Where Are They Now? #18 – 2008 FA Cup Final (Cardiff)

FA Cup Week enters its final stages with a look back to the last time a side from outside of the top tier made it to the final – 2008. A lone Nwankwo Kanu goal saw Premier League Portsmouth reach their highest point as they saw off the challenge of Championship side Cardiff. Up first, the unsuccessful Cardiff side…

1. Peter Enckelman (Goalkeeper)


On loan Finn Enckelman was at fault for the only goal of the game in the final. He signed on at Cardiff permanently following the final from Blackburn but was a backup throughout his time there. He was released by the club at the end of his contract in 2010 and joined Scottish side St. Johnstone. He was first choice at the club for the majority of his two seasons with them but left at the end of his contract in 2012. He signed with fellow Scottish side Hearts that summer. He only made one substitute appearance for the club and left in the summer of 2013. He joined current club IFK Mariehamn in his homeland that summer.

2. Kevin McNaughton (Right Back)


A fan favourite at Cardiff, “Super Kev” played the entire game at Wembley. He remained a constant presence in the Cardiff defence through a managerial change and helped Cardiff to the play-offs a number of times before they won a historic promotion in 2013. McNaughton has played only a bit part role for Cardiff in the Premier League and spent a few months on loan at Bolton Wanderers in late 2013. He is one of two players from the Cup final squad still at Cardiff.

3. Tony Capaldi (Left Back)


The Northern Irish full back had only joined Cardiff at the beginning of the season and benefited from the sale of first choice Chris Gunter in January 2008 to play the whole game at Wembley. Following the final, Capaldi struggled for game time due to injuries and in late 2009 joined Leeds United on loan for a short spell. He left Cardiff in the summer of 2010 and, after a season with Morecambe, Capaldi joined Oxford. Injuries limited him to just 39 appearances in his two seasons with the club and he was released in the summer of 2013. Capaldi joined non-league Tamworth that summer but left after around seven months to join current club Barwell in early 2014.

4. Gavin Rae (Centre Midfield)

Gavin Rae

Another summer signing, Rae was replaced late on in the final by Trevor Sinclair. Despite a few injury setbacks, Rae quickly became one of Cardiff’s key men in the middle of the park over the next two seasons and helped them to the play-offs. He fell out of favour in the 2010/11 season and saw limited playing time before he was released in 2011. He returned to first club Dundee that summer on a short term deal and impressed enough to earn a move to Aberdeen in January 2012. A regular in his 18 months at the club, Rae was still released at the end of his deal in the summer of 2013 whereupon he rejoined Dundee as a player/coach, a role he still holds.

6. Glenn Loovens (Centre Back)


A product of the youth system at Feyenoord, Loovens had a goal disallowed during the final. The final also proved to be his final game for Cardiff as his good form at the heart of their defence saw him earn a move to Scottish giants Celtic. He helped Celtic to an SPL title, League Cup and Scottish Cup during his spell there and earned international recognition with the Netherlands while in Scotland. However, by 2012 he was a fringe player and was sold to Real Zaragoza in Spain. He only played 21 league games for the Spanish side before leaving in 2013 and after some time as a free agent, Loovens signed with current club Sheffield Wednesday in December 2013.

7. Peter Whittingham (Left Midfield)


One of Cardiff’s most consistent performers of the last few years, Whittingham was replaced after an hour by Aaron Ramsey. Whittingham continued to be a consistent presence in Cardiff’s team and in 2009/10 he captured attention with 25 goals in all competitions from the left wing. His goals helped Cardiff to the play-offs and, after a number of failed attempts, his goals led them to the Premier League. Whittingham has been a regular in the Premier League despite the club’s poor season. He is the other Cup final squad member still with the club.

10. Stephen McPhail (Centre Midfield/Captain)


The man that led Cardiff out at Wembley, McPhail’s time at Cardiff was disrupted by injury following the final. He missed a large part of the 2009/10 season after being diagnosed with lymphoma. The Irishman did play again for the club but his game time was limited due to the illness and a number of injuries. He was released at the end of his contract in the summer of 2013 following Cardiff’s promotion. He joined Sheffield Wednesday in September 2013 but left after only 13 league games to move back to his native Ireland and join current club Shamrock Rovers in February 2014.

11. Paul Parry (Striker)


Utilised up front due to a lack of strikers towards the end of the season, Parry managed the whole game despite being an injury doubt. Parry remained with Cardiff for one more season before leaving in the summer of 2009 for Preston. A versatile player, Parry stayed with the club through its relegation to League 1 and was moved to full back due to a lack of depth there. Parry left Preston in 2012 and signed for current club Shrewsbury.

12. Roger Johnson (Centre Back)

Roger Johnson

Cardiff’s star man remained at Cardiff until 2009 when he joined Premier League side Birmingham. He, along with partner Scott Dann, were the star men as Brimingham won the League Cup in 2011 but couldn’t stay up that same season. He left Birmingham following their relegation for Wolves where he was named captain almost immediately. However, his season was poor as bust-ups and disciplinary issues as well as poor performances saw Johnson lose his place in the side and Wolves relegated to the Championship. Johnson regained his place the following season but Wolves were again relegated as they dropped to League 1. Johnson was allowed to leave by new Wolves manager Kenny Jackett in the summer of 2013 and, after a short loan at Sheffield Wednesday in late 2013, Johnson joined current side West Ham on loan in January 2014.

16. Joe Ledley (Right Midfield)


Another key man in Cardiff’s run to the final, Ledley was the most wanted man in the Cardiff side for the next two seasons. He continually rejected contracts from the club while Cardiff rejected interest from the Premier League and by 2010, after being linked with teams like West Brom and Italian side Roma, Ledley joined Scottish giants Celtic on a free. He helped the club to three SPL titles and a Scottish Cup before he returned south and joined current club Crystal Palace in January 2014.

36. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Striker)


The experienced Dutchman only lasted 70 minutes of the final as he was replaced by Steven Thompson. The final also proved to be his last professional game as he retired from football following his release from Cardiff in 2008. He moved into coaching and after working with the Nike Academy and Chelsea’s youth teams, Hasselbaink was hired as a member of the Nottingham Forest coaching staff in the summer of 2011. He left his role in January 2013 and joined current side Antwerp in May of that year as manager.


 13. Michael Oakes (Goalkeeper)


See Where Are They Now? #4 – 2003 Championship Play-Off Final (Wolves).

5. Darren Purse (Defender)


Club captain Purse was an unused substitute in the final having lost his place to the in-form Loovens and Johnson during the season. After Loovens departure that summer, Purse had a short stint in the team but again lost his spot to new signing Gabor Gyepes which prompted public criticism from Purse. He left Cardiff in the summer of 2009 and joined Sheffield Wednesday. He was a regular as the club went down to League 1 in 2010 and despite playing the majority of games that season, Purse left the club in January 2011. He joined Millwall immediately after his release but he quickly lost his place in the side and, after a short loan spell at Yeovil in 2011, he joined Plymouth. It was an initial loan deal in late 2011 which was made permanent in 2012. He helped the club stay up in 2012 and was named captain. He left Plymouth for Port Vale in January 2013 but was released that summer after helping them to promotion to League 1. After a short spell with Finnish side IFK Mariehamn in late 2013, Purse joined current side Chesham United in January 2014.

18. Trevor Sinclair (Midfielder)

Trevor Sinclair

Another summer signing, Sinclair was a late replacement for Gavin Rae. The final proved to be his final professional game as he, like Hasselbaink, was released in the summer of 2008 and retired. Currently, Sinclair lives in Dubai and does TV hosting and coaching there.

30. Aaron Ramsey (Midfielder)


Another product of the youth system, Ramsey’s substitute appearance made him the second youngest player to play in a FA Cup final. He joined Arsenal in the summer of 2008 and his Premier League career started promisingly. It was however, brought to a halt after Ramsey was seriously injured in a game against Stoke in 2010 which kept him out for months. He had short loan spells at Nottingham Forst and Cardiff to regain match fitness and returned to the Arsenal team in 2011. His form was criticised by many over the next two seasons during which time he represented Great Britain at the Olympics and became Wales captain. His form in 2013/14 has seen him nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

20. Steven Thompson (Striker)


A subsitute for Hasselbaink, the final proved to be one of Thompson’s last games for Cardiff as he joined Burnley the following summer. He helped Burnley to promotion in 2009 and played a number of games in the Premier League the following season. He remained with the club after relegation but left in the summer of 2011 for a return to his homeland and Scottish side St. Mirren. He is currently St. Mirren’s regular striker and figurehead and fired them to the Scottish League Cup in 2013.

Dave Jones (Manager)


See Where Are They Now? #4 – 2003 Championship Play-Off Final (Wolves).

Stay tuned for the final edition of Where Are They Now?’s FA Cup Week on The Long Ball.



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