Douglas "Dougie" Freedman (born 25 May 1974 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish footballer who plays as a striker for League One side Southend United. He is most famous for playing for Crystal Palace, for whom he has totalled ten years of service over two spells.
The following season saw a less prolific 11 goals but was enough to help the club to the promotion play-offs. He then scored crucial goals in the 89th and 90th minutes of their semi final tie with Wolves after coming off the bench with 17 minutes left. Palace went on to win promotion in the Wembley final, beating Sheffield United 1-0.
Freedman's Premier League experience proved short-lived though as he only managed seven top flight games before he was sold to Wolves, ironically the club he had helped deny promotion, for £800,000 and defender Jamie Smith after impressing on loan.
Nottingham Forest offered Freedman his first full season in the top flight in 1998/99, but his 9 goals couldn't prevent relegation. He remained with the club for a further full season as they languished in mid-table in Division One under David Platt. He famously told David Platt to jog on. He had scored 23 goals in total for the club before rejoining Crystal Palace again in October 2000, this time for £600,000.
The following campaign saw him bag 21 goals in all competitions, his best seasonal tally for the club. This also earned him a call-up to the Scottish national team, to add to his earlier Under 21 caps. However, the next season was less of a personal success as he was dropped from the Scotland side, and began to find his appearances limited at Palace, as manager Trevor Francis largely preferred Ade Akinbiyi, Dele Adebola, and Andy Johnson to him.
His fortunes were revived in 2003/04 though, as re-established himself as a first choice regular under new manager Iain Dowie. A strong surge in the second half of the season saw the club go from relegation contenders to the promotion play-offs. Freedman scored during the penalty shootout victory at Sunderland in the semi finals to help the club to the final. He was an unused substitute in the final though, which saw the club beat West Ham, the second time he had been promoted with the club.
However, life in the Premier League in 2004/05 saw Freedman often overlooked as the team employed only one striker in most games, with Andy Johnson being the preferred choice in this role. Despite attracting interest from Leeds United midway through the season, he remained committed to the Palace cause of consolidating Premiership status by rejecting a loan bid from the Championship contenders. He stayed to score his only top flight for the club in their vital final fixture at Charlton, drawing them level at 1-1. However, the eventual 2-2 result saw the club endure a record third Premier League relegation.
Back in the Championship, he remained down the pecking order behind England international Andy Johnson and Republic of Ireland international Clinton Morrison. However, injuries to Johnson and Jon Macken, and lack of form from Morrison brought him back into the team and he scored his 100th and 101st goals for Crystal Palace in a 3-2 win at rivals Brighton & Hove Albion on November 20, 2005. This made him only the seventh player in Palace history to have reached the century mark.
He managed to stay in the line-up after Johnson's return, having made a great impression on Palace boss Iain Dowie, who, later, made a public call to Scotland boss Walter Smith for the striker to be given another chance in the national side. He ended the season with seven league goals, as the club comfortably reached the play-offs. However, they were beaten by Watford in their semi final tie to deny him a chance of a third promotion.
The appointment of Peter Taylor as manager in Summer 2006 limited Freedman's chances, and he could only manage three league goals. However, he extended his contract by a further two years at the conclusion of the season. Taylor was replaced by Neil Warnock early in the 2007-08 season, but strong goalscoring form of Clinton Morrison limited Freedman to rare substitute appearances.
He was in excellent form for Elland Road club, scoring five goals to ensure a play-off place, and also receiving praise from Leeds manager Gary McAllister. This form earned him League One's "Player of the Month" award for April, while another vital late Play-off goal in the first leg of Leeds' semi-final tie with Carlisle United helped the Whites to Wembley, where he featured in the Play-off final on the day of his 34th birthday, as Leeds were downed 1-0 by Doncaster Rovers.
Following this match, Warnock allowed Dougie to depart Selhurst. He was heavily linked with a permanent move to Leeds, but on transfer deadline day, signed for Essex club Southend United, scoring on his debut for the Shrimpers.
He only got one more Scotland cap following Vogts' appointment, playing the first 45 minutes of Scotland's 5-0 defeat at the hands of France in a friendly.
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