Michail gives ’em some ham­mer

The Football League Paper - - FINAL THIRD -

IF CRAIG East­mond and Matthew Briggs don’t want to be re­minded of how life could have been for them as Premier League star­lets at Ar­se­nal and Ful­ham, they might want to avoid read­ing in­ter­views con­ducted by for­mer school­mate Michail An­to­nio.

The 25-year-old’s ca­reer is now on an up­ward tra­jec­tory hav­ing been stopped by his mother, Cis­lyn, from join­ing Tot­ten­ham at the age of 14 in or­der to con­cen­trate on his ed­u­ca­tion.

West Ham’s new winger has worked his way up from Non-League Toot­ing & Mitcham United, where he was spot­ted by Read­ing and loaned to Chel­tenham, Southamp­ton, Colch­ester and Sheffield Wed­nes­day be­fore a per­ma­nent move to Not­ting­ham For­est, who banked £7m for him last month.

East­mond played four times for the Gun­ners but is now at Sut­ton United, and Briggs – now at Colch­ester af­ter spend­ing time there on loan from Mill­wall last term – is still the youngest to ap­pear in the top-flight af­ter mak­ing his Cot­tagers bow in 2007 aged 16 years and 68 days.

“They went through the academy sys­tem and they’re work­ing their way down – I’m work­ing my way up,” An­to­nio told the in a mat­ter of fact way this week. Ouch!

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