James hoping to see Gosling star in FA Cup
PLYMOUTH Argyle youth development officer John James will be at Wembley tomorrow hoping to see former Pilgrim Dan Gosling help Everton to FA Cup final glory.
Gosling, who was discovered by James, is expected to be on the substitutes' bench for the showdown with Chelsea at England's national stadium.
And if the former Argyle star does get onto the field, there will be few prouder people in the stadium that James.
"Although I'm not an Everton fan, I will be tomorrow at Wembley because of Dan," said James, whose prospect was signed by Blues' boss David Moyes for a £1m-plus deal in January 2008.
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"Aside from his family no-one would be more delighted than me if Dan either starts or comes on against Chelsea.
"And I'm sure Dan will acquit himself well as he has done each time he's played for the first team.
"Dan's only 19 years old but he's getting better all the time and has got a very level head on young shoulders.
"He's not altered in that respect, since I spotted him as a young kid playing for Brixham United under-12s.
"He's just so versatile as well. Like now, he could play both wide right and on the left in midfield, as well as right-back.
"There was something about Dan, even then, that made him stand out."
James knows all about picking up good players having discovered former England and Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe, in his time at Torquay.
And James has no doubt his other gem from south Devon can follow Sharpe's suit and go all the way.
"Dan's going off with England under-19s shortly after the cup final and if he keeps progressing, then I wouldn't rule out a full England cap for him," said James.
"And at Everton, which is exactly the right club for him and having an excellent manager in David Moyes behind him, he's every chance of a great career."
Gosling, who made over 20 first team appearances for Argyle, is poised to mark his breakthrough season at Goodison Park by signing a two-year contract extension that will tie him to the club until 2012.
He has scored three times in 16 appearances for Everton, including the dramatic winner against Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round tie.
Gosling, who was The Herald's Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2007, admits his life has changed dramatically since his 118th-minute goal against the Reds back in January.
And in an ironic twist of fate, Gosling also recalls spending time with Argyle midfielder Luke Summerfield at Chelsea.
"It all went a bit mad afterwards (the cup tie) and I ended up having to delete my Facebook page," Gosling told the Liverpool Echo.
"I had about 20 hits beforehand and it went up to 600 friend requests afterwards.
"I actually went down to Chelsea and spent a week training with them when Jose Mourinho was in charge.
"Ian Holloway was Plymouth manager at the time, and he thought it would be a good idea for me and Luke Summerfield, who were the young lads coming through at the time.
"We went for a few days and trained with all the top names. "They obviously had some great players there and it was a fantastic experience for us.
"Training with such really good players was brilliant for us."
Gosling is set to become the second former Argyle player in two years to play in an FA Cup final.
Last season Tony Capaldi played in the showpiece final for Cardiff as they lost to Portsmouth.