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Deane of Plymouth

20 May 2014

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DEANE Smalley was handed his league debut as an 18-year-old by John Sheridan in February 2007...

...when the pair were at together at Oldham, coming on as a late substitute in the home League 1 clash with AC Bournemouth.

He had to wait nearly a year for his first league goal, which came in a 2-1 home win over Cheltenham in April 2008, when the other scorer - netting his second career league goal - was current Pilgrim Lewis Alessandra. 

Chadderton-born Deane went on to make 119 appearances and scored 11 goals for his local club over the next four years, during which time John took him on a six-month loan to his new club Chesterfield.

Reacquainted with his mentor, he scored 12 times in 22 starts to help fire the Spireites to the League 2 title.

At the end of the campaign, Deane joined Oxford on a two-year deal and spent the second half of the following season on loan at fellow League 2 side Bradford City.

His brace against Argyle to give the Us a 2-1 home win over us in August was the high point of Deane’s injury-hit 2012-13 campaign, but two goals at Portsmouth on the opening day of last season signalled that he was back in business.

He added another eight strikes as Oxford narrowly missed out on a place in the end-of-season play-offs, with six of his tally coming in matches away from home.

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