|Full name||Ryan James Burge|
|Date of birth||12 October 1988|
|Place of birth||Cheltenham, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|2011||→ Oxford United (loan)[a]||5||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 3 May 2014 (UTC).
In his teenage years he had trials for clubs as far apart as the Netherlands, Japan, and England. He was under contract at Birmingham City, Barnet and Japanese side Machida Zelvia. He joined the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain in summer 2009. From there he was sent out to Worcester City, Jerez Industrial, Doncaster Rovers, and Oxford United to gain first team experience. In June 2011 he signed with Port Vale via Hyde (partners of the Hoddle Academy). He left Port Vale in April 2013 after falling out with the club's management, and signed with Newport County for the 2013–14 season.
Born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Burge scored 60 goals in a single season for Cheltenham YMCA as a child. He later spent a year at West Bromwich Albion, before playing alongside Daniel Sturridge at Cadbury Athletic. He also had a spell with Coventry City, and trialled for Ajax in the Netherlands, before trialling with Manchester United.
After being tracked by both Manchester United and Manchester City, he began his professional career at Birmingham City, where he signed a three-year contract at the age of 17. Following the departure of manager Steve Bruce, Burge was released by Birmingham in March 2008. He went on trial at League Two club Hereford United and League One side Cheltenham Town. He was verbally offered a short-term contract by Cheltenham manager Keith Downing, but the deal collapsed after Downing was replaced as the Cheltenham manager by Martin Allen. He instead joined up with League Two side Barnet. He made his debut for Barnet in the 4–0 home defeat by Notts County on 15 November 2008. This was the only appearance he made before his time there was disrupted by appendicitis, which ruled him out for four weeks. The club released him in January 2009.
Searching for a new club
In February 2009, Burge travelled to Japan, the birthplace of his step-mother, in the hope of securing a contract with a J-League club. He spent a week trialling with Division Two side Avispa Fukuoka, followed by a trial period at Division One outfit Oita Trinita. Top-flight sides F.C. Tokyo and Sagan Tosu also expressed an interest in Burge, as he was tested at Kokushikan University against players such as Hidetoshi Nakata. He later joined third-tier side Machida Zelvia, where he made a handful of appearances. Burge said that the clubs in Japan appreciate inexperienced but technical players and "they don't just go for big lumps that head it and kick people".
Glenn Hoddle Academy
In July 2009, Burge was forced to return to England in order to renew his visa to stay in Japan. He participated in a pre-season friendly against Malmesbury Victoria for Conference Premier side Forest Green Rovers. He was offered a contract, but rejected it and joined the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain on a two-year deal, stating he felt it would help to improve his technical skill. Burge scored the quickest goal in the academy's history, netting against Spanish side San Fernando after just 12 seconds. In March 2010, Burge played once for Conference South club Worcester City, by arrangement with the Academy. In the 2010–11 season, Burge played for Jerez Industrial, the Spanish Tercera División club connected with the Glenn Hoddle Academy. He became established in central midfield after he recovered from numerous injury problems. He was sent off twice in 13 games and won the club's Player of the Month award for October 2010. They were in contention for promotion to the Segunda División B when a November 2010 article on the BBC Sport website described Burge as "the current star of the side".
Burge moved to Championship club Doncaster Rovers on a short-term deal on transfer deadline day, 31 January 2011. He made his Doncaster debut as a second-half substitute in a 6–0 home defeat to Ipswich Town on 15 February 2011. That was to be his only appearance for the club. On 17 March 2011, Burge joined League Two team Oxford United on loan for the rest of the season, after impressing in a reserve game against Colchester United which Oxford won 2–0. He went straight into the starting line-up for the match against Crewe Alexandra two days later, and provided the assist for James Constable's winning goal. His first performance at Oxford received praise in the local media. A week later, Steve MacLean opened the scoring against Burton Albion, but Burge reportedly claimed the goal after the ball took a deflection off his heel on its way into the net for what would have been his first Football League goal. In mid-April 2011 he was recalled by Doncaster, and a few weeks later they offered him a new deal.
Hyde to Port Vale
In June 2011 he signed a two-year deal with Micky Adams' Port Vale. The League Two club had to pay Hyde a small undisclosed fee, as the Conference North side secured his contract from their partnership with the Glenn Hoddle Academy. He missed the start of the 2011–12 season with a knee injury, and in November 2011 it was revealed that he would have to undergo surgery to correct the problem. He did not feature in matchday squads for the rest of the season, and was transfer listed in May 2012. The door to the first team remained open though, after Burge had an encouraging and injury-free pre-season.
He came off the bench on 14 August 2012 – his first competitive game for twelve months – and "pulled the strings to help Vale control the second half" in a League Cup defeat to Championship side Burnley. He made his long-awaited league debut at Vale Park four days later, replacing Chris Shuker 79 minutes into a 3–0 win over Barnet. Despite some impressive cameo appearances from the bench, a streak of wins kept Burge out of the first eleven until 29 September 2012, when he made his first league start for the club at Valley Parade, in a 1–0 win over Bradford City. He scored his first goal for the club in the Football League Trophy at the Bescot Stadium; his 20-yard left-footed strike helped Vale to battle to a 2–2 draw with Walsall, though he missed his penalty in the shoot-out victory. He opened the scoring in a 2–2 home draw with York City on 17 November 2012, and was selected on the League Two Team of the Week for his performance.
He established himself in central midfield over the New Year with "a string of impressive performances". However, on 12 March 2013 he missed a pre-match team meal, but claimed he made his own way for the match against Bristol Rovers, only to be informed that he was not in the matchday squad when he was just five minutes away from Bristol. He took to Twitter to put his side of the story across, and an angry Micky Adams responded by saying Burge's tweets were "absolute nonsense and he's going to be disciplined". Burge was suspended for two weeks for breaking the club's "social media guidelines" after club management claimed he refused to apologise for the incident. On 12 April 2013, with three games left of the season, Burge left the club by mutual consent. Club chairman Paul Wildes stated that "this has been a difficult decision for both parties". Vale secured promotion into League One at the end of the 2012–13 season.
"... From the moment we told the manager this [that he was waiting to consider other options before signing a new contract offered by chairman Paul Wildes], I never played for the club again. We had a game against Bristol Rovers and I, like some of the other players, had agreed to be picked up by the team bus at a service station on the way. However, I received a message from the manager saying he was refusing to pick me up, and that I should make my f***** own way there. I was left stranded, however, I managed to get a lift, I was five minutes from the team hotel two hours before kick off, and got a call telling me to go home I am now playing in the reserves tomorrow. I was understandably not happy so I wrote a tweet, then after the match the manager told the media I didn't turn up. I have wrongfully been given stick for this ever since. But hopefully this clears things up."— In November 2015, Burge released a statement and stated that "I was happy to move on and keep quiet about this but due to the manager breaching an agreement we have in place I have been left with no other alternative than to speak out.
Burge was linked with a move to Peterborough United in May 2013, though also stated that "I am confident I could do a job at Championship level". He also had a trial spell with Burnley. He eventually signed a contract with League Two side Newport County on 30 August 2013. Illness and injuries limited his contribution at the beginning of the 2013–14 season. He impressed in central midfield during the second half of the campaign and manager Justin Edinburgh was reported to have opened talks to extend Burge's stay at Rodney Parade beyond the summer. Despite these reports, Burge left the club in May 2014.
In June 2014 he was reported to have agreed terms with South African side Bidvest Wits of the Premier Soccer League, but the move was never completed. He had a trial with Cheltenham Town in March 2015, and impressed in a reserve game against Plymouth Argyle after being out injured for the season, but the club was unable to offer him a contract.
Style of play
Keith Downing described Burge as "aggressive" and that he is "technically good and has a good frame". After arriving at Port Vale in June 2011, Vale manager Micky Adams stated, "Ryan is a creative central midfielder and will bring plenty of quality on the ball, but he is also a very hard-working individual". Neil Duncanson, the Glenn Hoddle Academy's commercial director said: "Ryan is very strong, powerful and suited to the front of a diamond in central midfield. He's a creative player who can take an excellent dead ball". Burge has said of himself that "I'm a midfield player who likes to put my foot in, as well as to get on the ball and create things. I try to be an all-round midfield player and do a bit of everything".
- As of 3 May 2014.
|Season||Club||Division||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|2005–06||Birmingham City||Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2009–10||Worcester City||Conference South||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|2010–11||Jerez Industrial||Tercera División Group X||13||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||13||2|
|2010–11||Oxford United (loan)||League Two||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0|
|2011–12||Port Vale||League Two||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||2||0|
|2013–14||Newport County||League Two||17||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||17||2|
- Machida Zelvia statistics unavailable.
- Port Vale
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 69. ISBN 9-781845-964740.
- "Height: 183cm". ryanburge.co.uk. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- "Dream come true for Ryan". Gloucestershire Echo. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Ryan Burge". Doncaster Rovers F.C. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.
- "Burge on Deal". Port Vale F.C. 29 June 2011. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012.
- "2.34pm – Burge and Hayles agree new deals with the Robins". Gloucestershire Echo. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Burge aims for the big time after agreeing Donny deal". Gloucestershire Echo. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "New dawn for Ryan in the land of the rising sun". Gloucestershire Echo. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Games played by Ryan Burge in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Rogers, S. (21 February 2009). "Burge's Japanese adventure". Gloucestershire Echo. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- Signy, Dennis (4 January 2009). "Ryan Burge Moves On". Barnet F.C. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012.
- Shaw, Steve (20 July 2011). "New Boy Burge Happy to Settle Down at Last". The Sentinel.
- Palmer, Jon; Herbert, Jonathan (17 September 2009). "Cheltenham footballer snapped up by Hoddle". Gloucestershire Echo. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Winning Start for Glenn Hoddle Academy Season". Glenn Hoddle Academy. 29 September 2009. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009.
- Carley, Steve (14 March 2010). "Bromley 2 Worcester City 0". Worcester News. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Ryan Burge: Mejor Jugador del Mes Octubre 2010" [Ryan Burge: Best Player of the Month October 2010] (in Spanish). Jerez Industrial CF. 14 November 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2011.[dead link]
- Minshull, Phil (18 November 2010). "Jerez, Hoddle and a British takeover". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Doncaster Rovers sign Ryan Burge and Joseph Mills". BBC Sport. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Match Report: Doncaster Rovers 0 Ipswich Town 6". Sheffield Star (Sheffield). 16 February 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Oxford United sign Doncaster Rovers' Ryan Burge on loan". BBC Sport. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- "Oxford United 2–1 Crewe". BBC Sport. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "Burge is proving a pass Master". Oxford Mail. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Murray, Jon (1 April 2011). "Burge was claiming goal". Banbury Cake. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
- "Burge back with Rovers". Sky Sports. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Mortley, Chris (19 May 2011). "Defensive Duo Released". Doncaster Rovers F.C. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012.
- "Ben Williamson and Ryan Burge join Port Vale". BBC Sport. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Port Vale: Burge targets promotion as he signs on at Vale". The Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent). 29 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- "Double Swoop for Adams". Port Vale F.C. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012.
- "New Signings". Hyde F.C. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011.
- "Port Vale: Old pals prepare to clash as Vale take on Gills". The Sentinel. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Port Vale: Striker Williamson facing lengthy spell on sidelines". The Sentinel. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "Contracts latest". Port Vale F.C. Retrieved 8 May 2012.[dead link]
- "Transfer-listed Burge still has chance with Vale". The Sentinel. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Match stats v Burnley". The Sentinel. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Port Vale sealed a comfortable opening-day victory over disappointing Barnet". BBC Sport. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "Bradford City 0–1 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Match report v Walsall". The Sentinel. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Port Vale 2–2 York". BBC Sport. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Midfielder makes the cut". Port Vale F.C. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Burge ready to pit his skills against Dutch master". The Sentinel. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- Pearson, Guy (14 March 2013). "Burge returns to Port Vale squad". The Sentinel. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Pearson, Guy (13 March 2013). "Adams blasts critics after defeat". The Sentinel. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Two-week ban for Burge the defiant". The Sentinel. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Pearson, Guy (12 April 2013). "Ryan Burge leaves Port Vale by mutual consent". The Sentinel. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- "Port Vale: Ryan Burge released by the club after Twitter row". BBC Sport. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- Baggaley, Mike (26 November 2015). "Ryan Burge speaks out about Vale exit". The Sentinel. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "Free agent Ryan Burge drops hint about rejoining Peterborough". Sky Sports. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Family comes first, claims Vincent after Robins move". The Sentinel. 21 July 2013.
- Penman, Andrew (30 August 2013). "County snap up midfielder Ryan Burge". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- "Ryan Burge ready to hit top gear in Newport County's promotion bid". Wales Online. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Penman, Andrew (5 April 2014). "Exiles ace Ryan Burge in talks over new contract". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Newport County: Mike Flynn in talks over new contract". BBC Sport. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Penman, Andrew (7 May 2014). "I'm no troublemaker, says Ryan Burge after Exiles exit". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Crann, Joe (3 June 2014). "Burge Agrees Terms With Wits". soccerladuma.co.za. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Young, James (26 March 2015). "Cheltenham Town sign Derby County striker Shaquille McDonald ahead of transfer deadline". Gloucester Echo. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Adams makes double player swoop". The Sentinel. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Brown, James (15 February 2012). "Who's Who". Cheltenham Town F.C. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
- "Tributes to Cheltenham Town director Rod Burge". Gloucestershire Echo. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Ryan Burge". Soccerbase. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the Football League Trophy.
- "Jerez Industrial C.F. Senior Plantilla 2010/11". lapreferente.com. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Games played by Ryan Burge in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ryan Burge in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ryan Burge in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ryan Burge in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Burge pride in Vale glory". Sky Sports. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2015.