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In focus: Jake Forster-Caskey

23 September 2015

mkdons.com takes a look at the career so far of midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey, who has moved to stadiummk on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion

Born in Southend-on-sea, Forster-Caskey is the son of ex-midfielder Darren Caskey and stepson of former striker Nicky Forster.

He joined Brighton’s youth team in 2007 and three years later he was offered a scholarship deal the seaside club.

The very next day, Forster-Caskey was named on the bench for the Seagulls’ League 1 clash with, ironically, the Dons but he had to wait until the final day of the 2009/10 campaign to make his first senior appearance.

The midfielder, aged just 16, was brought on as a 76th minute substitute in a 1-0 win over Yeovil Town at the Withdean Stadium and in doing so, he became Brighton’s youngest ever player.

The 2009/10 season also saw Forster-Caskey earn his first England caps. He featured twice for the Three Lions at Under-16 level before making the step up to the Under-17s during the summer of 2010.

His next appearance for Brighton’s first-team came in February 2010, when he appeared off the bench with 30 minutes to play in Brighton’s FA Cup tie with Stoke City. He was also named among the substitutes on two occasions during the 2010/11 season.

Forster-Caskey continued to represent England Under-17s also during the campaign – he made 17 appearances for his national team at that age group, while also scoring his first international goal in a 2-0 win over Uruguay.

In November 2011, he was called-up to the Under-18s squad for a friendly with Slovakia – the talented youngster played 45 minutes in his only appearance for England at that level.

The following month then saw Forster-Caskey make his long-awaited Football League debut as a substitute in Brighton’s Championship clash away at Coventry City.

Two days later, he made his first senior start against Southampton and he marked the occasion with a 66th minute goal – slotting home after Kelvin Davies had denied Kazenga Lua Lua.

He netted again the following weekend before adding a further three senior appearances to his name before the 2011/12 campaign was out.

Forster-Caskey then joined Oxford United on loan at the start of the 2012/13 season. He scored on his league debut for the U’s, a fine 20-yard strike away at Bristol Rovers, before going on to total three goals in 20 appearances.

He returned to Brighton in January 2013 and was a regular feature in the matchday squad for the Seagulls during the remainder of the campaign – he also made three appearances off the bench.

The next season Forster-Caskey really established himself in the first-team fold, making 34 appearances in all competitions and helping Brighton reach the play-offs. He also found the net three times.

It was in May 2014, following his breakout campaign, where Forster-Caskey made his first appearance for the Under-21s in a European Championship qualifying victory over Wales. He would continue to represent the Three Lions throughout 2014/15, in the end totalling 10 caps before the season’s end.

He also remained part of Brighton’s plans and he added another 33 senior appearances to his name in total last season, while also tallying three goals again for the third season in succession.

This past summer, Forster-Caskey was included in England’s Under-21 European Championship squad and after two games as an unused substitute, he made an appearance from the start in the final group match against Italy.

Despite his impressive form, he has found opportunities limited at Brighton at the start of this campaign, featuring just three times so far and only once in the league. He has, though, still managed to add a further two England Under-21 caps to his total.

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