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Devan Tanton wins 23/24 Johnny Haynes trophy

3rd May 2024

Devan Tanton wins 23/24 Johnny Haynes trophy

On Saturday, April 28th, 2024 just before the Crystal Palace game, and in front of 24,000 fans, Academy Under 21’s team member, Devan Tanton, received this year’s Johnny Haynes trophy. 

Chair of the Fulham Supporters Trust Simon Duke and Board Member Tamara Dragadze presented the yearly trophy which the Board had created for an Academy male graduate. The criteria were that the recipient should be chosen by his peers as well as the staff. 

It is now in its sixth year, with many previous trophy holders having gone on to play professional football, including Fabio Carvalho and Jay Stansfield.

It is the recent scouting genius of Fulham Football Club, both at First team and Academy level, which has resulted in bringing the likes of Rodrigo Muniz and also our Devan Tanton to Fulham.

Devan Tanton was born in Texas to a Columbian mother and an American father. They moved to  Orlando, Florida, where at the age of 8 he joined the FC Elite Academy with his brother, who quickly lost interest, while his commitment became total. Only a year later when he was at a Barcelona Academy camp in Florida, he was invited to the Spanish side Cornella (third tier) and he moved to Spain.  He played internationally for the United States, though switched to Columbia in 2022.

In an international Under-16 game, US against England, at the St George’s Park National Football Centre, remarkable Fulham scouted him and he joined the academy in January 2021 as a first year scholar. He was 16 years old. And it was Covid time. He toughed it out and it is yet another aspect of his dedication.

Finally, Marco Silva gave his professional debut in our 3-1 EFL Cup win over Ipswich Town on 1st November, 2023.

The staff noticed how hard he worked on all aspects of his game as he adjusted to English football. Across the U21 games he has maintained a high level of performance.

The criteria for the voting amongst the Academy staff is based on a player’s performance and conduct on and off the pitch.

Staff felt that Devan encapsulates the Academy values of honesty, humility and hard work.

Dan Thomas, Academy head of player development said: “He has worked really hard to make significant improvements in his defensive positioning, 1v1 defending and heading in particular. He is a credit to the Academy and staff”.

Off the pitch, Devan is quiet and unassuming, however focussed he is on his football. With fellow scholars, however, he has forged some good friendships. They had no difficulty in choosing him for the Trophy. It was great to see that his friends Alex Borto and George Okkas accompanied him to the Cottage for the trophy presentation.

Devan was deeply moved, after the trophy handover, by the Fulham fans’ warm reception, standing and applauding him as he made his way round the pitch.

What happens to him next? He is committed to Fulham, we hear, and might do the well -trodden path for young graduates to go out on loan for a year. But who knows… His position as a Right Back is a coveted one, and we at the FST will be keenly watching to see where he goes from now. We all wish him the huge success which he deserves.

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