To be French and playing in the Premier League is like “Fish & Chips” and something few would talk much about as a sensation, but to see such a player playing most of his career for minor clubs in English football is a rare and seldom affair.
Romain Vincelot has at the age of 34 played at Wembley for Bradford City and Leyton Orient in the League One play off finals, and spent the last nine years in English football. He spent his first years in senior football in the French 2nd and 3rd tier before moving over the channel and firstly signed for Brighton & Hove Albion, at the time a club at Championship level.
After a bit of time he had problems to get into the first team and moved on loan to Gillingham, and then in 2013 on to Leyton Orient. His time with The O’s must be described as successful as the now National League club were on the rise and climbing the league ladder, but with that happening, Vincelot moved again, this time to Coventry City and from there to Bradford City.
Romain captained Bradford and maybe being melted into something of a perfect player for clubs fighting for a place in the play-off’s, and not typical French in his playing style, a more warrior type to be honest about his ability. The midfielder might be close to his finals of football as he have struggled with injuries and a recent hip injury operation have not seen him much on the field this season for his club Shrewsbury Town.
He is the first footballer to undergo this type of surgery, and hopefully when football again is back to life, Romain will be in good form and help Shrewsbury Town to reach their best standards and goals.
To settle for life at the ground floor, continue playing and search for new options and adventures in the “little leagues” of England might not be what every French footballer would do, but Romain Vincelot shows that not everyone is following the same path.
He will be legendary figure when he some day retires and don’t be surprised if this guy will follow other “little league players” such as Ron Atkinson, Neil Warnock and Tony Pulis and someday become a top flight manager.