Channel hopping! Boston United midfielder Stephane Ngamvoulou says the atmosphere is why he wants to play in England

Stephane Ngamvoulou with Dennis Greene.
Stephane Ngamvoulou with Dennis Greene.

“Everybody wants to play here,” says Stephane Ngamvoulou.

Although the midfielder is stood in the home changing room of the Jakemans Stadium, his compliment is a little further reaching than Boston United, no matter what the club’s supporters may like to think.

Stephane Ngamvoulou.

Stephane Ngamvoulou.

The Frenchman is answering questions on why he chose to pack his bags and leave his life as a footballer in his homeland to seek his fortune in England.

And his answer is simple, that the atmosphere at a British match - even in the world of the semi-professional - is one which he could not sample south of the Channel.

“It is nothing similar,” he continues. “Here you can see fans are really passionate.

“In a division like this in France you never see that atmosphere.

“It’s a motivation, they can boo or they can cheer for you. I take it as a motivation.”

The 27-year-old has already witnessed both of those emotions in Lincolnshire.

Last month he felt the supporters’ wrath as he opened the scoring for Hednesford Town, only for the Pilgrims to come from behind to win 3-1 in a heated match which saw the Pitmen’s Jack Fitzwater and manager Frank Sinclair both given their marching orders.

Ngamvoulou, by that time sat in the away dug-out, became embroiled in a spat between the two benches as Sinclair was escorted from the touchline.

But it was what he achieved on the pitch which caught the eye of United manager Dennis Greene, who called up Whitehawk manager Steve King and let it be known that when the midfielder’s loan spell at Keys Park was up he was very much wanted in Boston.

Last Saturday Ngamvoulou, so recently the enemy, was welcomed to the turf as a Pilgrim.

Although initially with Boston on a month’s loan, there have been suggestions that the stay could be extended until the end of the season, something which Ngamvoulou seems happy with.

“That would be a good experience, to actually battle for the play-offs and promotion as well,” he mused. “But let’s just take it game by game.

“There’s more pressure on a club trying to get promoted, especially when they play in front of a lot of fans.”

Ngamvoulou plied his trade for Sologne Olympique Romorantinais in France’s fourth tier, but after his contract expired he decided it was time to look north.

“I spent three years at this level and that was a good experience,” he continued.

“At the end of my contract I came straight here to play in English football.”

He headed to Blighty and, after initial interest from Accrington Stanley and AFC Wimbledon, he found a home at Staines Town, where fans nicknamed him the Beast.

A loan stint with Farnborough followed before the 6ft 4ins powerhouse joined Whitehawk in the summer.

Now Ngamvoulou, who has settled in London, is beginning his latest chapter with Boston United.

Of course, his friends back in France, themselves eager to try to make it in the English game, call for advice, and Ngamvoulou is quick to point out the positives, and the fact they don’t always come easily.

“A lot of them, they ask me about it,” he adds. “They want to come here.

“I get the chance to play at this level. It’s not easy, you have to work and battle for a place.

“That’s what I have to do now.”