OFF THE LEDGE AND INTO BIG TIME
BEFORE Christmas, Sean St Ledger took some time out to talk to The FootballLeaguePaper about his problems. He won’t mind admitting it, but, in truth, he had little else to occupy his day with.
Unwanted and seemingly unemployable, he couldn’t even get a trial to prove his worth. At times, he was struggling to get himself out of bed.
Released in May following Leicester City’s promotion to the Premier League, no clubs were keen. His agent wasn’t on the goslow, his CV stacked up but, for one reason or another, managers weren’t open to taking a look.
Half a year went by and the former Peterborough, Preston and Middlesbrough centre-back – who, don’t forget, pulled on the Republic of Ireland jersey barely two years earlier and scored in the European Championships – was still twiddling his thumbs.
But they’re looking at him now. Or they will be later today; the man no Football League club wanted will be following Brazilian legend Kaka out of the tunnel in front of nearly 65,000 people as Orlan- do City make their bow in America’s MLS.
Superstar Kaka has been appointed captain of Major League Soccer’s rookies and the 2007 world player of the year has already drawn a sell-out crowd ahead of the opener against fellow new boys New York City at the Citrus Bowl in Florida today.
Patience has paid off and 30year-old St Ledger’s new head coach Adrian Heath – the former Everton and Stoke striker – said: “We’re delighted to have Sean here. He brings a lot of experi- ence at club and international level. He’s a very versatile defender who is comfortable playing in several positions along the backline, which is a big bonus for the squad.”
It’s a far cry from last November, when St Ledger told this paper: “What I’ve found most difficult is the loneliness. All I’ve known is football. That’s been my life, day-in, day-out.Without it, there’s just a hole.You feel almost suffocated by your own thoughts.”
Good things come to those who wait.
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