One to Watch #47: Jack Cork

Last updated : 21 May 2010 By Dan Buxton


Name: Jack Cork

Date of Birth: 25th June 1989

Position: Defender, Midfielder

Club: Chelsea

Previous Clubs: Bournemouth(loan), Scunthorpe(loan), Southampton(loan), Watford(loan), Coventry(loan), Burnley(loan)

International appearances: England U16 4(0)

                                                    England U17 7(0)

                                                    England U18 1(0)

                                                    England U19 10(0)

                                                    England U21 4(0)

Confident and promising player who may well be up for grabs this summer after growing frustrated at the lack of opportunities he has been given at Stamford Bridge.

Cork progressed through the Chelsea youth set up and was soon sent out to Bournemouth where, aged 17, he played nine games during three months at Deans Court.

He returned for the start of pre-season in 2007/8 and went on the Chelsea tour of the US, playing out of position at left back for the majority of the games and impressing the Blues coaching staff with his professional performances.

Cork then spent that season at Championship strugglers Scunthorpe. Even though the Yorkshire side were relegated he did win the player of the year award and also scored his first professional goal against Coventry. He netted his second pro goal, also against Coventry, and played a total of 35 games for the Irons.

After beating off much competition for his signature Southampton became the next stop for Cork, and he played 24 times for the Saints in the first half of 2008/9 before returning to Stamford Bridge. Cork wasn't back at Chelsea long though and was soon back on the road, joining Watford for the second half of the season. He played 21 times for Watford, scoring once, before the end of his loan spell.

Cork returned to Watford for the opening month of 2009/10, playing three times, before joining Coventry on a six month loan. Cork gained more invaluable experience, impressing in his 21 games for the Sky Blues, and soon made the step up to the Premier League when he joined Burnley for the remainder of 2009/10. He played 14 times for the Clarets, scoring his first top flight goal in the final day win over Champions League bound Tottenham.

The day before that final game his Dad was in the London Evening Standard stating how his son was ready to move on from the Champions to get settled at a club and play every week, even if that meant dropping down to the Championship. After his spell at Burnley, where he was regarded as one of the few success stories of 2010 at Turf Moor, he may well not have to drop out of the top flight to achieve his aim.

The utility player, who's best position is as the holding midfielder, can also play anywhere across the back and has played a decent chunk of his competitive football as a centre back.