Andy Charles is back with another blog about Ex-Gulls and what they’ve been up to since leaving Plainmoor:
Andy Charles – @CapitalGull
“Torquay United have included in their playing ranks some very random players over the years. Most of them have come from the United Kingdom, but there are also dozens of players who have come to South Devon from far flung fields to try and make a career for themselves in the English game.
Some have succeeded and some most definitely have not and here are a few players from both of those categories…”
What a tale this one is. Another former international keeper to have played at Plainmoor, his time coming in the infamous seven goalkeeper 2004-5 season in League One. Gottskalksson played 10 games before disappearing in January. Months later it would transpire he had left because he didn’t want to take a doping test…and he would be banned indefinitely from football the following summer because of it.
Things didn’t get any better for Oli after returning home, where he was found guilty of breaking into a house and attacking a person in 2010. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison, and it would not be his last run-in with the law. Gottskalksson was jailed again in 2011 for a similar offence and arrested again in 2016 for driving under the influence, having been in rehab for a cocaine addiction. A recent ‘where are they now’ piece focused on former club Hibs did have some good news though as the 51-year-old is now in recovery.
One of those “I was there” moments came at Mansfield Town’ Field Mill in 2005 when the mysterious Frenchman made his debut. Twenty minutes in the pouring rain was all I needed to see and somehow he made it 65 minutes in before being dragged off. Two more appearances and a broken foot were all we saw of him before he was released but, inexplicably, he managed to get trials with Crawley and Shrewsbury before heading to Germany and then France in the very low amateur leagues.
It would appear he spent a bit of time with Trellisac among others, but his playing career was not an easy one to track! However Carl is now a coach, having secured the top French qualification and, after a spell as an assistant with Ivry, he was named head coach of Conflans around 12 months ago and remains in charge to this day…he has managed to guide them to top spot in Ligue De Paris Ile-de-France at time of writing.
Another loan goalkeeper, this time making 10 appearances during the 1992-93 season, but he went on to have a high-profile and varied career in football afterwards. Sommer was the first American keeper to play in the Premier League, his time at QPR coming just before the likes of Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller became more household names. It was mainly Friedel and Keller who also stopped him from adding to the 10 caps he won for the USA, but Sommer was good enough to be part of two World Cup squads in 1994 and 1998.
After leaving England just before the start of the 21st century, he had time in MLS with Columbus Crew and New England Revolution. Since retiring in 2002, he has spent time as goalkeeping coach for the US National Team and at the University of Indiana, had a couple of years as a head coach at United Soccer League side Indy Eleven and now calls Carmel, Indiana his home where he is currently Director of Soccer Operations for Carmel FC.
Hard to believe Bruno Meirelles is only 37 as it seems so long ago since the handful of games he played for us, but they also came in the same 2004-05 season as Oli Gottskalksson. The classy central midfielder was only around until the November of that campaign and next rocks up in Germany, where he turned out for TuS Koblenz (a hidden gem of a city) and TuS Mayen in the Regional Leagues. He retired in 2010 and has since been working as a football agent, now running the Element Twelve Sports Consulting network. Judging by Transfermarkt he has a wide variety of clients across Europe and maybe we should be tapping him up for a couple of players!
What a career Ivar had, and such a shame only four of his games came for the Gulls in a loan spell back in 1999. Depending on who you believe, he was tapped up soon after his arrival and left for Brentford, where he became subject of a Bluetones instrumental (courtesy Wikipedia!) and was a firm fan favourite. The upward trajectory took him to Wolves and then Reading, who he would represent in the Championship for two seasons and then the Premier League for two more before they were relegated.
All in all he had eight years with the Royals and made nearly 300 appearances – not bad for a lad whose first English game was at Barnet’s Underhill for us (and he scored!) and last at the old Feethams in Darlington, a Friday night game I made the long trip from London for.
After he retired in 2012, Ingimarsson returned to Iceland to open a guest house along with his wife. He is now a highly-respected businessman, owner of Oseyri Travel and on the boards of Vok Baths and the Icelandic Tourist Board. He also founded an online business called ‘Ideas Shared’.
I was obsessed with Ronald Huth for about a week in August 2016, having seen this mysterious Paraguayan defender star in a 2-1 pre-season win over Premier League West Brom, one of the classiest performances I can ever remember in such a game. But he would never end up playing a single competitive game for the Gulls, with no deal being agreed, and we would start the season with the less-than-classy Sean McGinty and Ben Gerring at the heart of defence.
Huth went for a while afterwards without a club – various trials around England and Scotland were hinted at – and he next rocked up back in Paraguay with Nacional. But since 2017 Huth has been plying his trade in Argentina, first for Sarmiento in the second tier of their confusing domestic pyramid, and now with Boca Unidos in the third tier – they play just across the border from Paraguay in Corrientes so it would appear unlikely he’ll be coming back to England to make that official Plainmoor debut any time soon!
Not a very auspicious three games for the Danish goalkeeper at Plainmoor, with at least one goal I recall that he basically chucked into his own net, but now 31, Andersen has gone on to have a decent career. He stayed with Reading until 2015 but had more loan spells (8) than first-team appearances (5). Performed well in League One with Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth but has been back at home plying his trade since 2015. Started out with Midjtylland – the team I will only ever know as Midgetland – and is now back there as their No 2.