-- saved from url=(0022)http://internet.e-mail --> Do You Remember.....Freddie Dindeleux?

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Do You Remember ?

Freddie Dindeleux 1999-2005

Full Name: Frederic Dindeleux

Nickname: Freddie

Position: Sweeper/Defender Left/Centre

Date of Birth: 16th January 1974

Birth Place: Lille, France

Height: 5ft 11ins

Former Clubs: Olympique Lille SC

Signed for Killie: 23rd July 1999

Contract Ended: 23rd July 2005

Other Career Highlights: Freddie Dindeleux was the longest serving Bosman signing in Scotland,

Dindeleux talked with an accent that betrays the length of his stay in Scotland, a skipping Gallic brogue frequently invaded by something harder, a shard of Ayrshire, where he  lived for six years. He is talking about the difference between the summer of 1999, when he left Lille under freedom of contract and signed for Kilmarnock, and the close season ahead, which could see the end of an auld alliance between the French defender and his Scottish club.

“When I first came to Scotland there was a lot of money in the game and a lot of foreign players. The money has gone now and so there are not a lot of foreigners left.” It is a statement of brilliant simplicity, something Dindeleux has often provided on the pitch during those six seasons at Rugby Park.

He arrived in the middle of a wave of overseas signings. Scottish clubs, buoyed by a generous broadcast rights contract and benevolent bankers, had money to burn on transfer fees and wages, and managers were increasingly looking to the continent. Most of the players that rode that wave are now washed up. Only one, Stefan Klos, has stayed in the Premierleague longer than Dindeleux but the capture of the Rangers goalkeeper, for £700,000 from Borussia Dortmund on Christmas Eve 1998, has proved exceptional in more ways than one. Dindeleux better represents the unknown hordes that stormed these shores in the late 1990s. Within a month of the then 25-year-old packing his bags and bidding adieu to France, Jan Telesnikov, Frank Van Eijs and Thomas Solberg were doing likewise in Israel, Holland and Norway, bound for Dundee United, Dundee and Aberdeen.

“I had been with Lille for such a long time, from the age of six to when I was 25. The last year, a new manager was in and I was injured for most of the season. I could have stayed, but I felt I needed to go somewhere else and prove myself,” recalls Dindeleux. “My agent told me there was a club in Scotland that was looking for a centre-half and Kilmarnock were playing in Europe, which was a very big thing for me. Kilmarnock were in Germany for pre-season and I joined as a trialist for a week and it went on from there.”

Was there a feeling in Europe at that time that there was money to be made in Scotland? “Not really. I mean, the terms were good, I was a decent earner but never on five or six grand a week, nowhere near it. The money was a factor, as was the offer of a three-year contract, but it really was the challenge of a new country, a new language and the chance to play in Europe. Everything was there for me to try to prove myself.”

Dindeleux was never a traveller; the occasional holiday to Turkey, a few football tournaments with Lille, for whom he played over 150 games, and the French army (during his national service he was a part of the France team, along with Roma’s Olivier Dacourt and Vikash Dhorasoo of AC Milan, that won the armed forces World Cup). He could not speak English when he arrived and relied heavily on Jerome Vareille, the forward who had signed a year earlier and has also remained in Scotland with Airdrie United.

Initially, however, Dindeleux struggled to settle. “For the first three months I was so much up for the task that I was doing okay, but then I hit a brick wall and things were not very good from September to the winter break in 1999,” he recalls. “Bobby Williamson [the Kilmarnock manager] dropped me a few times and took me to one side, he said that he still thought I was a good player but communication was a problem, especially for a centre-half. I worked on it very hard during the winter break that season. After that I was doing very well again. It was a gamble for me coming here, especially with a wife and child, but it was a gamble for Kilmarnock to sign a French centre-half. Thankfully, it went well. I was enjoying myself and the people at Kilmarnock were happy with my performances week in, week out and they offered me an extension. It just became my life, my daughter is going to school here now, she is enjoying it, things are good. Cannae complain.”

The signing of that extension, in the summer of 2001, represents a crucial divergence in Dindeleux’s career path from that of countless imports who arrived at the end of the 90s. By the following close season, the financial climate in Scottish football had changed and Kilmarnock were not alone in instigating budget cuts that have continued ever since.

Vareille left Rugby Park along with Mickael Pizzo, Christophe Cocard, Antonio Calderon, Michael Ngonge and David Mendy. Samuel Boutal, Jesus Garcia Sanjuan and Jose Quitongo followed midway through the 2002/03 season. Dindeleux remained, partly because of the extension but partly because of a consistent, all-round defensive game that has seen him play over 200 times for Kilmarnock. His contract expired at the end of the 03-04 season and the day before the final game he agreed a new one-year deal,

“The manager has told us we have the games left to prove that we deserve to be here next season,” he says. “I spoke to my agent about what could happen, but I will talk to Killie first and see what they can offer. If that is decent then I will stay, but if not then I will look at my options. I want to stay in Kilmarnock or in Scotland, definitely. I am settled here and so is my family.”

'I love the club and the Killie supporters and I know the financial circumstances have changed because of the general state of Scottish football.

'A few years ago a lot of money was spent unwisely on players from abroad who only came here for the fat pay cheque and didn't do all that they could have done to help their new clubs on the field.

'I can point to my record and prove I wasn't one of them because I've played over 200 games and I've put up with a massive drop in wages to accommodate the manager's budget.

'Killie took a risk when Bobby Williamson brought me over from French football but I also gambled by uprooting my wife and daughter.

'Now Charlotte is in primary one - and has a strong Scottish accent. And I'm still here doing my best for Killie.

'I'm grateful to the club for making me an offer of any description but I was out of contract soon and able to weigh up my prospects.

'If Killie decided a year from now they had no further use for me I could be struggling to find another good move at the age of 32.

So ultimately in June of 2005 Freddie did not return for a seventh season, and returned to his native France to find a 2 year deal hopefully. Killie signed Fraser Wright as cover for Freddie also in in June of 2005.

Club From To League FA Cup League Cup Other
Kilmarnock 23-07-1999  30-05-2005 178 (2) 5 10 (0) 0 12 (0) 1 7 (0) 0

Freddie ended up for the 05-06 season playing in Belgium for SV Zulte Waregem. See the nasty green top (left)... He's still a Killie legend!!!

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