The Class of 2007/08 – A look at seven academy players who broke through a decade ago

Martin Pembleton


I can’t say I was ever impressed by Pembleton on the field, not because of his ability but because he always looked like a child playing a man’s game. He was short, Dean Keates short, but that wasn’t necessarily something to judge him on.

He joined the Centre of Excellence at Lincoln City as a nine-year-old and progressed through the system right into the first team. He started a two-year apprenticeship at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season, and eventually made his first team debut on 24th March 2008, at home to Hereford United in a 2–1 win.

Iffy Onuora was a fan of the young midfielder, speaking after the youngster’s first start he said; “He’s got a good attitude, a good engine and is confident in his ability, and he didn’t look out of place. It’s easy to see we have some excellent prospects here at the club but at the moment they are very much in their early stages of learning.”

In April 2008 Pembleton, alongside Gary King, was offered a one-year professional contract which he signed.

He failed to make a first team appearance as a professional being restricted to just six appearances as an unused substitute and in March 2009 he joined Lincoln United on loan. He was released at the end of the season.

1 Comment

  1. The amount of flack various managers got for not using more youth feels vindicated. None of these have gone up a level. Was Kern Miller through the youth? I remember Sutton getting pelters for letting him go to Barnsely.

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