Michael Poke

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Michael Poke is an English goalkeeper who was born on 21st November 1985 in Ashford. Poke joined Southampton at the age of 10, and after years of learning his trade with the academy and reserves, rubbed shoulders with the Saints senior side for the first time on 12th May 2004 when he was named as a substitute in the penultimate game of the season against Newcastle. Poke sat on the bench again for the final match of the campaign three days later at Charlton.

Poke featured as a guest for Northampton's reserve side for a short period during 2004/05 in order to gain some match practise, but returned to Southampton after suffering a knee injury. In 2005/06, Poke had short spells on loan at Oldham and then Northampton. He was brought in as backup at both clubs, but played two matches at Northampton, both in the Football League Trophy. In 2006/07, Poke had a short spell at Conference side Woking, who were managed by former Saint Glenn Cockerill.

Poke started in all of Southampton's pre season matches in Norway in summer 2007, as he was the clubs only keeper to travel to Scandinavia. He was loaned to Conference outfit Torquay in January 2008. The young keeper played four times for The Gulls and didn't concede a single goal. Shortly after returning to Southampton Poke finally made his competitive debut for the club, replacing an injured Kelvin Davis at Wolves on 4th March 2008. Poke started the next 3 games for Saints, but after a disappointing display in a 5-0 loss at Hull, Richard Wright was brought in on loan by manager Nigel Pearson and Poke would never play for the St Marys club again.

Poke was loaned to Torquay again for the 2008/09 season, but injury restricted him to just 15 appearances for the Plainmoor club. Poke rejoined Torquay once more in 2009/10 in another season long loan deal, where he was more successful than he had been the previous campaign, making 30 appearances. Poke finally left Southampton permanently on 15th May 2010, after he was one of 13 players released from the club.

Poke joined League One side Brighton in June 2010 on a one year deal. Poke was Brighton's third choice keeper during 2010/11, behind Casper Ankergren and Peter Brezovan. His only appearance of the season came on 10th August 2010 in a 2-0 defeat at Northampton.