From PSG to Stark’s Park via Roy Keane and Sunderland for new Raith Rovers defender

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BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport

JEAN-YVES M’Voto came through the ranks at Paris Saint-Germain with the likes of Mamadou Sakho, David N’Gog and Yannick Boli before moving to Roy Keane’s Sunderland.

However, his only focus is now on rebuilding his career amidst a less stellar cast at Raith Rovers.

Now 27, the imposing 6’4” defender won the French under-18 championship with PSG but, after failing to play a first-team game, turned down the offer of a new contract from Paul Le Guen in preference of a move to England in 2008.

Raith Rovers Stadium

A series of injuries, including to his knee, ankle and shoulder, stunted his development at Sunderland and after loan spells with Southend United and Oldham Athletic he joined the latter permanently in 2011.

After subsequent switches to Barnsley and Leyton Orient, the former France under-19 cap experienced financial problems at previous club Zawisza Bydgoszcz in Poland.

He then found himself arriving in Scotland earlier this month when Gary Locke resurrected an interest that had first surfaced when the new Raith boss was in charge at Kilmarnock.

Now, the Paris-born stopper is eager to prove himself all over again in the Scottish Championship.

M’Voto, who made his debut against Ross County last weekend, said: “The team and the manager have helped me to settle in well and so far everything is good.

“I used to know the manager. He called me and called my agent and everything went quickly. When my agent told me Gary wanted me I didn’t think too much, I just came.

“Last year, he wanted me to come to Kilmarnock and in the end it didn’t happen, but we kept in contact and I’m here now.

“I started at PSG and won the under-18s league and it was the time when the manager and the club wanted to put some young lads into the first-team.

“We all came through, players like N’Gog who played for Liverpool, Mamadou Sakho, Youssouf Mulumbu, who is now at Norwich. We were all of the same generation, born in 1987, 88, 89, 90, and came through together.

“Of course that was a great foundation for me as a player. It was a great experience and a great thing to happen in my career.

“Now, I just want to get my career back up and running.”

Alloa

Raith will top their Group D in the Betfred Cup and qualify for the knock-out phase this afternoon if they can defeat Alloa Athletic, who currently top the table with a 100 per cent record.

After that, the focus will return to the Championship campaign as Locke’s Rovers bid to emulate the side steered by Ray McKinnon last term to the play-offs.

He is still getting to know his new team-mates and the Scottish game but M’Voto has high hopes.

He added: “I’ve just had one game in Scotland, so I will have to see how it is different to English football. So far, it looks similar, so I don’t have any problems with that.

“I hope it suits me but the main hope I have is to win games and play well for the team.

“Every season is different. Maybe we won’t need the play-offs, maybe we will win promotion without play-offs.

“We just have to wait and see how the season goes.

“First, we need to concentrate on this game, because it will be a hard game and it won’t be easy. If we do our best we will be fine.”

@IainCollin

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