Pre-season Hotshots – Where Are They Now? (Part 1)

By Jacob Greenwood

Pre-season – The time of year fans all over the country ease themselves back into watching football again after the summer break. In most instances it is a boring period. A series of games being played at half-pace and in Woking’s case, a shedload of trialists we will never see again.

However, Cards fans have been treated over the past few seasons. Premier League teams have visited Kingfiled as they also prepare for the new season. Admittedly, this isn’t their first teams, but XI’s, made up of youth team players and reserves

As the first teams jet off on pre-season tours of Asia, America and beyond, the kids get left at home to prove themselves and get experience. But what happens to these kids? Did we see future stars or do they end up like, well, Lee Sawyer?

Franco Di Santo

The young Argentine signed for Chelsea from Chilean side Audax Italiano in a deal worth £3.4M. He played eight first-team games for the West London side in his first season in England. However, he was loaned to fellow Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in the second where he failed to impress.

Di Santo returned to Chelsea at the end of the season and was left out of the side’s pre-season tour of Europe. The writing was on the wall and it couldn’t have been clearer as a frustrated Di Santo failed to impress in a 1-0 loss to Woking. Less than a month later the player departed the club and signed for Wigan Athletic.

Di Santo is frustrated at Kingfield
Di Santo is frustrated at Kingfield

The striker, now 26-years-old, won The FA Cup with Wigan before departing for Werder Bremen where he has scored 18 goals in 50 games.

But could he do it on a warm summers evening at Kingfield? No.

Part two to follow…

Picture by David Holmes. A full set can be found at


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