Often Partisan

Where Are They Now? – Part XXIX

To restart this feature for 2013, I thought I’d take a look at a player who has left Blues recently. He featured brightly on a pre-season tour after signing on a free but a combination of injuries and poor form meant he only actually played 110 minutes in a Blues shirt, with two appearances in the League Cup. I am of course referring to Enric Valles.

Enric Valles

Enric only left Blues just over eight months or so ago but I wonder if anyone actually remembers him. The Spaniard signed on a free from NAC Breda in the summer of 2010 and after impressing out in China on pre-season tour found himself in the reserves all year, emerging twice to play in the Carling Cup – starting against Rochdale and coming on as a 58th minute sub against MK Dons.

Unfortunately for Enric, despite graduating from the Barcelona cantera and being blessed with some of the technical ability you’d expect from a Spanish player he was also cursed with troublesome injuries, more frequently finding himself on the treatment table than on the pitch. As the 2011-12 season ended and his single year contract came to a conclusion I expected Enric to be released – instead he was given another year in which he made nine reserve team appearances, scoring four times. However he clearly wasn’t doing enough to impress Chris Hughton and never looked like making the first team, and finally he was released in May 2012.

Enric went back to his homeland, but before he could get fixed up with another team he had to sort out more troublesome injuries. Despite much treatment on a troublesome left ankle he couldn’t get fit and he ended up visiting the world-renowned surgeon Hans-Wilhelm Müller in Germany. It must have been scary for the midfielder as his twitter timeline talks about his nervousness, followed by his worry about his future.

However, having got himself back to fitness and trained with the team for a few weeks on trial, on November 15 he signed with local side UE Olot of the Spanish Tercera Division Group V (fourth tier)

Courtesy ueolot.com

Olot are a team on the up; having won promotion three times in three years at the time of writing they sit proudly atop their group after 22 games. Enric has been a valuable asset to them since his signing, having played nine times and scoring four in a run that has seen Olot take 22 points from 27.

Outside of football Enric has enrolled at the private International University of Catalonia in Barcelona.

Having had a tough time of it in England I’m glad that Enric is back playing again. It can’t have been easy for him so far away from home having constant injuries and from the interview he gave to the local newspapers out in Catalonia it appears he’s happy to have stepped down a level or two just to get back on the pitch. I hope you’ll join me in wishing Enric the best for the future.

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