Rarely started in 2007/8 but frequently came off the bench to try and show his undoubted skill to turn a tight match.

His last appearance was in August 2008 in the Carling Cup tie away at Cheltenham. He scored Stokes' crucial 3rd before moving to Preston for £500,000.

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