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Heaton
Heaton - Profile
PLAYER PROFILE
Nickname
:
N/A
Date of Birth
:
15 Apr 1986
Place of Birth
:
Chester, England
Playing Position
:
Goalkeeper
Height / Weight
:
1.86m / 88.3kg
Appearances
:
0
Goals
:
0
Joined United
:
01 Jul 2002
United Debut : N/A
Transfer Fee
:
None
Joined From
:
Wrexham A.F.C.
International
:
England
International Debut
:
N/A
International Caps
:
0
lnternational Goals
:
0
Status
:
On Loan at Wycombe Wanderers
till 30 June 2010

   

Chester-born goalkeeper Tom Heaton has been decorated at youth and Reserve level for United, but is yet to make his first-team bow.

An excellent shot-stopper and always in full command of his penalty area, Tom is a reliable, solid goalkeeper who has always shown great promise.

Heaton is also an excellent outfield player, having played as a goalkeeper and midfielder during his time at Wrexham before signing professionally at Old Trafford on 8 July 2002. He even scored in a pre-season friendly in 2009 when sent on as an emergency striker against Katwijk.

After arriving at Old Trafford, Tom quickly set about ascending through the club's ranks, notching 22 appearances for Francisco Filho's Under-17s side as they came second in their league. His first season was capped by an FA Youth Cup winner's medal, although he was an unused substitute throughout the entire campaign as Luke Steele was preferred in goal.

The 2003/04 season brought a similar climax, with Heaton on the bench as United romped to the Manchester Senior Cup final against Manchester City. Despite being an unused sub in the win at Old Trafford, Tom had still made great progress throughout the season, notching14 Under-19s appearances and eight Reserve starts.

Heaton stepped off the periphery of the second string during the 2004/05 season, however, and was first-choice goalkeeper as Ricky Sbragia's side won the Quadruple. The demands of two leagues, two cup competitions and a play-off were huge, and Heaton made 36 appearances as United clinched everything except the Manchester Senior Cup (and Heaton did not feature in the Central League Cup final).

The 2005/06 season saw Tom's progress somewhat impeded as loan spells at Swindon and Antwerp failed to yield the desired amount of action, and the 2006/07 campaign saw him back as the Reserves' first-choice goalkeeper.

Heaton continued to perform solidly throughout the season as Brian McClair and Jim Ryan's side narrowly missed out on a third successive Premier League North title and were beaten in the final of the Manchester Senior Cup.

There was also the bonus of several unexpected brushes with first-team involvement. Injuries to Edwin van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak saw Tom promoted to the senior substitute bench on eight occasions during the 2006/07 campaign, although he was never called into action. He did, however, play the second half of the UEFA celebration match at Old Trafford in March 2007 when United entertained a European XI managed by Marcello Lippi.

The England U21 international found himself on the bench 10 times during the 2007/08 double-winning season, but was once again left disappointed by a lack of first-team opportunities.

At the beginning of the 2008/09 campaign, Heaton began a season-long loan with Championship side Cardiff City. Bluebirds boss Dave Jones made Heaton No.1 ahead of Finland international Peter Enckelman and the Reds' stopper played every game until 22 November when he picked up an injury in the 2-1 defeat at Plymouth Argyle. Enckelman regained the first-choice slot for the next two months, before he was forced to undergo knee surgery allowing Heaton the opportunity for more regular first-team football.

At the start of the 2009/10 season, Tom joined Championship side Queens Park Rangers on a three-month loan, before moving on to a two-month spell at League One Rochdale, where he impressed enough to earn a one-month extension to the end of January 2010.

UNITED HONOURS

  TEAM HONOURS      
  N/A      
  INDIVIDUAL HONOURS      
  FA Premier Reserve League North : 2004/05  
  FA Premier Reserve League
National Playoff Winners
: 2005  
  Central League North : 2004/05  
  Manchester Senior Cup : 2004  
  FA Youth Cup : 2003  
  Milk Cup : 2003  
  FC Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup : 2004, 2005  

Source: www.manutd.com Last updated: 13 March 2010
 
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