22-year-old right winger Raydin Bigoude has signed for semi-pro side AFC Darwen within one week of attending our Stockport trials in February.
Raydin was impressed with what UK Football Trials had to offer stating: “I really enjoyed the with UK Football Trials event, it was a really great experience. The coach I was working with was the Blackburn under 23’s coach and the drills he went through with us were intense but really enjoyable.”
Scouts from Darwen were clearly impressed by Raydin’s performance, wasting no time in arranging a trial for their reserve team.
Talking us through how the opportunity presented itself, Radin explained: “From the shooting drill, the scout stopped me and had a word with me about whether I play football outside of here.
"I told them that I play for a Sunday league team and he was just interested in whether I would be interested in joining AFC Darwen as they were keen. So he took my details from UKFT and it went from there.”
After the trial, Darwen made contact with Raydin almost immediately. He told us “My trial with UK Football Trials was the Thursday in Stockport, and I was then thrown into a match for Darwen reserves on the Saturday.”
Raydin had only attended one trial before attending ours in Stockport which was unfortunately unsuccessful. Looking back he said: “I’ve had the chance to represent Manchester. I made it to the last 11 out of about 50.
"However, I was away when the final squad was notified so I missed it and never heard from them again. Since then I’ve been playing for a Sunday league team.”
Raydin has noticed a change in the level of football he's playing since joining Darwen stating: “With both the match and training, you do feel the step up from playing Sunday league.
"The standard is definitely higher when playing for a semi-pro club. They want to keep me in the reserves until the end of the season, and work on me to put me into the first team.”
This almost over night success after all of his hard work hasn’t changed Raydin’s outlook on the game.
He continued: “It’s all so surreal, it’s all happening so quick. Like I said, to have a trial on the Thursday and then to be thrown into a semi-pro game on the Saturday is unbelievable. But I’m just trying to keep my head down, stay focused and just prove my worth to be honest.”
We wish Raydin the best of luck at Darwen and hope to see him lining up for the first team very soon.