Clarke-Harris aiming to power Peterborough back into the Championship

Goal machine Jonson Clarke-Harris has emerged as one of the deadliest strikers in the EFL as he aims to power Peterborough United back to the Championship after impressively filling the shoes of Ivan Toney

  • Peterborough are second in League One – just three points behind leaders Hull
  • Their success this season owes much to deadly striker Jonson Clarke-Harris
  • He is the division’s joint top scorer with 21 after joining from Bristol Rovers
  • Clarke-Harris has filled the gap left by Ivan Toney, who moved to Brentford 

Jonson Clarke-Harris is having the season of his life. He has no intention of signing off quite yet, either.

Twenty-three goals so far for Peterborough, the 26-year-old is on target to fire Posh back into the Championship – the club are currently second to Hull in League One.

He is currently the division’s joint top goalscorer alongside Sunderland forward Charlie Wyke and riding on the crest of a wave.

Jonson Clarke-Harris has impressed this season as Peterborough challenge for promotion

The striker has scored 21 League One goals this season – including this one against Wigan

Clarke-Harris is fast emerging as one one of the deadliest forwards outside the top-flight.

The striker scored 16 goals for Bristol Rovers last season, 17 the campaign prior to that one. This season isn’t a one-off.

‘I’m delighted (with my own form) – but I’m only as good as the players around me, If I’m not performing well then someone else is – it’s more like a team thing we have going on this year,’ he told Sportsmail.

‘The position we are in now is the position we wanted to be in at the start of the season.

‘I feel like everything is falling into place and it’s happening for a reason. We are buzzing to be where we are, hopefully we can get the job done.

‘Clearly I want to continue scoring goals at the highest level possible – that was always my dream as a boy.

Peterborough are currently second in the League One table – three points behind leaders Hull

Clarke-Harris is the joint top goalscorer in League One alongside Sunderland’s Charlie Wyke 

League One scorers 

21 – Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough); Charlie Wyke (Sunderland)

17 – Mallik Wilks (Hull City)

16 – Luke Jephcott (Plymouth)

15 – Dion Charles (Accrington)

13 – John Marquis (Portsmouth); Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon)

‘I want to play as high as I can and make my family proud.’

He’s certainly heading in the right direction to accomplish his dream, promotion with Peterborough this season and he’s one step away from the Premier League.

Clarke-Harris doesn’t need to look too far for inspiration either.

Championship goalscoring sensation Ivan Toney scored 49 goals for Peterborough before netting his move to Brentford last season.

Dwight Gayle’s season with Posh, during which he scored 13 goals in 29 appearances, secured the striker to the Premier League with Crystal Palace.

If that isn’t enough then Clarke-Harris need only look at the England squad, which is awash with footballers who have plied their trade in the lower divisions.

He said: ‘It says to me why not? It’s a motivation for me. I remember playing against Harry Maguire at Sheffield United and I was at Oldham and I remember then thinking ‘what a player you are’.

‘He was only 21 at the time and he has come on leaps and bounds to get stronger and stronger. That’s why he is captain of Man Utd and in the England team.

Ivan Toney played for Peterborough last season before effortlessly stepping up to Brentford

‘The English leagues are so competitive, I’ve played in League Two, League One and the Championship – and they are all really good leagues and hard to get out of.

‘Competition in every single league. You feel like when you drop down you’re dropping standards, but personally I don’t think it is.

‘I could definitely say if you put someone for League Two in a Championship team he would do really well if he’s technically good.’

But while Clarke-Harris’ career gathers pace, the tribulations of his formative years in football are never far from his mind.

Coming through the ranks at Coventry, he made his debut as a 16-year-old in a League Cup tie against Morecambe in August 2010 – but didn’t make another appearance for the club during his initial spell at the Ricoh Arena.

In fact, he didn’t make another senior appearance until October 2012 during a loan spell Southend.

Clarke-Harris scores for the Posh in their recent 3-0 win at Plymouth as they chase promotion 

He said: ‘I remember thinking to myself ‘yes’ (when I made my professional debut).

‘But it’s all about what you do afterwards, and what I did afterwards was I took my foot off the gas.

‘I went back to the U18s and played youth football. It was such a massive thing for me (to make my debut) but then a massive kick in the teeth a couple of weeks later.

‘But I look back now and say, that was part of the plan. To make my debut at such an age is great thing so I’m not going to look back now and think ‘what if’.

‘I’ve taken that moment and built on it. I don’t see it as a disappointment. I didn’t think ‘I’ve made my first team debut and I’m going to in the first team all the time’.

‘That wasn’t the case. I was still in the early stage of my development. It all worked out in the end.

‘I’m looking at it that I was lucky to make my debut at such a young age. I’m only 26 and I’ve already had a 10 year career.’




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