Cadamarteri says fast-tracking at Everton cost his development

Wednesday, 2 September, 2020 30comments  |  Jump to last

In this interview at Planet Football, Danny Cadmarteri says his development as a Premier League player with Everton was fast-tracked to the point where it was detrimental.

“The hardest thing for me as a young player was that I was still going through a massive phase of development,” Cadamarteri says. “That was fast-tracked very early on.

“I probably lost out on spending a little bit longer in a coached environment at youth and reserve team level.

“There were areas of my game that I needed to improve on, and I didn't really have the opportunity to because we were playing Saturdays and Tuesdays a lot of time, with rest periods in between.

His time at Everton came to an end amid regret and off-field scandal. As Cadamarteri acknowledges, he had gone from being Everton's golden boy to something of an outcast. A year earlier he had been charged with assault after punching a woman who had attacked one of his friends on a night out. He had first denied that he was there before admitting that he had acted in self-defence.

Cadamarteri was found guilty and fined £2,000. His reputation was in tatters and Everton were prepared to let him leave despite his obvious promise. He later received a community service order for admitting conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to the initial offence. It was a humbling period that he still reflects on almost 20 years later.

» Read the full article at Planet Football

Reader Comments (30)

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Dave Williams
1 Posted 02/09/2020 at 14:04:48
I recall Kendall saying when Danny broke through that he was very young mentally for first-team football.

He looked good then faded away and I'd say it was more a lack of his own dedication rather than the club's fault. Another wasted career.

John Davies
2 Posted 02/09/2020 at 14:13:17
Another Francis Jeffers. By the way, does anyone know why Jeffers is at Everton? All I can remember is that he dissed Everton from the day he went to Arsenal. What is it with EFC and all these losers?
Tommy Carter
3 Posted 02/09/2020 at 14:33:18
I think he showed enough ability at the time of his breakthrough to suggest he was ready.

His off the field behaviour was questionable. He was part of a problem trio alongside Ball and Dunne.

Kendall was willing to turn a blind eye to their antics but his successor, Walter Smith, actively wanted them all out after the first year.

Jeffers was also a problem but a separate one and not part of this little cohort.

But I'm sure it was all the problem of being thrust into high-level football too soon.

Terence Leong
4 Posted 02/09/2020 at 14:35:33
Every now and then, we read of the lost potential, of "who it could have been?" for our own young players, or other young players elsewhere. I reckon it comes down to what is the "required footballing education" for young players.

For some players, it's getting enough game time, even if it's at a lower level. For others, they need to be eased into the game.
And then there is this other notion of "if you are good enough, you are old enough" etc.

I don't suppose there is a "one size fits all" approach. And maybe for some (and especially in the early days of football), how much should players be coached? They should figure it out for themselves etc.

This is where I think the relationship between the coaches and the players is key. The coach is in the best place to decide, if the players need extra coaching sessions, when to send them out on loan, when to rein them in, creating support structures for older players to mentor younger ones etc.

Dave Lynch
5 Posted 02/09/2020 at 14:50:48
Bet he wasn't moaning or griping when he was picking up his wages and pissing them up the wall or up his nose.
Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 02/09/2020 at 15:02:21
Anyone can make the case "it could have been different if..." I mean I could have had a better career if I joined the Ajax academy at 5.

The outcome is all that matters; the coulda, shoulda, woulda is just fantasy conjecture.

Cadmarteri's career is what it is based on his talent and efforts.

Tom Bowers
7 Posted 02/09/2020 at 15:26:06
You either have it or you don't. Many young players burst on the scene then fade. We have seen Danny Cadamarteri, James Vaughan and Francis Jeffers all fall by the wayside for one reason or another.

Being talented at an early age hasn't stopped many others from making a name for themselves despite all the possible distractions.

It's all down to dedication, patience and determination which many of us have little of as teenagers.

Yes, for some, a little extra guidance is called for but you have to be able to listen to good advice from experienced people.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 02/09/2020 at 15:26:19
Kieran, did your parents not allow you to join Ajax?! Bloody parents. Or did you not want to go?!
Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 02/09/2020 at 15:29:09

Parents, Johan Cruyff was banging down my door... lol.

John Pickles
10 Posted 02/09/2020 at 15:31:58
On one hand, he claims he missed out on development because he was playing in the first team, then he was stagnating when he wasn't in the first team because Jeffers was doing so well. So he never fulfilled his potential because he was and wasn't playing in the first team?

And I thought we can be harsh with our criticism of the club.

Brent Stephens
11 Posted 02/09/2020 at 15:32:11
What might have been, eh, Kieran! We could have been talking about the Kinsella Turn.
Rob Dolby
12 Posted 02/09/2020 at 15:43:04
Didn't we beat the shite 2-0 with Cadamarteri making Ruddock look like the 68 bus turning down Spellow lane.

The lad had lots of ability but maybe wasn't mentally strong enough to deal with being a professional footballer.

I am sure his agent or family probably influenced him a lot more than the blues. We probably set him on a course to becoming a millionaire but unfortunately he couldn't cope.

Alex Kociuba
13 Posted 02/09/2020 at 16:29:18
Tommy, can you expand on this 'problem trio' – I don't remember anything about it.
Tommy Carter
14 Posted 02/09/2020 at 17:54:19

Well known within the club and to some extent, outside of the club. Let's just say their professionalism was questionable and their off-field behaviour generally appalling.


Tom - I wouldn't include Vaughan in with the others mentioned. He was absolutely crippled by terrible injuries. Incredibly brave and talented. Great attitude. Just terrible luck.

Dan Nulty
15 Posted 02/09/2020 at 18:12:23
Another loser looking to seek to blame others for the fact he didn't achieve his potential.

If you've watched the clip of Van Persie talking about a conversation with his own son, it highlights that a lot of these young people surround themselves with sycophants and agents that blow smoke up there arse and tell them how good they are. Nobody is honest enough to tell them the way it is.

Jeffers is working with the academy and probably worth his money just to tell young lads the grass isn't always greener.

I'll never forget him starting well at Arsenal then watching Football Focus where they went to interview him. He turned up in a big black range rover sporting huge gold bracelets. Another who forgot that hard work is required to convert potential and when you have a nice contract it is only the start of the hard work.

Tommy Carter
16 Posted 02/09/2020 at 18:40:01
@15 Dan

Jeffers can also stick with these lads and tell them what not to do at 39 as well.

Absolute cretin and an abysmal influence on any young man.

Will Mabon
17 Posted 02/09/2020 at 19:05:17
Another loser perhaps - but now the guy has matured enough to finally realize his own fuck-ups. All too late.

All that can be done by clubs is to listen to men like Cadamateri, Jeffers and the rest, and try to modify and evolve the structure to help where it's possible.

It isn't always possible though. Rooney had everything mentally that was maybe lacking in Cadamateri. Never a doubt about his application. Of course, Rooney himself started to waiver later on in the area of professionalism off the field, but was established and his ability carried him through.

Most behave utterly professionally throughout their career, others are a car crash. No amount of help can save some.

Not making it is one thing. Making it and then tossing it aside is another altogether. Must hurt like hell.

Danny Broderick
18 Posted 02/09/2020 at 20:02:02
I thought he had the lot when he burst into the scene – he was our version of Owen. But he signed a massive contract after his first 10/20 games, and he was never the same player again.

I don't know who was in charge of fitness at the club at the time, but he bulked up massively – like Dunne and Unsworth – and he was never the same player.

We made him a millionaire, he should thank his lucky stars that his good spell came at the start of his career. He was lucky to be thrust into the first team. He shouldn't complain about it! How many young lads have we had that never got a chance?

He got his chance, took it initially, but couldn't maintain it. That's down to him. Davie Unsworth burst through a few years earlier and ended up making a few hundred first-team appearances.

Dominic Tonge
19 Posted 02/09/2020 at 23:27:50
He was too busy punching girls in town whilst pissing his career away. Idiot.

We do seem to pick them, don't we. Jeffers isn't exactly squeaky clean in the abusive behaviour stakes either. Imagine those two creatures together. I have to say I wouldn't have him anywhere near the club if it was up to me.

Robin Cannon
20 Posted 03/09/2020 at 03:57:17
Taking that one line out of context puts a very different spin on things.

He merely points out that, as a teenager, he would have benefited from more coaching and improvement, and not having too much pressure placed on him by starting regularly in a struggling team (in comparison to Owen playing in a more successful Liverpool side).

It's one sentence in a full article that's honestly just a good, honest, self-reflection by a retired pro who never fulfilled their potential. It's not like he's saying "Everton fucked me over".

John Hughes
22 Posted 03/09/2020 at 15:02:34
A couple of experiences concerning Cadamarteri and Jeffers.

I had a customer based in Yeovil who I used to visit regularly in the late nineties. Everton have quite a following in the area and the Blues Supporters Club there was instrumental in arranging a friendly at Huish Park on a Friday evening late January 1998. (I think we had been knocked out of the cup)

As it happens I had a meeting there on the Monday and took my customer for a pint and a pie at his local. The place was still buzzing from the antics of a few of the Everton players who had stayed on for the weekend. It was mainly hard boozing but the locals reckoned that young Danny had bedded every girl in Yeovil between the age of 18 and 25!

A couple of years later I took my two lads (12 and 10 at the time) to watch Exeter and at the end of the game they met most of the players, Gazzer and Super Kev amongst them, who happily chatted and signed their autograph books.

Apart from one Francis Jeffers, who for some reason, thought he was above it all. Says it all really!

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 03/09/2020 at 18:59:11
John #2 and Dominic #19...

If Duncan Ferguson can mature enough to be considered of value to the club in a coaching capacity (and he obviously has), certainly Jeffers can. His behavior was never remotely as embarrassing as Ferguson's.

People do grow up. Some later than others.

Steve Greir
24 Posted 03/09/2020 at 20:26:55
Mike (23) - WHAT? The 'Bird Man of Bar-L' (HMP Barlinnie), a pigeon-man's pigeon man? Embarrassing behaviour? Surely a case of mistaken identity. Sarah Ferguson, perhaps

Franny Jeffers, on the other hand, can't get my head 'round that one.

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 03/09/2020 at 20:49:11
In the book, ‘The Next Big Thing', he admitted to being a one-trick pony. Once defenders sussed him out, ie, standing off and not allowing him to turn and outrun them, he was finished as a top-flight player.

Nice try Danny, your words not mine.

Barry Jones
26 Posted 05/09/2020 at 04:07:21
He simply wasn't good enough, but he would like to point the finger somewhere else.
Kieran Kinsella
27 Posted 05/09/2020 at 04:22:27
John Hughes @22,

Doesn't surprise me. Most over-hyped scrawny whinge bag in Everton history. Not sure if we're allowed to say this on ToffeeWeb but with regard to Jeffers, fuck that motherfucker!

Phil Sammon
28 Posted 05/09/2020 at 05:32:36
Some nasty and unwarranted comments here. He’s not blaming Everton for anything. He’s just reflecting on his career and what might have been.
Alan McGuffog
29 Posted 05/09/2020 at 08:08:52
Should never have lost the 'dreads.
Karl Graham
30 Posted 05/09/2020 at 18:42:58
I felt sorry for all the young lads coming through in the late 90s, they were playing in a poor team. Ball and Dunne both went on to have decent careers and would have along with Cadamarteri potentially been top players for us if they had been just a couple of years younger.

Osman and Hibbert were the scholar year below but didn't get near the first team for another couple of years and I think that made a big difference.

Dick Fearon
31 Posted 08/09/2020 at 03:00:15
I have known two Everton youngsters with exactly opposite attitudes to the game.

One was a hard-working lad with a modest skill set yet he built a lengthy and much-respected career in the game.

The other was highly regarded and packed with potential. Such was this lad's talent The Catt visited his parents to ask why his future star was skipping training.

After Everton finally lost patience, Stan Culliss of Wolves leapt at the chance of signing him but that was a forlorn hope. After Wolverhampton, then it was Bolton's turn to rush in for him. Each of those top clubs saw their hopes dashed by a kid who was still in his teens.

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