Daggers new signing desperate to prove his worth

HE MAY have been more than 450 miles away from his birthplace, but Romain Vincelot looked right at home the moment he slotted into the Dagenham & Redbridge backline on Saturday afternoon.


HE MAY have been more than 450 miles away from his birthplace, but Romain Vincelot looked right at home the moment he slotted into the Dagenham & Redbridge backline on Saturday afternoon.

Thrown into the fray after a frankly ludicrous red card to central defender Scott Doe on 71 minutes, Vincelot took over the right back position and showed just why manager John Still has signed him on an 18-month deal.


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Tough in the tackle, with a touch of quality on the ball too, he showed a willingness to get forward as well, and almost broke clear in the dying seconds, only for a cynical tug on his jersey from Shrews defender Joe Skarz.

All in all, not a bad showing for just a brief 20 minutes on the field.

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"It was hard to enter the game, but I was disappointed like all the team because we lost a lot of energy for nothing," said the 24-year-old, whose grasp of English was just as impressive.

"I understand very well, but people need to speak a little bit slowly then normal.

"When they do that, I have a good vocabulary. The language on the pitch, I understand that, football is the same, it is no problem," added Vincelot, who admitted to a couple of translation issues with Welsh veteran goalkeeper Tony Roberts.

"I understand what he wants to say, but not exactly."

Vincelot has spent all of his career in France with spells at Chamois Niortais in the French second division, before enjoying a spell at Gueugnon in the French third division.

Even though there were just under 5,000 people at the Prostar Stadium, the experience was something that the full back savoured and he is already wanting more.

"I really like the football and the stadium with a lot of people," he said.

"In France, there aren't a lot of people, even in third or second division there are not enough people.

"I like the experience, my first experience and I hope to see a lot of that again."

It's clear that Vincelot, whose boyhood hero is France and Manchester United star Eric Cantona, has been desperate to make his mark in the English game for quite a while.

He left Gueugnon in the summer and opted to stay as a free agent until he got his dream move across the Channel.

"In July, I haven't any club because I wanted to come to England, although I didn't think it would take as much time," laughed Vincelot, whose girlfriend will join him once he is settled in the country.

"I came here the first time in November for a trial, it was good, but I didn't make a contract in November.

"I go to Charlton and Brighton, but they have enough right backs at the time, and Dagenham called me back and I signed the contract with a lot of pleasure."

"I want to play and show what I can do, I wanted to move to London and want to make a name in England.

"I want to stay for a long time, and I made the sacrifice to stay without a club in France because I wanted to come here.

"I'm 24 now, so this summer I say I want to do it."

Although he is a still a newcomer to the English way of football, Vincelot has been impressed by what he has seen of the management at Daggers.

"It's not the same as in France, the manager here seems a a bit closer to the players," he said.


"In France sometimes they are far away, you don't joke with them, but there is a very good spirit at the club, it's really good to be part of that," added the Frenchman, who unlike other foreign players, was delighted with the congested nature of the English fixture schedule.

"The intensity is more. In France if you have a game on Saturday, we work hard Monday, Tuesday, sometimes Wednesday, but after Thursday and Friday we don't.

"Here it is good, always intensity, I like that. I need that to be good before the game.

"All the players want that, to play every two days, the training is not boring then."

The Post is now on Twitter, so if you follow twitter.com/Post_DagRed then you will get up to the minute updates on goings on at Victoria Road

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