Matthew Saunders was a midfielder signed on loan at the same time as the lacklustre Michael Uwezu and the much maligned Joe Anderson from Fulham. Of the three Saunders was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.
His first spell didn’t go particularly well. He made his debut in the 4-0 FA Cup defeat against Bolton and then made two more first team appearances before returning to Fulham. However Chris Sutton had seen enough to convince him the cultured midfielder had something to offer and he brought him back for the remainder of the season.
His second loan spell was far more productive bringing three goals from 18 outings. I really liked Saunders as he had a lovely dead ball strike and unlike some of the other loan players he worked really hard for the club. It was hoped we’d bag him on a free transfer once the season ended like we did with Adam Watts and Joe Anderson.
However he returned to Fulham where he was apparently highly rated, although not highly enough to earn another deal and he found himself released as we slipped out of the football league. With Sutton long gone he didn’t feature on Steve Tilson’s radar and ended up signing for Dagenham and Redbridge.
Just 18 day in to his Dagenham spell his goal was the decider in a match against Bradford causing manager John Still to enthuse on his ability and potential. However that potential was never realised after suffering an ankle injury and in 2014 he left Dagenham by mutual consent to move to Whitehawk of Brighton. Remember them? I prefer not to.
Since then he’s done the rounds of southern non-league clubs such as Dover and Aldershot as well as having a spell out in India. Curiously his first game for Aldershot was a 3-0 thumping at Sincil Bank in a game remembered for another Charlee Adams strike.
It’s widely thought that his injury curtailed what could have been a promising career and he currently plays for Hemel Hempstead Town.