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The 23 who broke through - Number 10

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As we officially change our series from The 21 Who Broke Through to The 23…our number 10 was a popular player with everyone during his time with Manchester City.

Willo Flood also represented an important moment in the history of the City Academy as Jim Cassell told us: “Willo was one of our early signings when we got into the market in Dublin.

“Barry Poynton and myself are very close to Willo because he was part of a group of players that took us to a little bit more prominence as an Academy.”

And it was Poynton, the Academy’s Recruitment Officer, who first spotted the young Flood, as he stated: “I actually saw Willo playing for Everton and we got the scouts involved to get him here.

“If there’s ever a boy that deserves to play in anyone’s first team, then it’s Willo Flood, because the kid is just a diamond and I speak to him almost every single day now.”

Of Willo, the player, Jim added: “He’s a very agile and energetic player who probably just lacked a consistency of quality to play at the top level when he was here, but I would never write him off because he has got a top class attitude.

“Willo will never let you down. If you went to war, you’d want Willo Flood by your side because you know what you are going to get from him, he’s a terrific lad.

“Even though he’s not at the Club anymore he will always be remembered, to me anyway, as a player that started to put us on the map.”

Willo swapped the Blues for the Bluebirds early in August 2006 and made 28 appearances for Cardiff City last season scoring once.

And this term, Cardiff boss Dave Jones appears to have made a shrewd decision in allowing the 22-year-old Flood to go and get some top level football in Scotland.

In June, Willo made a year-long loan move to Dundee United and at the time, the Arabs’ manager Craig Levein said: “I’m confident he will do well for Dundee United.

“His style of play suits the SPL and will make him a firm favourite with our supporters.

“I was aware that a number of other clubs were interested in taking him and am pleased that Cardiff City see this move as an opportunity for the player to improve his game.

“Most of all however, I’m delighted because I see him as an important player for us this season.”

As United sit third in the SPL table, just three points behind table-topping Celtic, and with an in-form Willo Flood putting in back-to-back Man of the Match performances both Levein and Jones appear to have been quite right in their decisions.

After Willo’s impressive start to his season with the Terrors, Jim Cassell concludes: “It wouldn’t surprise me if at some stage he made it back into the Premier League because he’s always working at his game. Nobody would be more pleased and proud than Barry Poynton and myself.”

The 23 Who Broke Through  
Number 10: Willo Flood
Date of birth: April 10, 1985
City first team debut: v TNS, Millennium Stadium, August 28, 2003
Games played for City: 18
Goals scored for City: 2
Left City for: Cardiff City in August 2006 for £200,000

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