Often Partisan

Where are they now?

Whilst it’s the close season, and things are quiet around St Andrews, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the kids who didn’t quite make it with us, and see what they’re up to now. I’m hoping to make this a regular series – if you know someone who played for BCFC’s academy and is now plying their trade elsewhere please drop me a line and I’ll try and include them.

Semih Aydilek

Semih Aydilek is not a name that will be familiar to many Blues fans, despite having a squad number as recently as the 2008/09 season. The tall German/Turkish striker had a good season in the reserves, scoring goals to help us lift the Birmingham Senior Cup that year but never really got chance to break through to the first team. His one outing with the first team squad was as an unused substitute in the league cup defeat against Southampton; he spent the latter half of the season on loan at Motherwell without making an appearance for them either. When the 08/09 season came to a conclusion, it was no surprise that Semih moved on, and off to Turkey he went to play for Kayserispor, in the Turkish Super Lig. In his two seasons there, he has made fifteen league appearances, including ten this season just gone. Alas, he hasn’t got a league goal to his name yet, but with two years to go on his contract the 22 year old has time on his side to make it yet.

Tresor Luntala

A Congolese/French wonderkid, signed whilst Trevor Francis was in charge of the club, Tresor made fifteen first team appearances for Birmingham City during a three year spell at the club. For me, the only match I can remember young Luntala playing in was Man City’s 6-0 demolition of Blues in the League Cup; one of the last matches of TF’s Blues management career. Luntala bounced around the lower leagues of France and Belgium following his release from Birmingham City, before ending up in Greece. I can’t find any club information for him after the end of the 2009 season, and one can only assume that Tresor is playing for a team so obscure it doesn’t have an internet presence, or that he’s had to retire from the game. Still, 15 international caps, 3 international goals and a Facebook fan page isn’t to be sniffed at.

Marco Randrianantoanina

Once upon a time the biggest name (literally) in Blues reserve team football, the young Malagasy/French full back isn’t exactly a name that trips off the tongue. I freely admit the only reason I can remember Marco is because I made a point of remembering how to spell his surname – I’m geeky like that. Marco never made it close to the first team at St Andrews, and moved on from us in 2002, to ply his trade in France, mainly in the second tier. His last club was Chamois Niortais (the team noted in the picture to the right), and poor Marco had to retire from the game at the age of 25, after suffering a heart attack on the pitch whilst playing for the French second division side. Thankfully he made a full recovery after being defibbed on the pitch, although it appears his football career came to a premature end.

With quite a few youngsters being released by Blues each year, I suspect there are quite a few more stories to tell – hopefully some will have had more luck than Marco and Tresor.

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