Known by its residents as “God’s own county”, Yorkshire is beloved by the majority of people born there. Regarded for its countryside views and laidback lifestyle, Yorkshire offers a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
But how good are they at producing footballers? Some of the games greats like Kevin Keegan were born there, but what about current players? Judging by the lack of a goalkeeper representative, perhaps not very!
Goalkeeper: Paddy Kenny (Halifax)
Goalkeeper is a relative weak spot for the Yorkshire County as not a single current Premier League footballer was born there. However, Paddy Kenny is a man who was playing for QPR as recently as last year so he makes the list.
The experienced shot stopper from Halifax built his name at Sheffield United, although a nine-month drugs ban did harm his reputation. Kenny is currently occupying the number one jersey at Leeds United.
Defence: Michael Dawson (Northallerton)
Considered highly underrated by many, Michael Dawson has arguably been one of the most consistent Premier League defenders since his top tier arrival with Spurs in 2005.
Despite only earning four England caps (far too few in my opinion), Dawson’s form this year has made him one of the first names on Andre Villas-Boas’ team sheet.
Defence: Frazer Richardson (Rotherham)
Hardly the most glamorous defender in the Premier League, Frazer Richardson has built a good career for himself since coming through the youth ranks at Leeds United. Currently at Southampton, he was first choice during their promotion campaign last year although he has since lost his place to standout performer Nathaniel Clyne.
Defence: Matthew Kilgallon (York)
Another defender not deemed first choice at his club, Kilgallon has found life tough at Sunderland. After gaining five under 21 caps and earning a reputation as ‘one for the future’ at Leeds United, Kilgallon produced some fine form for Sheffield United after he moved there in 2007. However, a move to Sunderland in 2010 has not worked out and he’s made only 23 appearances for the Black Cats since.
Midfield: Aaron Lennon (Leeds)
Pace and trickery come naturally to this diminutive winger. Aaron Lennon has been giving full backs nightmares in the Premiership for a decade now, and at just 26 years old he is certainly showing no signs of slowing down. The Tottenham star has really made the right wing spot his own, and although he can be criticised for a lack of goals he is a real asset. 225 Spurs appearances and 21 England caps makes this Yorkshire lad a £1million bargain for Spurs.
Midfield: James Milner (Leeds)
Another Leeds academy graduate, James Milner is widely regarded as one of the hardest working midfielders in the Premier League. Highly impressive spells at Leeds, Newcastle and Aston Villa earned Milner his dream £28million move to Man City, and although he may not be considered first choice by Roberto Mancini he has consistently impressed when given the chance. He holds the record for England under 21 caps with an incredible 46 appearances. There is plenty of life left in this 27-year-old England international.
Midfield: Fabian Delph (Bradford)
This season Fabian Delph has been one of the more impressive performers in Aston Villa’s dismal campaign. Despite suffering from injury problems since his undisclosed (believed to be around £8million) move from Leeds United, Delph seems to have put the worst of these issues behind him. Delph still has work to do to live up to his price tag, but he’s shown glimpses this season that he might be ready to try.
Midfield: Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough)
Middlesbrough is technically not a part of Yorkshire but it does sit within the borders of the famous county and is the birthplace of this 28-year-old winger with 34 England caps.
Stewart Downing has had an impressive career, with highly productive spells at Middlesbrough and Aston Villa leading to a place in the England squad and a big money move to Liverpool.
However, he suffered from woeful form last season having famously failed to register a goal or even an assist in the entire Premier League campaign. He has been in better form this year, though, and is starting to win over the fans once more.
Midfield: Jonny Howson (Morley)
Jonny Howson has had a relatively quiet start to his Norwich City career since moving in January 2012. He’s made 31 appearances with one solitary goal as he’s looked to make the step up from Championship football with Leeds United. The former United skipper operates most effectively in the ‘hole’ behind the strikers, although he’s often been deployed in a deeper midfield by manager Chris Hughton this year. At 24-years-old there is still time for Howson to show his class, although Norwich fans will be hoping this comes sooner rather than later.
Striker: Cameron Jerome (Huddersfield)
Perhaps not the most graceful player on this list, but if it’s a powerful striker you’re looking for then Jerome is your man. The Huddersfield-born powerhouse has had fairly forgettable spells in the Premiership with Birmingham and Stoke, although the latter were convinced to pay £5million for his services. One highlight was this season’s goal-of-the-season contender against Southampton where he drilled the ball into the roof of the net from distance.
Striker: Fraizer Campbell (Huddersfield)
Fraizer Campbell completes an all Huddersfield-born strikeforce in this Yorkshire XI. Although technically current club Cardiff City are not currently in the Premiership they will be next year, so his presence is deserved. The pacey striker has shown glimpses of brilliance throughout his career, particularly during a hugely impactful spell at Hull City.
However, a move to Tottenham never really worked out and Campbell struggled for form and fitness at Sunderland. Having come back from a career threatening leg break at the Black Cats Campbell did manage to earn an England cap, though, and 6 goals in 11 Cxardiff appearances since joining in January will have Premier League defences taking note.
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