PASCAL’S GOT NEW PASTURES TO SPUR HIM ON!
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.
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.”
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.”
HEAD TO HEAD: Pascal Chimbonda has locked horns with Cristiano Ronaldo – now he’s ready to take on the Northern League Division One