There was a time when Rohan Ricketts was being mentioned as a possible inclusion in the England side. A pacy winger who was not afraid to take on players, seemed a perfect fit for Sven’s England squad. However, a change in fortunes soon saw Rohan having to look far and wide just to find first team football.
A youngster at Arsenal, Ricketts spent his football youth with the likes of Jay Bothroyd, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. He even managed to pick up two FA Youth Cups during his time at Highbury, in 2000 and 2001.
Despite early promise, Ricketts was allowed to leave Arsenal at the end of the 2001/02 season. But, it was just a short move for Ricketts, who joined North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur – becoming only the fourth player in history to move between the two clubs.
The Spurs days
A quiet first season at White Hart Lane saw Ricketts restricted to reserve team action. However, he managed to impress manager Glenn Hoddle enough to persuade him to give him a chance in the first team. Ricketts impressed immediately and soon became a favourite with the Spurs fans, and was even linked with an England call-up.
However, Hoddle was sacked as manager in September 2003 and Ricketts started to find his first team opportunities limited. He did manage to score his first league goal for the club, during a 2-1 win against Aston Villa in November 2003. Ricketts continued to find himself in and out of the side until the end of the season.
French manager Jacques Santini took charge at the beginning of the 2004/05 season and, again, Ricketts struggled to make an impact. Even a quick change in manager, when Santini was quickly replaced by Martin Jol, didn’t prove successful for the winger.
He was sent out on loan to Coventry in late 2004. He returned to Spurs, but was sent out on loan again in March 2005, this time to join up with Hoddle, who was now in charge at Wolves. A loan spell saw play seven times and score once, a late winner against Reading.
Move to the Black Country
Ricketts was allowed to leave Spurs in the summer of 2005 and joined Wolves permanently for the 2005/06 season, a time when many were backing Wolves for promotion. However, a difficult season saw Ricketts in and out of the team again and Wolves missed out on promotion – which inevitably spelt the end for Hoddle, who left the club before the 2006/07 season.
Mick McCarthy took charge and initially kept faith with Ricketts, giving him the chance to prove himself in the first team. But, following the arrival of Michael Kightly, Ricketts found himself in the reserves and was sent out on loan to QPR in March 2007. He returned to Wolves briefly before being released at the end of the season.
He joined Barnsley in the summer of 2007, but again struggled to hold down a first team place and left the Yorkshire club in April 2008, a few weeks short of the end of the season. However Ricketts did manage to agree a new deal quickly, this time with Toronto FC in Canada.
All looked well for Ricketts now, who quickly settled in and established himself in the first team. His performances quickly made him a fan’s favourite at Toronto and it looked like he had finally found somewhere he could settle. However, more disappointment lay ahead.
Following the arrival of several international players, Ricketts once again found himself out of the side. He left the club in the summer of 2009 and moved back to England to find a new club.
He had a trial at Aberdeen and impressed during his time there. However, financial constraints at the Scottish club prevented him from signing and he had to look elsewhere – which happened to be Eastern Europe.
In early 2010, Ricketts joined Hungarian side Diosgyori VTK. The move quickly tuned sour though as Ricketts was not selected for first team action, leading to him leaving the club in the summer.
His next move in August 2010 saw him become a record-holder. He joined Moldovan side FC Dacia Chisinau – becoming the first English player to play professionally in Moldova. Again, the move did not work out as expected and he decided to leave.
After doing some TV work for the 2010 World Cup , Ricketts decided to look for a new club and headed to Germany in 2010 in search of trials. Recently, he signed for SV Wilhelmshoren, who play in the fourth tier of German football.
I think it’s fair to say that Ricketts has taken one of the most unusual paths in football. However, it is refreshing to see someone who has had to go through a lot remain so upbeat, and I highly recommend following Ricketts on Twitter. He is never short of an opinion and provides a lot of entrainment to football fans worldwide. Here’s hoping that his German move proves a successful one!
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