English Premier League side Newcastle United have signed a former bricklayer Florent Indalecio.
The 23-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Magpies after a successful trial and he will join the club’s Under-23 squad.
Indalecio previously played in the Australian fourth division while working part-time as a bricklayer.
The Frenchman’s arrival in England marks a dramatic turnaround in fortunes, as a tumour in his knee nearly cut short his career at the age of 15.
“It was hard for me, very difficult,” he told Newcastle’s website.
“I was in my house for a month and a half and I had a brace on my leg. After that, I was going to the physiotherapist everyday, doing rehabilitation work about two times a day for maybe six to eight months.
“I was in the gym a lot because I lost most of the muscle in my leg when I stayed at home. I put on about 13 kilograms in one year and I was coming back stronger to restart football.”
Indalecio then revealed that he worked as a bricklayer while in Australia.
“I never worked in construction before I moved to Australia so I said ‘OK, I will try it’. I never spoke any English either before I moved there so I just had to learn on the construction site with the people I met,” he said.
“It was very tough because I would do that job first, then after to make more money and live better I had a second labouring job. The first one would be from 7am to 3pm. I would go back to my apartment, take a shower and then work at 6pm until 2am.
“I did this to help my family and my parents, especially my mum. It was hard because I would only sleep about three hours per day.
The attacker is now ready for a new challenge in the North East.
“I said to the club that I don’t want to sign for fun or for the money. I really wanted to sign for Newcastle to prove that I can play one day at the highest level possible,” he said.
“I’m enjoying my time here. I appreciate all my teammates and already have good relationships with them and the staff too.
“I’m feeling good in Newcastle and I am very happy to be here. I’m just focused on playing football and I know the real work starts right now.”