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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Clarke &Amp; Osman Set For Reunion

by Rob Urbani @efc_roburbani

Peter Clarke may have only earned a handful of first-team appearances for Everton but his formative years as a footballer made an impression on the players who worked alongside him.

Leon Osman was one of those players and, having progressed through the Everton Youth Academy with the tall defender, the Blues' midfield-man is not surprised Clarke has forged a career for himself in the game.

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Peter Clarke is now skipper of Huddersfield

Since departing Goodison, Clarke has racked up a total of 294 league appearances at five different clubs including Huddersfield, Wednesday's Carling Cup second round opponents.

Osman believes the qualities that impressed teammates and coaches alike during his early years with the Blues continue to shine out. And will be evident at Goodison again on Wednesday night when David Moyes' men take on the Terriers.

He told evertontv: "He's had a good career and it's testament to the sort of character he is. He has a never-say-die type of character and that shows with his performances on the pitch.

"We were in the youth team together so Wednesday is a game I am looking forward to."


Clarke's first-team career at Everton was shortlived but memorable. He was handed his debut by Walter Smith just two weeks after celebrating his 18th birthday - replacing Alec Cleland just 32 minutes into a Premier League game at Coventry which ended in a 3-1 victory.

He went on to clock up 14 appearances for the Club, including six starts in the league. Ten of those appearances came during the 2001/02 campaign.

Clarke eventually moved on from the Blues in September 2004 after a series of successful loan spells at Blackpool, Port Vale and Coventry.

"It will be my first return to Everton, and the club has a special place in my life because it was where I started out," he explained.

"The playing roster has changed a fair bit, but a lot of the backroom staff are still in place, and it will be good to catch up.

"The fans were good to me as well, and I'm sure Gary will get a great reception, because he gave the club seven years of very good service.

"We'll have a great backing, and they'll enjoy going. Goodison is a historic ground, and the atmosphere is good for both players and supporters."

Tickets for Wednesday's Carling Cup tie are still available. Click here to buy online now.

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