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Contrasting fortunes of two ex-Saints
THEY both possess eye-catching double-barrelled surnames and they both gave defences the run- around in their Saints academy days.
But while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in Brazil with England's World Cup squad, his former St Mary’s teammate Jordace Holder-Spooner has had to take a backward step to try and rekindle his love for the game.
After being released from Conference South outfit Basingstoke Town, the pacy 21-year-old winger is looking forward to making a fresh start with Marlow of the Southern League Division One Central.
Holder-Spooner admitted: “I was falling out of love with the beautiful game and for someone to start to hate their dreams isn’t right.
“So when I sat down with my dad, Mark (Marlow boss Mark Bartley) and Neville Roach (assistant manager), just the way they were selling the project, they made me believe in myself.
“It’s important that you get chances like these where people want you to excel and they want you to be the best you possibly can. So I jumped at the chance and just can’t wait to get started with Marlow.”
Part of Southampton’s successful 2009 academy intake, Holder-Spooner – a Saint from the age of 14 – went on to play for Martin Hunter’s under-21 side alongside Oxlade-Chamberlain.
He was released from St Mary’s in the summer of 2011 and, after a trial at AFC Bournemouth had proved unsuccessful, he put pen to paper for non-League Eastleigh.
He made 31 appearances for the Spitfires, chipping in with three goals. But although then manager Ian Baird praised his “tremendous ability”, he was critical of his time-keeping and stated: “He needs to put in 100 per cent effort if he is going to make it as a pro or at a high-level of non-League.”
Holder-Spooner joined Easleigh’s Conference South rivals Basingstoke Town in June 2012 and played 47 times for the north Hampshire club, scoring six goals.
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