NOMAD FRANK FEELS AT HOME

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Dan Barnes

AS HE so charm­ingly sums it up him­self, Frank Nou­ble has played for so many teams he ‘prob­a­bly has two or three friends’ at ev­ery club across the coun­try.

Though he is still just 26, the New­port County front man’s list of clubs now stands at 17.

Af­ter learn­ing his trade at Chelsea’s academy, his ca­reer has taken him from the Premier League with West Ham, the Cham­pi­onship with the likes of Swansea and Ip­swich, League One with Coven­try and Gilling­ham, and even Tian­jin Quan­jian in the Chi­nese Su­per League – though that was be­fore they had the stag­ger­ing fi­nan­cial clout they do to­day.

Nou­ble has lived an ex­is­tence where the goal­posts are for­ever chang­ing.

Even now, at Rod­ney Pa­rade, his contract runs for just a sin­gle sea­son. But, how­ever much one-club men are ad­mired in mod­ern football, this jour­ney­man striker cher­ishes ev­ery new chal­lenge he has taken on to date.

Tim­ing

“I’ve al­ways been a bit head­strong in try­ing to go out and gain ex­pe­ri­ence,” said the well­trav­elled Ex­iles man.

“Some­times it hasn’t worked in my favour, but, at the same time, I don’t re­gret any of it.

“It’s hard to ex­plain be­cause you don’t know where’s go­ing to work out for you, or what level. So, there are dif­fer­ent rea­sons why it’s not worked out at dif­fer­ent places.

“Maybe I’ve not stayed some­where long enough or the man­ager’s gone early, or maybe I’ve not played to my best, but I just think it’s about tim­ing.

“I’ve been at so many places now I’ve prob­a­bly got two or three friends in ev­ery club.

“It’s very rare you see play­ers that have come through acad­e­mies and stayed there.

“They’ve usu­ally been shunted out on loan and stuff like that.

“So, com­ing down to League One or League Two, it’s maybe an­other way of look­ing at it.

“Go out there and get some games and show­case your tal­ent and your po­ten­tial.

“No mat­ter what age you are, you can al­ways show some­thing. And there’s some­one out there ready to take a risk or a gam­ble on you. I think that’s where I’m at right now and it’s pay­ing div­i­dends.”

While it might be easy to imag­ine Nou­ble ef­fec­tively lives out of a suit­case, he finds fa­mil­iar­ity in the sup­port of his fi­ancée Gemma, who, he says, has been with him ‘since the get-go’.

The pair have a one-year-old daugh­ter called Nyah Eve and an­other girl due next March.

The Lon­don-born striker counts his spell on loan at Swansea from West Ham in 2010, un­der former Liver­pool boss Bren­dan Rodgers, as one of the hap­pi­est pe­ri­ods of his ca­reer, even though he was re­called by the Ham­mers af­ter lit­tle more than a month.

Ip­swich, where Nou­ble spent a full two years be­tween 2013 and 2015, was also an­other for­ma­tive chap­ter.

Trusted

The former Premier League rookie was forced to grow up quickly by Mick McCarthy and his as­sis­tant Terry Con­nor.

In August, af­ter scor­ing five times and reg­is­ter­ing four as­sists, Nou­ble was named League Two player of the month and, un­der man­ager Michael Flynn, he be­lieves he has – for now at least – found a happy home.

“I’ve had many a club and many a man­ager, and it’s good to be some­where where I’m re­ally trusted, given full rein to go out there and try and lead as much as I can,” said Nou­ble.

“Mike’s a young man­ager and he’s maybe more up-to-date with how play­ers are to­day.

“He’s taken me in well. We’ve started re­ally well for him, and long may that con­tinue.”

PIC­TURE: MI News & Sport

BOOTS FOR HIRE: Frank Nou­ble, left, has had 17 clubs but feels trusted at New­port

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