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In focus: Jordan Spence

21 August 2014 takes a look at the career of Jordan Spence, who has returned to the Dons on a permanent basis.

Born in Woodford, Spence began his footballing career with West Ham United but made his professional debut while on loan at Leyton Orient in November 2008 before he joined then-Championship outfit Scunthorpe United temporarily the following season.

At the end of the 2009/10 campaign, Spence made his first team debut for the Hammers in a 1-1 home draw with Manchester City before he was once again loaned out, this time to Bristol City, in March 2011.

After featuring 11 times for the Robins, then-West Ham manager Avram Grant recalled Spence to provide cover for the Premier League outfit,  with the youngster making a further two Premier League appearances, both of which were starts.

Spence spent most of the 2011/12 season with Bristol City before, once again, forcing his way into the West Ham United side in 2012/13, making seven first team appearances including three in the Premier League.

Enjoying a short loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday at the start of last season, Spence moved to stadiummk in October 2013 and made his debut away at Tranmere Rovers on 24th October 2013.

Spence returned to the Boleyn Ground in January after making a total of 12 appearances, only to return to Milton Keynes later that month, following the departure of Shaun Williams to Millwall, and play another 19 games for Robinson’s men.

On an international level, Spence captained the England Under-16s as they won the Victory Shield in November 2005 before leading the Under-17s to the final of the Nordic Tournament the following August.

In 2007, Spence captained England at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the first time the Three Lions had reached the World Finals at that age group. The defender then wrote his name in the history books by scoring an injury-time winner against Brazil to secure a place in the last 16 – it was the first time England had ever beaten Brazil at a FIFA tournament.

Spence then made the step up to the England Under-18s side in November the same year, captaining the Three Lions to a 2-0 victory over Ghana. He made his first appearance for the Under-19s in a 6-0 victory over Romania the following month.

After helping England finish as runners-up in UEFA Under-19s Championships in the summer of 2009, Spence eventually made his Under-21s debut in a 2-1 defeat to Iceland in March 2011.

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