PAS­CAL’S GOT NEW PAS­TURES TO SPUR HIM ON!

The Non-League Football Paper - - RESULTS SERVICE - By Mark Carruthers

HE made his Premier League de­but fac­ing the likes of Her­nan Cre­spo, Frank Lam­pard and Ar­jen Robben.

His time in Eng­land has seen him share a dress­ing room with Gareth Bale, Dim­i­tar Ber­ba­tov and Luka Mo­dric.

But now, Pas­cal Chim­bonda’s lat­est move will see him take on the great and the good in the North­ern League Divi­sion One.

The for­mer Spurs and Wi­gan Ath­letic de­fender joined North­ern League club Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day and made his de­but in Satur­day’s home game against Pen­rith.

It’s over two years since his last com­pet­i­tive ap­pear­ance for French Ligue 2 club AC Ar­les-Avi­gnon.

Spec­u­la­tion

Now, the once-capped French in­ter­na­tional is ready for a re­turn to foot­ball and hopes his pedi­gree can help a young Wash­ing­ton squad.

He said: “It’s a new ex­pe­ri­ence, I have never played in a divi­sion that is the ninth level in the coun­try.

“It is two years since my last game, but my fit­ness is good.

“I look af­ter my­self, I train, I am ready to play, if the coach se­lects me. I just want to play and if I can help the coach I will do so.

“I will help the younger play­ers here, and try to help them ap­proach the game in the right way. I want to help them through the game, to keep the ball, to win games. That is my aim.”

It is safe to say that the move came as a sur­prise to many.

Spec­u­la­tion be­gan when Chim­bonda, 38, was pic­tured in the dugout at Wash­ing­ton’s North­ern League fix­ture against Whit­ley Bay.

A 1-1 draw against the four­time FA Vase win­ners left Chim­bonda’s new side in the bot­tom three of the North­ern League’s top tier.

The deal was fi­nally an­nounced on Thurs­day evening with Me­chan­ics boss James Clark jok­ing that his mo­bile phone had never stopped since the news broke on Twit­ter.

Chim­bonda re­vealed that the deal has been in the off­ing for just un­der a month and ex­plained the role he played in speed­ing up its com­ple­tion. “We have had talks for three weeks or more than a month. “I gave the coach my word that, yes, I will come and play for him.

“Ev­ery time we talked, he asked me how I was, how my fit­ness is and we stayed in touch as the talks were go­ing on. I went to the French Fed­er­a­tion to help the move get com­pleted. The peo­ple over there know me.

“It was quick and I am happy to sign.”

Chal­lenge

Chim­bonda’s spell at Wash­ing­ton should take his play­ing ca­reer into its 20th year.

He is al­ready look­ing to the fu­ture, com­plet­ing his UEFA A Li­cence qual­i­fi­ca­tion ear­lier this year. He would like to move into coach­ing once his play­ing ca­reer has ended.

But he isn’t ready to hang up his boots just yet and is rel­ish­ing the chal­lenge of help­ing his new club progress in the North­ern League.

“I want to coach as well, I have my A Li­cence. So if I can do more, I will, that is what I want to do.

“It is good to start that with Wash­ing­ton but at the mo­ment I will try to win games, en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence and help ev­ery­one at Wash­ing­ton.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

HEAD TO HEAD: Pas­cal Chim­bonda has locked horns with Cris­tiano Ron­aldo – now he’s ready to take on the North­ern League Divi­sion One

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