Francois Zoko Player Profile
Debut: MK Dons (H, 2-1), 08/10/2013
Francois Zoko was confirmed as a Stevenage player in October 2013, two months after he had been released from fellow League One side Notts County by mutual consent. Originally from the Ivory Coast, it was in France where the striker began his career and moved to AS Nancy in 2000 from youth team CO Savigny-sur-Orge.
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 opted for a new challenge in Turkey with Hacettepe.
Off-field problems at the Turkish club prompted a move back to Belgium and the opportunity to link up with his former Mons manager at KV Oostende in 2010. The move proved to be a success and it opened up the possibility of playing football in England, with a trial at Carlisle United offered that summer. A permanent deal was signed and his impact was instant.
During his time at Carlisle, he was used 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 and Notts County was his next destination – despite reported interest from the Championship. The stay was only for one season though, with high wages cited as a reason for his release.
With his reputed skill, determination and speed, manager Graham Westley would have been looking to the forward to spark an upturn in Boro’s form at the start of the 2013-4 season. He arrived with the Hertfordshire club short on goals and points, as well as the prospect of being the catalyst that sparked the season into life going into the autumn and winter months.