by Dave Usher
A captain of his country right through from schoolboys to under 20s, Wirral lad David Raven was seen as an outstanding prospect throughout his teenage years. Good in the air, strong in the tackle and a good footballer as well, he was a regular with the under 17 side when he was just 15, and remarkably he even appeared for the under 19's despite being four years younger than most of the other players at that level.
He made the step up to reserve level with no trouble at all, and continued to captain his country through various age groups up to u20. His favoured position was in the heart of defence where he used his reading of the game to good effect, but a lack of height saw him converted to a full back by Rafa Benitez.
He was handed his first team debut in the Carling Cup win at Spurs and he produced a man of the match display that night, the highlight being a wonderful last ditch saving tackle to deny Jermaine Defoe as the reds triumphed on penalties. He was then handed a start in the FA Cup defeat at Burnley and his Premiership debut came as a substitute at St Mary's in the defeat to Southampton.
Steve Finnan's consistent form limited Raven's opportunities and the arrival of Dutch international Jan Kromkamp pushed him further down the pecking order. Reserve football was no good for his progression so he was allowed to join Tranmere on loan and in the summer of 2006 he joined Carlisle United for an undisclosed fee. In the summer of 2010 Raven moved on to Shrewsbury Town before returning to Tranmere a year later.
After one season at Prenton Park he moved up north to sign for Terry Butcher's Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Premier League.