As footballing apprenticeships go, none have been stranger than Tottenham winger Simon Dawkins.
He joined Tottenham Hotspur's academy in 2004 and became a very reputable reserve winger for the North London side. He went out on-loan to Leyton Orient but didn't enjoy the best of loan spells and was subsequently released from his contract at Tottenham in 2009.
Despite the initial upset, the determined winger wasn't deterred from making a successful career out of football, after a brief trial with French side RC Strasbourg, he was given a second chance by Tottenham to prove his fitness and earn a long-term contract.
He did just that and despite interest from Celtic, he decided to rejoin Tottenham in March 11th.
Since rejoining the club, he has still found first team appearances hard to come by. He enjoyed a loan spell at San Jose Earthquakes in 2011, which was his first major run of first team football. That earned him a loan move to Aston Villa, but there again, he struggled with first team football.
Steve McClaren had previously worked with the player during an unsuccessful trial while at FC Twente, despite that, he made one of his first movements as Derby County manager signing Dawkins up on loan.
He has since become a key figure in the starting 11 for Derby County, scoring 2 goals in his first 8 games for the club.
The fans are now fully behind the Tottenham outcast and one of their first wishes when the transfer window re-opens is securing a deal for him permanently.
The winger's career at Tottenham has been somewhat bizarre, as It's not often you see a player contracted to a club at 26, despite not playing a full first-team game.
It must be a relief for the player after several years of uncertainty over his future that it looks like he may now have finally found a home.
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