Francois Zoko became a Stevenage player in October 2013, two months after he had left fellow League One side Notts County by mutual consent. Originally from the Ivory Coast, the striker started his career in France; moving to AS Nancy in 2000 from youth team CO Savigny-sur-Orge. With his skill, determination and speed, Graham Westley looked to the forward to spark an upturn in Boro’s form at the start of the 2013-4 season. He arrived with us short on goals and points – and, almost immediately, he helped address that.
Francois Zoko: Before Boro’
Zoko spent four years with AS Nancy before moving onto Stade Laval, and later across the border to Belgium with Mons in 2006. He could have remained in the Jupiler League when it came to leaving Mons. But he instead decided on a new challenge in Turkey with Hacettepe. Off-field problems at the Turkish club meant a move back to Belgium and the chance to link up with his former Mons manager at KV Oostende in 2010.
The move was a success and it opened up the possibility of playing football in England, with a trial at Carlisle United offered that summer. He signed a permanent deal and his impact was instant. While at Carlisle, he played at the top of a diamond formation to capitalise on his pace, vision and hard work. But after two years at the Cumbrian club, he moved on to Notts County – despite reported interest from the Championship.
The stay was only for one season though; high wages cited as a reason for his release.