The season ended in disappointment for former Tottenham player, Darren Caskey, as Gateshead lost to Cambridge United in the Conference Premier Final at Wembley, missing the chance of promotion to the Football League.
It is always interesting to discover what former Tottenham players are doing nowadays and the Conference Premier Final at Wembley provided such an opportunity. I gave the FA Cup Final a miss on Saturday – I knew what was going to happen and I was right. At least Hull losing means we don’t have to play Europa League games at the beginning of August. Yesterday, I decided to watch the Conference Final and discovered that Darren Caskey was on the management team of Gateshead.
Darren Caskey, the former Tottenham player, is the assistant manager at Gateshead having joined the north-east club last September. Prior to the move he had been assistant to Kevin Wilson at Ilkeston for 4 years but wanted to take up the opportunity to work in the Conference, alongside Gary Mills. On Caskey leaving Ilkseton, Wilson said,
Darren and I have worked really well together …….. and I’m genuinely sad to see him go.
Caskey At TottenhamDarren Caskey came through the Tottenham youth system and was a highly regarded young player who captained the England Under-18 side to success in the European Championships in 1993. He scored the only goal of the Final against Turkey from the penalty spot for a team which included Sol Campbell and Robbie Fowler.
Caskey made 42 appearances for Tottenham and scored 5 goals. He made his debut as a substitute in August, 1993 in a home defeat by Arsenal. After 7 substitute appearances, he made his full debut at home to Everton in October and scored as Spurs came back to win 3 – 2. Darren Anderton appeared to have salvaged a point for Tottenham with his 89th minute equaliser, only for Caskey to shot through a crowd of players for the winner in the 92nd minute.
Caskey made a total of 32 appearances that season when Ossie Ardiles was manager but with limited opportunities in the following two seasons, he joined Reading in 1996. He had a successful League career, making over 300 league appearances for Reading and Notts County before playing for a number of clubs and then dropping into non-league football.
Gateshead reached the Conference Final having finished 3rd in the league and defeating Grimsbt Town in the semi-finals. The north-east club were looking to return to the Football League after an absence of 54 years, having failed to gain re-election in 1960 when Peterborough United replaced them.
The day ended in disappointment for Caskey as they lost 2 – 1 at Wembley. After an even first half, Cambridge started the second half better and went ahead. Following a difficult period Gateshead recovered to put pressure on their opponents but it was Cambridge who increased their lead with 20 minutes remaining. A goal, 10 minutes from time, lifted Gateshead but even though Cambridge played through 7 minutes of added time with 10 players, Gateshead were unable to find a way through.
It’s been a disappointing time for the Caskey family as Darren’s son, Jake, lost in the Championship play-off semi-finals with Brighton last weekend.