Orient missed out on in demand Pompey new-boy Padovani
By Site reporter
Sunday 12 May 2013 11:10:00
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Pompey's new French midfielder Romain Padovani has revealed how he had a trial at Orient before being offered a contract at Pompey and how he didn't hesitate long to sign for the club.


Padovani (23) signed a two-year deal at Fratton Park after impressing in a training session at the end of April.

The player has been searching for as club since being released by Monaco last summer. A trial with Nantes came to nothing, as did contacts with Laval and CA Bastia. In the end he returned to Monaco on an amateur contract and ended up being a regular in their reserve side ahead of a number of established pros.

In April he came to England to try his luck and Romain takes up the story on the website foot-anglais.com of how he spent a few days at League One side Orient.

'I got up at 4 in the morning to catch the plane and play at 2pm over there. There were 16 players on trial and I was the only one kept back. I was able to train with them for a few days. The manager [Russell Slade] liked me a lot. He asked me to come back the following week or in pre-season, but without the gauarantee of a contract.

'That wasn't ideal because of the uncertainty. Besides, I came to England thanks to Sylvain Legwinski, assistant to Bruno Irles [manager of AS Monaco reserves] who had spoken of me last November to Sebastien [Ewen, an English football agent]. He would call me often and we got on well. What I liked about him was that he promised me nothing. He was straight [with me].

As a result of that link - Ewen is also Yassin Moutaouakil's agent - a trial was arranged at Pompey at the end of April.

'A week after my trial at Leyton he proposed a day's training at Portsmouth. [Ewen told me] "If you're good they might well give you a contract straight away". That's what happened.

'I have to say I was very good [on the day]' he joked. 'Afterwards I returned to Nice for four or five days to rellect. I didn't hesitate long though. A contract of two years as well, is the best. Niort [French second division club] also got in touch with me, but I felt the managing director was more keen on me coming than the coach.

'I didn't want to go somewhere to have a hard time and Portmouth, frankly, made me dream a bit. The fans, the club's history, the stadium. Even the squad I saw, if we can keep them together, is full of quality.

'[Getting a pro contract] is a relief and a reward for all that I've done, but 95% of the job is still to be done. I have to work hard and prove that I can play. What I like is that I have my destiny in my own hands, as one says. And that motivates me still more.'

Padovani is qualified in hotel management having come to the professional game relatively late. He was a youngster at Nimes Olympique, but he drifted into the amateur game before AS Monaco picked him up as a 19-year-old.

For the full interview [in French] click here

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