Brits abroad! As Earnshaw heads to Israel, here's more
men playing on foreign soil
13:41 GMT, 21 September 2012
With the unexpected news that he is swapping Cardiff City
for Maccabi Tel Aviv for the season, Robert Earnshaw joined a small, but
adventurous, band of British footballers who are currently playing overseas.
While the cosmopolitan Premier League is a magnet for the
best talent from nations right around the world, the number of players
travelling in the opposite number is miniscule by comparison.
Here, Sportmail looks at ten British players (aside from
David Beckham) playing on foreign fields.
(Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Miles from home 2,334
Useful local phrase (NB May not be
entirely accurate): תן
לי את הכדור, אני
עושה את השאר. אני
מחשב היעד. (Give me the ball, I’ll do the rest.
I’m a goal machine)
Earnshaw has decided to try his chances elsewhere after dropping
down the pecking order at Cardiff City. He made just 20 appearances last season
and has yet to feature this, having fallen behind Craig Bellamy, Nicky Maynard,
Heidar Helgusson and others.
He has a very good career goalscoring record, with 202 goals in
457 appearances, as well as 16 strikes for Wales, and should prosper against
the defences of the Israeli league.
Maccabi are currently third in the Israeli league and will be
hoping the Welshman’s goals can fire them to a first title since 2003.
New adventure: Robert Earnshaw will spend the season on loan at Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel
Heskey (Newcastle Jets)
home 10,536 Useful local phrase There’s
no need to believe everything you’ve heard about me, cobber (There’s no need to
believe everything you’ve heard about me, mate)
Heskey, a free agent after becoming surplus to requirements at
Aston Villa, opted for a completely different change of scenery by moving to
the other side of the world.
In the Australian A-League, each club is allowed one ‘Marquee
player’ and, while many laugh at Heskey being given this tag, he is arguably
likely to be more useful that the likes of Dwight Yorke and Robbie Fowler from
The 34-year-old former Liverpool, Leicester, Birmingham, Wigan and
England frontman will be in good company – former Premier League player Michael
Bridges could well be playing off him as a second striker.
Listen up, Australia: Emile Heskey has joined A-League side Newcastle Jets
home 4,725 Useful local phrase Maka phone koroonc khuim meltolem! (Where
can I phone home)
The curious case of globe-trotting Rohan Ricketts, who has scoured
the world in search of a game. After leaving the English game in 2008, the
former Tottenham and Wolves winger has played in Canada, Hungary, Moldova,
Germany, Ireland and now India, after joining defending I-League champions
Dempo, from Goa.
He has certainly had some adventures during his travels,
particularly in Moldova where he said in an interview: ‘As soon as a player
leaves England, everyone forgets about him. I had an offer from Azerbaijan and
Turkey. Then a Russian agent appeared and said go to Moldova.
Born adventurer: Rohan Ricketts in action for Tottenham against Chelsea before his globe-trotting career
‘It was nuts. The players were welcoming but smoked in the
changing rooms and drank four or five bottles of beer before games. I was
sitting in on meetings about match-fixing. It was strange but almost amusing.
‘Moldova was just horrendous. I had players take things from my
room. I was threatened by people to get out of the hotel.’
But Ricketts should be living the good life at Dempo, based in the
capital of Goa, Panaji – where the average temperature all year round is 31C.
home 448 Useful local phrase Ich war auf
europischer Champions Chelsea, aber es hat nicht geklappt (I was at European
champions Chelsea, but it didn’t work out)
After five years at Chelsea spent entirely out on loan,
centre-back Mancienne finally gave up on his hope of breaking into the first
team and signed a four-year deal to play in the buzzing German city of Hamburg.
He’s certainly gained more first-team experience that he would
trying to unseat John Terry, David Luiz and Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge and
has been a first-choice this season – though he hasn’t been able to prevent
Hamburg’s woeful start.
Wanderer: Michael Mancienne, formerly of Chelsea and Wolves, now plays for Hamburg in the Bundesliga
home 1799 Useful local phrase Wow,
sahada gibi kaygan zeminde (Wow, that pitch is slippery)
Best known for the comical goalkeeping that meant England didn’t
qualify for Euro 2008, Carson thought he’d ended a nomadic period in his career
when he found favour at West Brom.
But after three years and 110 league appearances, he suffered a
loss of form and was briefly dropped to the bench for Boaz Myhill. Despite
being restored to the first team eventually, Carson wasn’t guaranteed action
and so followed the increasingly well-trodden path for English players to
And the 2m transfer to Bursaspor has been largely successful,
with the Cumbrian keeper and ever-present during his first season as the team
finished eighth in the league and reached the final of the cup.
Swiss role: London born Sutter playing for Young Boys against Liverpool in the Europa League this week
But if nothing else qualifies him for this list of Englishmen,
then it’s this quote about wanting to play for England: ‘It hit me when I was
in a bar supporting England with all my mates, wearing my England shirt and I
knew that the next week I was going to be playing for Switzerland. It just
didn’t feel right. I was English.’ Alas.
home 11747 Useful local phrase It’s
just a knock (It’s just a knock)
Long before Heskey, another attacking player was making his mark
Down Under. Paul Ifill, formerly of Millwall, Sheffield United and Crystal
Palace, has been turning out for New Zealand A –League side Wellington for
His time in England was hampered by persistent injury problems,
which scuppered his chances of making an impression at Palace and led him to
seek pastures new.
So far, he has 28 goals in 72 A-League appearances for the Phoenix
and was player of the year in his first season.
Down Under: Paul Ifill plays for Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand
home 1479 Useful local phrase Α μπω καταβάλλεται, δεξιά (I will get paid, right)
Rocastle, cousin of the late Arsenal and England midfielder David
Rocastle, was initially in the youth set-up at Chelsea before embarking on a
nomadic career around the English league and non-league at no less than ten
clubs before the age of 30.
At one point, he found himself at Greek second division outfit
Thrasyvoulos though his season there ended in relegation from the top flight.
Via Welling, Dover, Forest Green, Sporting Kansas City and the
Missouri Comets indoor team, midfielder Rocastle found himself back in Greece
earlier this year.
Stateside: Craig Rocastle (left), in action here for Hibernian, is now with Chivas in the MLS
Brooks-Meade (Ermis Aradippou, on loan from Alki Larnaca)
home 2024 Useful local phrase Αυτή η κίνηση έγινε για καθαρά ποδοσφαιρικούς λόγους (This move was purely for footballing reasons)
A slightly more obscure entry – an Enfield-born goalkeeper once on
the books at Fulham who was touted around the non-league on loan without making
more than a handful of appearances.
But good came out of it and Brooks-Meade is now between the sticks
for Ermis Aradippou in sunny Cyprus, on loan from local neighbours Alki
‘I thought to myself that there are many countries where I can
progress and gain experience as a professional footballer and I also fancied a
change, so decided to take the offer,’ he said of his Mediterranean move. As if
we needed convincing…