372. Neil FINN
appearances 136 (league 73)
debut WALTHAM ABBEY, Eastway Essex Senior League 17.8.04
Goalkeeper who had a brief moment of fame on New Year's Day 1996 by appearing for West Ham United away to Manchester City, becoming the youngest player in Premiership history at the time at the age of seventeen and two days. Had given up football seriously for several years before coming to Romford in the summer of 2004. Shared pre-season duties with Stuart Horne (including one game AGAINST Boro for St Albans City), and got the nod for the start of the season. Quickly justified his inclusion with a series of outstanding performances before sustaining a hamstring injury early in the New Year, which would keep him out of first team action until March. Regained his place and won the Manager's Player of the Year award and an independent supporters' award. Was filmed in action against Stansted in December 2004 by Sky Sports as a result of the West Ham connection, revealing his firm belief that "It's good, yeah it's good". Obviously didn't like playing against Barkingside, being taken off injured against them for the second time in a row in October 2005, but suffered a succession of minor injuries through the season. Only lasted twenty minutes of the first leg of the League Cup semi-final at Hornchurch before going off after two heavy challenges - a substitution which would cost Boro their place in the competition as his replacement Chris Davies was not eligible. Became the third goalkeeper to win the Player of the Year award and was named as club captain for the start of the 2006-07 season. Kept clean sheets in four successive F A Cup and F A Vase ties but then suffered a thigh muscle injury which prompted frequent absences. Saved a last-minute penalty in a league match at Barking, which would have seen the home side complete a 5-4 win from 4-1 down.
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