Last year he was working on a building site while playing for Australian fourth-tier side Fraser Park FC but after scoring an incredible overhead-kick during a trial, Florent Indelacio has officially signed a short-term deal with Premier League side Newcastle United.
The story of Indelacio, 23, is quite remarkable.
He was released from Ligue 1 side Saint-Étienne at the age of 15 because of poor behaviour and, after failing to find a club in the months prior, he packed up his bags, moved to Australia as a tourist and landed himself a job on a building site.
It looked like the dream of becoming a professional footballer was over – that’s until close friend Allan-Saint Maximin gave him a lifeline.
The French winger spoke to Newcastle and a trial was organised.
“He [Saint-Maximin] is a real friend. He gave me the chance, he spoke to the club about the trial.” the 23-year-old told The Sydney Morning Herald.
This was Indelacio’s last chance to showcase his talents on the pitch and he did just that, scoring a remarkable overhead-kick while on trial. “I was doing well and they signed me.” he continued.
“I said to the club when I signed my contract that I didn’t sign to Newcastle for fun, just because I want to put on social media ‘oh, I’m a professional footballer, I make my money and I don’t care’ – no, no, no, no.
“I love football, I play with passion. If Newcastle want to sign me for free I’ll play for free. It’s not a problem. They will not regret signing me, because I know I will help the team and I will try to give my best.”
It was a massive step up for the striker, who was playing fourth tier football before his arrival in Tyneside.
He was, however, familiar with a tough challenge. The 23-year-old says he didn’t speak a word of English before he arrived in Australia.
“I never spoke English before. I learned English on a construction site with my boss and all the bricklayers.
“I just followed the guys, how they work, how they do the concrete mix, how they take the bricks. Everyone helped me. It was very physical. I was f*****. My body was tired.
“When I was working in Australia, when I was in France, and I see all of my friends playing professionally and I was working in a factory, but today I am a Newcastle player and I’m very proud.
“It’s a really big club and a great opportunity for me but I’m starting from the bottom. My objective is to play very well with Newcastle Under 23s to prove I have the ability to play at a better level.’
Newcastle United have signed Florent Indalecio following a trial with the club.
The 23-year-old is a former bricklayer and a friend of Allan Saint-Maximin.
— Transferchanger (@TransferChanger) October 23, 2020
Indelacio’s drive and ambition to succeed is certainly admirable. He admits to having regrets in the past but he is ready to work hard.
“I regret a lot from when I was young – trust me, I regret a lot before I signed for Newcastle,” he said.
“When I was working in Australia, when I was in France, and I see all of my friends playing professionally and I was working in a factory. Today I am a Newcastle player and I’m very proud.
@GFFN Florent Indelacio seems to be training with Newcastle United, any information on him?
— Dayle (@DayleBarron) September 16, 2020
“It’s a really big club and a great opportunity for me but I’m starting from the bottom.
“My objective is to play very well with Newcastle under-23s to prove I have the ability to play at a better level.
“Tomorrow we play against West Bromwich, and that’s it. I just want to work hard. We will see.”
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce admits they have taken ‘a bit of a gamble’ on Indelacio, who will play for the club’s U23 side in the coming months, but he’s “got something.”
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“Whether that will ever be good enough to play for Newcastle, we’ll see how he develops.” the 59-year-old said.
“But we’ll give him a chance, he’s got a decent pedigree.
“It certainly helps Allan, it’s his mate. But make no mistake, we haven’t just signed him because he’s Allan’s mate. He’s got a bit of talent, otherwise he wouldn’t be coming in.”