Walsall FC - Foreign Legion X1 - Midfield
During the late 90`s and throught the 00`s we relied on Paul Taylor`s scouting network to assemble sides that could compete.
We have had some quality imports over the years and some of our best players have came off the continent, below is my favourite Non-British X1.
Today I look at the midfield…
Right Mid - Jeff Peron (France)
Although his stay with Walsall was a short lived one, many would argue that Jeff Peron was one of the most talented individuals that has ever graced the turf at WS1.
He was playing in a side that were always yo-yoing between mid-table and relegation but his accurate crosses and ability to pick out a pass will live long in the memory of all Saddlers fans.
Following his departure from the Saddlers he moved to Portsmouth and then Wigan before leaving to return back to France where he is now in a coaching capacity.
During his time at Walsall he played 38 games and scored 1 goal but it was his assists that were more influential than his goals.
Defensive Mid - Gabor Bukran (Hungary)
From a personal point of view Gabby was frustrating to watch. He obviously had the quality to threaten any team but he only showed brief flashes of it of which I can remember especially a 25 yarder against Swindon.
Gabby signed for us when were in the Championship and if true be told he seemed to play better at the higher level.
Once we got relegated Gabby seemed like at times he really didn`t want to be here and I think the end of his time at Walsall came following his madness at Bury. He lashed out at a player and was rightfully sent off. This is something you didn`t do whilst playing under Ray Graydon! He played only a handful of games in our run in, including a substitute appearance at The Millenium Stadium. That summer he left.
I admired Gabby and thought his box to box workrate was exceptional…when he could be bothered of course.
Following his departure he left Walsall for Wigan and despite impressing on trial Wigan were not prepared to pay his demands as its reported he wanted too much.
He then moved back onto the continent playing for Salzburg in Austria, before returning to his homeland and playing for Royal Antwerp and Union Namur.
He played 73 games for Walsall, scoring 4 goals.
Central Mid - Steve Corica
A lot of fellow Walsall fans will raise an eyebrow as to why I picked Stevie Corica but for me he was- like Bukran, a gem of a player on his day!
Colin Lee made Corica one of his first signings having already played for him at Wolves.
During his time Stevie would bamboozle defences and would leave supporters in awe at his jaw dropping skills and his eye for pinpoint passes. He was instrumental in our survival.
The goal that will be remembered by fellow supporters was his goal on the opening day against West Brom. His 30 yard thunderbolt was a joy to watch and along with Merson`s strikes, we had three contenders for goal of the season on day 1.
Like Bukran though Corica`s good games were to and far between and in 2004 we released him. He later moved back to Australia to play for Sydney FC and also to manage them.
He played 73 games for Walsall, scoring 9 goals.
Left Mid - Pedro Matias (Spain)
As I have already personally interviewed Pedro its safe to say that he is one of my idols and someone who I would call a Walsall legend.
He started his career at Real Madrid before moving to England after spells at Logrones and Almeria. He joined Walsall the season we were relegated from the Championship and although he showed qualities in that season, it was the following season when we saw the best Pedro had to offer.
Pedro and Zigors partnership down the left was a joy to watch and Pedro's crossing ability were just as important as his goals.
He was deemed surplus to requirements under Colin Lee and left for Bristol Rovers but in his exlusive interview ( Click Here) he felt his time in England had come to an end after leaving Walsall.
Pedro is now Director Of Football for Liga 2 side Leganes in Spain.
He played 141 times for Walsall scoring 24 goals