Premier League side Dalkeith Thistle have brought a French flavour to Kings Park with the signing of three French footballers as they seek promotion to the Super League.
The three 22-year-old’s are part of the Edusport Academy in the Capital, who offer talented young French footballers the opportunity come over to Scotland to develop their skills training at Spartans’ Ainslie Park, whilst learning English at Edinburgh College.
Midfielder Maxim Veyreinc was part of Ligue 2 AJ Auxerre’s academy in his youth before playing for AS Saint-Priest, an amateur club close to the city of Lyon. He attended a trial match last year in his native Lyon and was selected to join the academy, which opened a base in Edinburgh in August alongside their other facility in Hamilton, which has been running for three years.
Veyreinc is looking forward to pulling on a Jags jersey and hopes to catch the eye of a professional club when his scholarship ends in May, but confessed to knowing little about his new side.
He said: “I didn’t know Dalkeith before I joined them and I didn’t know anything about the junior league in Scotland – but I like this level because it is not too far away from professional football.
“It’s good to have matches at weekends and we have more training on evenings – it is better for us. We are very busy and so we are very tired when we come back to our accommodation.
“I hope we can help Dalkeith to be better and get them to the next division.”
Veyreinc, along with his new Dalkeith team-mates, defender Mikail Ozgun and striker Redouane Mida, train four times a week at Ainslie Park under the watchful eye of Edusport Academy coaches Guillaume Beuzelin and Colin Cameron, as well as training twice a week with Dalkeith.
The former Hibs and Hearts midfielders have already made a big impression on Veyreinc in his short time in the city, since he arrived in August.
“Before the academy I knew Buezelin played for Le Harve in France and also for Hibs, but I didn’t know him personally,” he said. “On Fridays, we train with him and we see he is a very good player, so it is good to learn from him.
“Colin Cameron is also a great coach and we know he was a great player in Scotland.”
It was Berwick Rangers manager Colin Cameron’s assistant Robbie Horn who was key in bringing the trio to Kings Park. Dalkeith assistant Kevin Haynes, who had played alongside Horn for the Sheffield Park side earlier in his career, had spoken to his ex-team-mate about possible signings and this led to the arrival of the Frenchmen.
Haynes said: “I had been in touch with Robbie asking for players and we were trying to get a couple of Berwick players, but Colin Cameron was keeping them all for his under-20s development squad.
“He got me in touch with the three French guys as they were too old for their development squad and it’s been a couple of weeks trying to get that sorted out.”
The former Berwick striker believes that more of the academy’s players could make their way to the Midlothian side in the future, with both parties benefitting from the arrangement.
He said: “Hopefully it is a relationship which we can develop with the academy and we might be able to pick one or two up every season.
“I’ve spoken to Chris Ewing [managing director of Edusport] a couple of times on the phone and he’s all for it. The guys are training every day for nothing to do on a Saturday and this is obviously developing football and their English.”