Adam was with Cambridge United since leaving Norwich City at
the age of 13, making a youth team starting place his own as a
schoolboy and retaining it ever since. He plays centre-half and
right-back and made a handful of reserve team appearances in the
1998-99 season at the age of 16. He started 1999/2000 tremendously
well by being selected for an England Under 18 training get-together,
was then called up to the Under 18 squad for their friendly against
Switzerland at the beginning of September, and signed a three
year contract three days before making his international debut
as a substitute. He was the first United player capped for England
Under-18s since Dean Greygoose in 1983.
Roy McFarland, himself a respected former England defender, speaks
highly of Adam and commented after his England Under-18 debut,
"If he continues to make progress at this rate, it won't be too
long before he'll be putting a bit of pressure on the older players.
The thing about him is that, as well as centre-back, he could
play at full-back, or even as a defensive midfielder."
'Tanny' continued his dream season with a call-up to the full
18-man squad which played three UEFA Under 18 Championship qualifiers
in October, and featured in all three games. He came off the bench
against Spain and Cyprus and started against San Marino.
Youth team manager Dale Brooks describes him thus: "He's fairly
quick, he's got a decent range of passing ability - although that's
something he obviously needs to work on - and he's a good all-round
athlete. He's still in that development stage, but I'm sure he'll
go on. He plays for me at centre-half, but I think it's good for
a lad's development to play in different positions because it
widens your opportunities," he said.
Adam was included in a couple of first team squads when they travelled
and stayed overnight, and after one such trip, to Bristol City
in November, he was named as a substitute for the first time.
His first team debut came at the Abbey in January 2000 when he
played at right-back in the first round AWS tie against Barnet,
and he gave a composed performance and showed some good skill
but was beaten for the extra time winner.
U's Net writer Will Jones watches many of the reserve games
and says of Adam: "Adam Tann has the head of an experienced,
cultured football player on the shoulders of a teenager. His slight
frame offered little barrier to his progress from a highly successful
youth team to reserve team action last season, and indeed barely
put a foot wrong when faced with some quite daunting opposition
strikers. Not afraid to get stuck in, spy a killer pass, or take
the ball forward at his feet Adam is as close to the finished
article as you can get at his age.
His favoured position is yet to be established, but whether it
be right back, centre-back, left back or defensive midfield Adam
has the range of skills that enable him to do a decent job. I
would hope, however, that he could settle on one position and
use the next year to develop that and prepare himself for the
hard transition to first team football. I have no doubt whatsoever
that he will play in the first team at United and be a complete
"The next year is a critical stage in his career though, but with
his feet remaining secured to the ground - despite the rare accolade
of a second divison youth player representing England at his level
- he will have few problems. A young player to be looked after,
nurtured and developed in the same mould as the other products
of the youth system; asking too much of him too early could hamper
his development into the great player he will be."
In March 2001, Adam joined local rivals Cambridge City on loan
in order to get much needed match practice.
Tann left Cambridge United following their relegation to the
Conference in May 2005. He joined Reading on trial in July 2005.
Although he returned to Cambridge on trial, he joined Ipswich
for training in mid-August 2005. After a trial with Rushden and
Diamond, he signed for Gravesend at the end of October 2005. By
the beginning of November, he had moved again joining Notts County
for whom he made his debut against Bristol City on 5th November
2005, scoring County's opener in their 2-0 FA Cup First Round
Adam switched to Leyton Orient on 18th January 2006. After their
promotion to League One, Adam was offered a new one-year deal
which he signed on 26th May 2006. Testing positive for testicular
cancer, Adam underwent treatment in October 2006.
Adam turned down an offer of a new contract from Orient in May
2007 and signed instead for Notts County
In July 2009, Adam trialled with Conference side Histon, playing
in their pre-season friendly against West Bromwich Albion. This
Despite being offered a coaching role at Histon and having made
39 appearances for Histon in 2009-10, Tann joined Chelmsford City
on 20th July 2010
During the 2012/13 season, Tann had a loan spell at Bury Town.
On 4th December 2013, Tann was appointed First Team Coach at
Ryman League side Leiston, working under new manager Steve
In January 2015, he moved to Southern League side St Neots Town.
He joined AFC Sudbury in June 2016. Manager Jamie Godbold said "I am really pleased to have secured someone as experienced as Adam. He knows that he is coming towards the end of his career, so he just wants to his enjoy his football and that suits us. [Adam] has played hundreds of games at very good levels and that is a big plus. He will be a calming influence both on and off the pitch, which we are going to need in a league where a lot of players have never played before"
Tann decided to retire in the summer of 2017 following Sudbury's relegation.