In the spotlight is a player who came top in a recent pole on a supporters website as “Their Favourite Player of All Time”While Jason Puncheon could never realistically be regarded as equally influential on Barnet Football Club as the likes of Lester Finch, Les Eason or Gary Phillips, especially as he only graced the Underhill turf for two seasons, however he was revered by the club's younger supporters as an exciting playmaker who could turn a game on its head in an instant with a breathtaking goal. We were once again very privileged to witness the development of a young player with immense talent who has since played at the highest level in the Premiership with Southampton, Blackpool and Queens Park Rangers. He also has a distinction in that he has scored in all four divisions of English league football.
Jason was born in 1986 in Croydon and started his career with Wimbledon in 2003 just months before their transformation into MK Dons. Released in the Summer of 2006 Jason was signed by Paul Fairclough, who had been watching his progress for some time.
Starting the league season as a regular substitute he made his first start on the 19th August against Hereford United at Underhill in the following line up:
Harrison, Hendon, Charles, King, Nicolau, Cogan, Bailey, Sinclair, Puncheon, Kandol, Grazioli.
He scored the third goal in a 3-0 win alongside Giuliano Grazioli and Nicky Bailey – not bad company! Relishing a free role in midfield alongside Bailey and Dean Sinclair, Puncheon soon became a firm favourite with the Underhill faithful with his trickery and power on the ball. He made 45 appearances that season scoring 6 times including the Goal of the Season against Colchester United in the FA Cup.
More of the same followed in 2007 partnering Adam Birchall up front culminating in Puncheon being named in the League 2 Team of the Year by the Football Association. His unstoppable last minute free kick to win the home game 2-1 against Bradford was streets ahead in the supporters Goal of the Season voting. He made 48 appearances scoring 11 times in all.
Plymouth Argyle tabled a £250,000 bid during the summer of 2008 and much to the disappointment of the Barnet faithful Jason moved to the West Country. He had an unsettled time at Home Park making only half a dozen appearances before a lengthy loan spell back to MK Dons where he became firm favourite there too making over 50 appearances and scoring 12 goals.
In the February 2010 transfer window he moved to Southampton for an undisclosed fee and is there still despite three loan spells at Blackpool, Millwall and QPR.
Would Jason line up in the ultimate Barnet eleven notwithstanding his recent pedigree from an extremely well supported website poll? Well it is certainly food for thought but we have had some wonderfully talented and exciting players at our club over the years. What is certain is that Jason would waltz into a side made up of players from the last 10 years and arguably even the last 20. He is a player in the mould of ex Bees Colin Powell, Andy Clarke or more recently Albert Adomah who will lift a crowd by purely receiving a pass. I recall as I am sure you all do Puncheon casually tempting a full back to commit and then leave them behind with devastating pace and then out of nothing score goal an outstanding goal too.
Jason Puncheon Appearances 93 Goals 17