Matt Oakley

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Matt Oakley
Oakley, Matt.jpg
Oakley in 2009
Personal information
Full name Matthew Oakley[1]
Date of birth (1977-08-17) 17 August 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth Peterborough, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Exeter City
Number 8
Youth career
1993–1994 Southampton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–2006 Southampton 262 (14)
2006–2008 Derby County 56 (9)
2008–2012 Leicester City 137 (10)
2011 Exeter City (loan) 7 (0)
2012– Exeter City 72 (0)
National team
1997 England U21 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:37, 12 October 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Matthew "Matt" Oakley (born 17 August 1977) is an English footballer who plays for Exeter City as a midfielder. His last club was the Football League Championship side Leicester City where he was captain from 2008 to 2011. He had previously played for Southampton and Derby County.

Oakley played for Southampton for over a decade, including their defeat to Arsenal in the 2003 FA Cup Final. However, a proneness to injury cost him nearly two years of football, and he left the club after being offered only a one-year contract.[2] At Derby County, he captained the club to promotion via the Championship play-offs in 2007.[3] After one-and-a-half years at Pride Park, Oakley signed for Leicester City, but could not prevent their relegation to League One. He enjoyed an injury-free season when he captained the team to promotion as league winners at the first attempt.[4]

Club career[edit]

Southampton[edit]

Born in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Oakley joined Southampton's youth training scheme, and made his debut at Everton at the age of 17 on 6 May 1995, whilst still a trainee. He turned professional soon afterwards.[5] His skilful displays for Southampton were star studded that he would watch video clips of himself in action.[6] He played for Southampton in the 2003 FA Cup final against Arsenal, finishing runners-up as they lost 1–0.[7]

He became a regular first team player in the 1996–97 season, when he scored three goals in 28 games as the Saints avoided relegation in 16th place. He would remain a regular player for most of the next decade.[8]

Oakley's injury woes began in September 2003 when he suffered damaged knee ligaments in a 1–0 defeat to Middlesbrough, sidelining him for six weeks.[9] However, he had to undergo an operation in November after aggravating his injury during rehabilitation, keeping him out of contention for the rest of the 2003–04 season.[10] Oakley felt he was "very lucky" after he recovered in May 2004.[11] He aggravated his injury again during Southampton's trip to Sweden, missing out on the start of the following season.[12]

His injury proneness nearly cost him two years of football in his last seasons at Southampton.[2] Oakley spent majority of the 2004–05 season recuperating on the sidelines, suffering another setback along the way,[13] while Southampton struggled for form.[14] In January 2005, Rotherham United offered to sign him on loan in an effort to help him regain his fitness.[15] Oakley watched helplessly as an unused substitute as Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005, after a 2–1 defeat to Manchester United.[16]

In 2005–06, Oakley was back to full fitness and was once again a first team regular, making 29 league appearances and scoring two goals.[8] He played his last match for Southampton in a 3–0 league win over Sheffield Wednesday on 25 February 2006.[17] Then-manager George Burley commented on Oakley in May 2006, "I've not seen the best of Matt Oakley yet but I believe he can recapture his best form. If he's fully fit again he will be very valuable."[18] Unconvinced with Oakley's form, he was only offered a one-year extension to his contract.[2]

"I spent 12 years at a fantastic club, but they are in a bad position. I'm hoping that we are going to take the points, but I will be sad if they're dropping down the table."

On his return to Southampton with Leicester City in March 2008.[19]

On 28 June 2006, Oakley rejected Burley's offer,[20] and absented himself from pre-season training.[21] As he was now approaching 29, he had hoped for a contract that would take him towards the end of his career – and take in a talked-of testimonial match.[2] His departure ended 12 years of service after playing a total of 311 games for the club.[5] Oakley then spent pre-season training with then Premier League team Charlton Athletic, who offered him a one-year deal,[22] and was also chased by Ipswich Town.[23]

Derby County[edit]

Oakley in his Derby County days.

On 4 August 2006, he signed a three-year contract with Derby County on a free transfer.[24] Oakley was immediately named team captain, with Michael Johnson becoming club captain.[25] He made his debut in a 2–0 defeat to Stoke City on 8 August 2006.[26][2]

Oakley's first goal for Derby came in the first away win of the season against Hull City. His lashed half volley sent Derby on their way to a 2–1 win. He also scored the winner in the home match against West Bromwich Albion. His thunderous 30-yard strike capped off a fine comeback by the Rams. And following his trend in scoring sublime goals, Oakley scored a 16-yard half volley into the top of the net proving to be the winner in a 2–1 win. He went on to captain the side to play-off success confirming their return to the Premier League with a 1–0 win over West Bromwich Albion.[27]

However, Oakley admitted that the Derby squad still lacked Premier League experience and felt the need for additional signings.[28] With Derby bottom of the table by 2008, 10 points from safety, Oakley declared that the team had to beat Bolton Wanderers on 3 January or "the season's over."[29] Derby lost the match 1–0.[30] That same month, Leicester City were granted permission by Derby to open contract talks with Oakley.[31] He played his last match for the club in a 2–2 FA Cup draw against Sheffield Wednesday on 6 January 2008.[32] In his one-and-a-half years at Derby, Oakley was injured only once, a bruised ankle in a match against Crystal Palace in December 2006.[33]

Leicester City[edit]

Oakley playing for Leicester City in September 2008.

Oakley moved to Leicester City on 11 January 2008 for a fee of £500,000, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.[34] Surprised at being allowed to leave Pride Park,[35] he was reunited with Derby teammate Steve Howard, who had joined Leicester ten days earlier.[34] Chairman Milan Mandarić described the signing as "very, very important."[34][36] Oakley made his league debut in an M69 derby on 12 January, beating Coventry City 2–0 at the Walkers Stadium.[37] He enjoyed a short partnership with Stephen Clemence in central midfield before the latter was injured in March 2008.[38] Oakley's arrival could not prevent the club's season from ending in relegation.[39]

Oakley became captain the following season due to club captain Stephen Clemence's long-term injury (which forced him to retire on Easter Monday 2010).[40] He scored his first league goal for the club in a 4–0 win over Cheltenham Town on 30 August 2008.[41] Despite leading the club to a four-point lead at the top of League One by December 2008, Oakley warned his teammates of complacency.[42]

In January 2009, Oakley played exceptionally well during his temporary partnership with on-loan midfielder Mark Davies.[43] His superb form during that month earned him the League One Player of the Month award on 9 February.[44] He played a key role in helping Leicester to a 23-game unbeaten run from September 2008 to March 2009.[45] He led by example with a series of commanding displays, scoring eight goals to help Leicester secure their promotion as League One champions.[4] Oakley was named in the League One PFA Team of the Year together with teammates Jack Hobbs and Matty Fryatt on 26 April 2009.[46] His goal against Cheltenham Town on 7 March 2009,[47] was voted Leicester's goal of the season in April 2009.[48]

Oakley formed a fine midfield partnership with Richie Wellens as the club made an impressive start to the 2009–10 season, which saw them seventh in the Championship by September 2009.[49] In early December 2009 however, Leicester were heavily beaten by Nottingham Forest and Bristol City.[50] But after following from those losses by beating Sheffield Wednesday 3–0 on 12 December, Oakley believed they were back on track.[50] Compared to last season, he suffered a goal famine and admitted he needed to contribute more as an attacking force.[51] In February 2010, the club adopted the 4–3–3 formation, with a midfield trio comprising Oakley, Wellens and Andy King.[52] He made his 100th competitive game for Leicester in a 1–1 draw against Bristol City on 16 February,[53] and his 100th league appearance in a 2–1 defeat to Reading at the Walkers Stadium on 24 March.[54] Oakley played a total of 38 league matches to help Leicester qualify for the Championship play-offs,[5] but was not selected for the semi-final legs as Cardiff City won 4–3 on penalties.[55]

In the 2010–11 season, Oakley played his 500th competitive match in a 2–0 defeat to Millwall on 28 December 2010.[56][57] He signed a new contract with the club on 24 March 2011,[58] which would last until June 2012.[59] The following day, Oakley relinquished his position as captain and handed over the role to teammate Andy King.[60] He finally scored his first league goal since April 2009 in a 1–1 draw against Crystal Palace on 12 April 2011,[61] followed by another on 22 April in a 3–2 defeat to Nottingham Forest.[62] Oakley played a total of 36 competitive games,[63] as Leicester finished the season in 10th position.[64]

On 20 March 2012, Oakley agreed by mutal consent to have his contract ended.[65]

Exeter City[edit]

Despite playing only twice in the League Cup for the 2011–12 season, Leicester denied that Oakley was to rejoin Derby County on loan.[63] On 30 September 2011, Oakley joined League One side Exeter City on loan for a month with the option of extending it until the end of the season.[66] He made his debut in a 2–0 win over Oldham Athletic on 1 October 2011,[67] drawing praise from manager Paul Tisdale for his performance.[68] A thigh injury suffered in a 0–0 draw against Carlisle United on 5 November 2011 forced Oakley to return to Leicester after playing seven league games.[69] Tisdale's concern about "taking somebody back that's injured", coupled with Leicester being unable to confirm Oakley's availability made it unlikely he will rejoin Exeter on loan.[70]

After being released by Leicester Oakley spent the 2012 pre-season training with Exeter City and after much speculation it was announced on 31 July 2012 that he had signed a permanent deal with the Grecians.

International career[edit]

Oakley has four caps for the England U21 team. He showed tremendous promise as a teenager and Gordon Strachan tipped him for the England squad in February 2003.[71] While he was rumoured to be under serious consideration,[72] he was not named in the first squad of 2003 for the friendly against Australia.[73]

Career statistics[edit]

Season Club Division League Cup League Cup Other[74] Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1994–95 Southampton Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1995–96 10 0 3 1 0 0 13 1
1996–97 28 3 1 0 6 0 35 3
1997–98 33 1 1 0 4 0 38 1
1998–99 22 2 2 0 0 0 24 2
1999–2000 31 3 1 0 4 2 36 5
2000–01 35 1 3 0 3 0 41 1
2001–02 27 1 0 0 3 0 30 1
2002–03 31 0 7 2 2 0 40 2
2003–04 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 8 0
2004–05 7 1 5 1 0 0 12 2
2005–06 Championship 29 2 2 0 0 0 31 2
1994–2006 Total 261 14 24 4 22 2 1 0 309 20
2006–07 Derby County Championship 37 6 1 0 1 0 3 0 42 6
2007–08 Premier League 19 3 1 0 0 0 20 3
2006–08 Total 56 9 2 0 1 0 3 0 62 9
2007–08 Leicester City Championship 20 0 0 0 0 0 20 0
2008–09 League One 45 8 2 0 0 0 1 0 48 8
2009–10 Championship 38 0 2 0 2 0 42 0
2010–11 Championship 34 2 1 0 1 0 36 2
2011–12 Championship 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0
2008– Total 137 10 5 0 5 0 1 0 148 10
2011–12 Exeter City (loan) League One 7 0 7 0
2011– Total 7 0 7 0
1994– Career Total 461 33 32 4 28 2 4 0 1 0 526 39

Correct as of 28 November 2011

Other interests[edit]

Oakley has always had a passion for wines and in 1999, met sommelier Barry Skarin, who has worked as Head Sommelier for Marco Pierre White and Michael Caines, in a pub. They decided to join their passion for wine together and form the wine (including fine and rare wines) company Nebuchadnezzar Wines.[75]

He is also known to be a collector of South American red-bellied piranha, stating "I wanted something unusual, and piranhas certainly make feeding time interesting".[76]

Honours[edit]

Southampton
Derby County
Leicester City
Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 463. ISBN 1-85291-665-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e May, John (17 August 2006). "Summer blues melt away for Oakley". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Play-off final photos, BBC Sport, 28 May 2007, retrieved 1 February 2010 
  4. ^ a b "Leicester City's season in photos". BBC Sport. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "Matthew Oakley profile". LCFC.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Clips inspire Oakley". Sky Sports. 4 March 2003. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Arsenal retain FA Cup". BBC Sport. 17 May 2003. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Matt OAKLEY - League appearances for The Saints. - Southampton FC 
  9. ^ "Oakley out for six weeks". Sky Sports. 2 October 2003. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Oakley out for season". Sky Sports. 17 November 2003. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "Oakley: I was very lucky". Sky Sports. 30 May 2004. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Oakley out of Saints opener". Sky Sports. 3 May 2005. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  13. ^ "New setback for Oakley". Sky Sports. 23 November 2004. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "Oakley fears for Saints". Sky Sports. 28 December 2004. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "Millers chase Oakley". Sky Sports. 16 January 2005. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  16. ^ "Southampton 1–2 Man Utd". BBC Sport. 15 May 2005. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "Southampton 3–0 Sheff Wed". BBC Sport. 25 February 2006. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
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  20. ^ "Oakley set for Southampton exit". BBC Sport. 28 June 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Saints fear Oakley exit". Sky Sports. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  22. ^ "Oakley: Rams over The Prem". Sky Sports. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  23. ^ "Magilton eyes Saints swoop". Sky Sports. 5 July 2006. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  24. ^ "Derby swoop for Oakley and Smith". BBC Sport. 6 August 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
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  26. ^ "Stoke 2–0 Derby". BBC Sport. 8 August 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
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  30. ^ Stevenson, Jonathan (3 January 2008). "Bolton 1–0 Derby". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
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  34. ^ a b c "Oakley secures Leicester switch". BBC. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
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  36. ^ "Mandaric delighted at Oakley capture". BBC Sport Player. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  37. ^ "Leicester 2–0 Coventry". BBC Sport. 12 January 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  38. ^ "Oakley enjoying Clemence link-up". BBC Sport Player. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  39. ^ Soni, Paresh (4 May 2008). "Stoke 0–0 Leicester". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 April 2009. 
  40. ^ "Foxes' confidence high – Oakley". BBC Sport. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  41. ^ "Cheltenham 0–4 Leicester". BBC Sport. 30 August 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008. 
  42. ^ "We cannot be complacent – Oakley". BBC Sport. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  43. ^ "Foxes delighted at Davies' return". BBC Sport. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  44. ^ "Oakley named player of the month". BBC Sport. 10 February 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  45. ^ "Promotion so close, says Oakley". BBC Sport. 27 February 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  46. ^ "Giggs earns prestigious PFA award". BBC Sport. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
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  49. ^ "Oakley happy with Leicester start". BBC Sport. 17 September 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  50. ^ a b "Matt Oakley believes Leicester are back on track". BBC Sport. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  51. ^ "Leicester City's Matt Oakley bids to end goal famine". Leicester Mercury. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  52. ^ "New Leicester City formation is working – Matt Oakley". BBC Sport. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  53. ^ "Bristol City 1–1 Leicester". BBC Sport. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  54. ^ "Leicester 1–2 Reading". BBC Sport. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  55. ^ Shuttleworth, Peter (12 May 2010). "Cardiff 2–3 Leicester (agg 3–3)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  56. ^ "Oakley Thankful For Tremendous Support". LCFC.com. 24 December 2010. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  57. ^ "Millwall 2 – 0 Leicester". BBC Sport. 28 December 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
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  59. ^ "Oakley Agrees New Contract". LCFC.com. 23 May 2011. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  60. ^ "Matt Oakley hands Andy King Leicester City captain's armband". Leicester Mercury. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  61. ^ "Leicester 1 – 1 Crystal Palace". BBC Sport. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  62. ^ "Nott'm Forest 3 – 2 Leicester". BBC Sport. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  63. ^ a b "Sven-Goran Eriksson denies Matt Oakley is set for Derby". BBC Sport. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  64. ^ "Leicester 4 – 2 Ipswich". BBC Sport. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  65. ^ "Former skipper Matt Oakley to leave Leicester City". Leicester Mercury. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  66. ^ "Exeter City sign Leicester City's Matt Oakley on loan". BBC Sport. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  67. ^ Exeter 2–0 Oldham, BBC Sport, 1 October 2011, retrieved 9 March 2012 
  68. ^ Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale hails Matt Oakley debut, BBC Sport, 3 October 2011, retrieved 9 March 2012 
  69. ^ Exeter City boss Tisdale fears for consistency, BBC Sport, 7 November 2011, retrieved 9 March 2012 
  70. ^ Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale looks to bring in loanees, BBC Sport, 22 November 2011, retrieved 9 March 2012 
  71. ^ "Oakley backed for England". BBC Sport. 5 February 2003. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  72. ^ "Rooney tipped for England spot". Sky Sports. 8 February 2003. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  73. ^ "Aussies stun England". Sky Sports. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  74. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Johnstone's Paint Trophy & the Football League play-offs
  75. ^ "About Us". Nebuchadnezzar Wines. 2 December 2007. Archived from the original on 28 January 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  76. ^ "Top 10 weird hobbies of the stars". Yahoo!. 5 September 2011. Archived from the original on 5 September 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Michael Johnson
Derby County Captain
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Robbie Savage
Preceded by
Stephen Clemence
Leicester City Captain
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Matt Mills