Luke Freeman

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Luke Freeman
LukeFreemanStevenage.png
Freeman playing for Stevenage in 2013
Personal information
Full name Luke Anthony Freeman[1]
Date of birth (1992-03-22) 22 March 1992 (age 22)
Place of birth Dartford, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Playing position Winger, Striker
Club information
Current team
Bristol City
Number 15
Youth career
2001–2003 Charlton Athletic
2003–2007 Gillingham
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Gillingham 1 (0)
2008–2012 Arsenal 0 (0)
2010 Yeovil Town (loan) 13 (2)
2011–2012 Stevenage (loan) 7 (1)
2012–2014 Stevenage 109 (15)
2014– Bristol City 19 (3)
National team
2008 England U16 4 (1)
2008–2009 England U17 15 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:45, 30 November 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:08, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Luke Anthony Freeman (born 22 March 1992) is an English professional footballer who plays for Bristol City as a winger.

Freeman started his career at Charlton Athletic, before subsequently joining Gillingham at the age of 11. He made his first-team debut for Gillingham at the age of 15, becoming the youngest ever player to appear in the FA Cup. In January 2008, Freeman signed for Arsenal, featuring regularly for the club's under-18 and reserve teams. Ahead of the 2010–11 season, Freeman signed for Yeovil Town on loan until December 2010. He returned to his parent club when his loan ended, and signed a new contract in April 2011. He was loaned out once again in November 2011, this time to League One team Stevenage on a one-and-a-half month loan deal. Freeman impressed during his time at Stevenage, and signed for the club on a permanent basis in January 2012, signing for an undisclosed fee.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Freeman first played for local side White Oak Wanderers in Bexley before representing Gravesham and subsequently being signed by Charlton Athletic.[3] He was released by Charlton and joined Gillingham at the age of 11.[4] He made his first-team debut for Gillingham in an FA Cup tie against Barnet on 10 November 2007, aged 15 years and 233 days, replacing Efe Sodje as an 80th minute substitute.[5] His debut set two records; he simultaneously became Gillingham's youngest ever first team player,[4] and the youngest player ever to appear in the FA Cup, breaking records previously held by Billy Hughes and Lee Holmes respectively.[6] Three days after his FA Cup appearance, Freeman appeared in Gillingham's 4–0 home victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the Football League Trophy, coming on as a substitute in the 74th minute.[7] He made his first league appearance on 24 November 2007, appearing as an 82nd minute substitute as Gillingham held on to beat Hartlepool United 2–1.[8] Freeman subsequently became Gillingham's youngest ever player in the league.[8] After impressing in his three appearances for Gillingham, Freeman spent time on trial at both Arsenal and Newcastle United respectively in early December 2007, with both teams showing an interest in signing the player.[9][10] At the end of the same month, he had a trial period at West Ham United.[9]

Arsenal[edit]

Freeman joined Premier League side Arsenal on 30 January 2008, joining for a fee reported to be in the region of £200,000.[11] He signed a two-year deal to become part of Arsenal's youth set-up on the club's scholar scheme.[11] On signing Freeman, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger described the player as "a very interesting prospect".[12] Freeman made his first appearance for Arsenal's U18 side in a 3–2 defeat against Ipswich Town in the Premier Academy League.[13] During the 2008–09 season, Freeman continued to progress at Arsenal, scoring seven goals from 15 appearances for the U18's, opening the season with a brace against Everton,[14] also making one substitute appearance for the reserve side during the campaign.[15] In April 2009, Freeman signed professional terms with the club.[15] A week after signing a professional contract with the club, Freeman played for the Arsenal reserve side in a 2–1 defeat to local rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, coming on as an 85th minute substitute in the match.[16] During the 2009–10 campaign, Freeman scored 16 times in 24 games, including scoring two goals in the Academy League Final, a 5–3 victory over Nottingham Forest.[17] The season also marked Freeman's first goal at reserve level against Chelsea in a 2–1 victory on 15 February 2010.[18] He went on to make 11 appearances for Arsenal's second string, most of which came during the latter stages of the season.[19]

Ahead of the 2010–11 season, Freeman signed for League One side Yeovil Town on loan until 31 December 2010.[19][20] On joining Yeovil Town, Freeman stated that he was now "getting to an age" where he wanted some first-team experience, and that ideally the loan move would put him in first-team contention come the end of the season.[21] He scored on his debut against Leyton Orient on 7 August 2010, scoring the winning goal in first-half injury time in a 2–1 victory, ensuring Yeovil made a winning start to the season.[22] He scored his second goal for the club in a 1–0 win against Rochdale, coming on as a 62nd minute substitute and scoring the only goal of the game four minutes later, scoring on the rebound after Owain Tudur Jones' shot had initially been saved.[23] Freeman appeared regularly for Yeovil during the first half of the 2010–11 season, making 15 appearance and scoring twice for the Somerset based club.[24] However, his loan spell was ended early due to injury, and Freeman returned to Arsenal in November 2010.[24] After regaining fitness, Freeman remained at Arsenal, "continuing to impress" regularly for the reserve side, scoring four goals during the season.[17] He signed a new contract with the club in April 2011.[17]

Stevenage[edit]

Freeman joined League One club Stevenage on 17 November 2011, on loan until 8 January 2012, with an option to extend the deal.[25][26] He made his debut for Stevenage two days after signing for the club, playing 86 minutes in a 0–0 away draw against Leyton Orient.[27] Freeman scored his first goal for the club in a 6–1 away victory over Colchester United on 26 December, coming on as a 57th minute substitute and scoring Stevenage's fifth goal of the match with a "powerful close-range strike".[28] Five days later, on 31 December, Freeman once again made an impact after coming on from the substitute's bench, this time assisting Lawrie Wilson to score the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute in a 1–0 away win at Wycombe Wanderers.[29] The last game of Freeman's loan spell with the club was a 1–0 victory at Championship side Reading in the FA Cup third round.[30]

Freeman taking a corner kick playing for Stevenage in March 2013

He returned to his parent club on 8 January 2012, having played nine games and scored one goal during his loan spell.[31] Two days later, on 10 January, it was announced that Freeman had signed for Stevenage on a permanent basis for an undisclosed fee and on a contract until 2014.[32][33][34] On signing for Stevenage, Freeman stated — "It's good to be at Stevenage. There were a couple of bids elsewhere, but I really enjoyed my time on loan here, so I am delighted to stay. Now it's time to build a career for myself, it's good that I've had the opportunity to be taught by one of the best, but it's time to move on and try and make myself a better player".[35] Freeman's first game after signing for the club on a permanent basis was a 5–1 away victory at Rochdale.[36] He scored the opening goal of the match, before scoring later on in the second-half with a 25-yard strike.[37] He scored a long range strike in a 2–2 draw against Bournemouth,[38] before scoring twice in Stevenage's 6–0 away win against Yeovil Town in April 2012, taking his seasonal goal tally to six.[39] He scored his seventh goal of the season in Stevenage's vital win over play-off rivals Brentford, cutting in from the left wing and beating Simon Moore at his near post with a right-footed shot.[40] He made 32 appearances during the campaign, scoring seven times, as Stevenage lost in the League One play-off semi-finals.[41]

Freeman made his first appearance of the 2012–13 season in Stevenage's first game of the new campaign, playing the whole match in a 3–1 victory over AFC Wimbledon at Broadhall Way in the League Cup.[42] He scored his first goal of the season in a 2–2 home draw with Crewe Alexandra on 15 September 2012, scoring courtesy of a long-range effort that found the top corner of the goal, a game in which Stevenage came from two goals down to earn a point.[43] However, he struggled to maintain consistent performances throughout the middle of the season, and was regularly used as a substitute.[44] It was to be a six-month wait for Freeman to score his next goal, curling in a 25-yard free-kick to briefly restore parity in Stevenage's televised 3–1 defeat to Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park in March 2013.[45] He made 43 appearances in all competitions during the season, scoring two goals.[44]

Bristol City[edit]

On 12 May 2014, Freeman signed a new contract extension at Stevenage.[46] Despite this, on 26 June 2014, Freeman joined Bristol City for an undisclosed fee.[47]

International career[edit]

Freeman made his debut for the England U16 side in the 2008 Montaigu Tournament in France, scoring on his debut in a 3–1 victory against Japan U16.[48] He also featured in the following two group matches, a 1–0 victory against Germany U16, followed by a 1–0 defeat to USA, with Freeman coming on as a second-half substitute in both games.[49][50] Having secured six points out of nine, England won their group, and subsequently beat their French counterparts in the final on penalties, with Freeman playing 78 minutes of the match.[51]

After impressing during the Montaigu Tournament, Freeman was called up to the England U17 squad ahead of the 2008 Nordic Tournament, held in Sweden.[52] He featured in all three games during the tournament,[53][54][55] with England failing to qualify for the Final of the tournament as a result of Norway's superior goal scoring record.[55] Freeman made a further appearance in the third-fourth place play-off, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 6–1 defeat against Denmark.[56] He played in all three of England's 2009 UEFA U17 Championship qualification games in October 2008,[57] scoring in a 7–0 win against Estonia U17.[58] England narrowly qualified for the elite round, finishing in second place with five points.[59] Ahead of the elite round fixtures, Freeman was called up to represent the U17 side in the 2009 Algarve Tournament, a three-day friendly tournament, which was played in February 2009.[60] He started in all three games as England finished third in their group,[61][62] and scored once in England's only victory, a 4–0 win over Israel's U17 side.[63]

Freeman was named in England's squad to play in the elite round, the final qualification stage for the 2009 UEFA U17 Championship.[64] All three of England's elite round matches were played in Hungary in March 2009, with Freeman scoring the only goal of the game in England's first group game on 25 March, a 1–0 victory against Portugal.[65] He also scored again two days later as England U17's beat their Serbian counterparts 2–1 in Bük.[66] He made a late substitute appearance in the final group match, a 2–0 victory against Hungary, meaning England had secured a place in the final tournament.[67] Freeman was named in the 18-man squad for the tournament.[68] He played in two of England's three games, with England finishing bottom of their group with one point.[69][70][71]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Dartford, Kent,[25] Freeman grew up in East London.[72] His parents made the decision to relocate to Gravesend, Kent where Freeman attended St John's Secondary School.[72]

Honours[edit]

International
Arsenal
Individual

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 20 May 2014.
Club Season League[A] FA Cup League Cup Other[B] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Gillingham
2007–08[74]
1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
Total 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
Arsenal
2007–08[75]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008–09[76]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009–10[77]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010–11[78]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011–12[79]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yeovil Town (loan)
2010–11[80]
13 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 15 2
Total 13 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 15 2
Stevenage 2011–12[81] 26 7 4 0 0 0 2 0 32 7
2012–13[82] 39 2 1 0 2 0 1 0 43 2
2013–14[83] 45 6 4 1 2 1 3 0 54 8
Total 109 15 9 1 4 1 6 0 128 17
Career totals 124 17 12 1 4 1 7 0 147 19
A. ^ The "League" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the Football League.
B. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the Football League Trophy and play-offs.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]