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SWINDON TOWN: Bostock's test of character
WHEN 16-year-old John Bostock left Crystal Palace for the bright lights of Tottenham in 2008, it appeared as though he had the world at his feet.
The youngster had burst onto the scene a year earlier to become Palace’s youngest ever player, and made the move to White Hart Lane for close to £1million amid reported interest from Barcelona and Chelsea, where he was predicted to shine.
But four brief appearances in the Spurs first team, of which none were in the Premier League, were all that followed, which led to loan spells at Brentford, Hull and Sheffield Wednesday which brought mixed success.
He now finds himself playing in the basement division for Swindon and about to enter the final year of his contract with Harry Redknapp’s side, but unlike many other starlets that have gone before him the level-headed midfielder shows no sign of letting his undoubted talent go to waste.
Although he has only made one full appearance for Town, Bostock has shown what he is capable of, and his determination to battle through what has been a rollercoaster start to his young career is what drives him on to be successful in the game he loves.
“It has been really tough actually, and dealing with all of the pressure and all of the responsibility since my move to Tottenham has probably been the biggest battle of my life so far,” he said.
“Having to prove my worth and why I was the kid everyone wanted has been very tough, but I think it has been character-building for me too.
“But now I find myself in League Two and having to rebuild.
“I love the game more than ever, but I just need the opportunity to show I have the talent still and I can do it.
“I have only played 29 games and not all of those have been starts, so I just need to get my head down and play.
“In life there are a lot of things you regret, but I try not to do that because if you do you will always be looking back thinking there are things you should have done.
“No one knows what would have happened if I stayed at Crystal Palace, but positives have come from the move that is for sure.”
While many in his position would have turned their noses up at the chance of dropping four divisions to kickstart their careers, Bostock jumped at the opportunity to learn under Paolo Di Canio, and the experience could play a big part in getting things back on track.
“For me, I am 20 years old and I have only made 29 appearances in my entire career, so it is all about playing as many games as I can.,” he said.
“My life is not difficult as long as I am playing football, so I spoke to the manager here and obviously knew about his history in the game and his knowledge.
“He wanted me to come and play, so I came here to play in a winning team, it would have been difficult if it had been into a losing team at the bottom of the league. So to come here was a no brainer for me.
“The manager is unique and I really admire his professionalism.
“I don’t think I have ever met a man who is as passionate about the game of football as he is.
“If you can’t learn from that then you are foolish. I have learnt a lot already from him, both on and off the pitch.
“Harry said Paolo had rung and wanted me, and he was all for me coming here because they know each other so well.
“Harry has nothing but good words to say about Di Canio, so it is great to play under him.”