Ex-Mags signs for Conference side – & has nightmare debut just hours later

Former Newcastle midfielder Gael Bigiramana has had an interesting few days.

The Burundi born former England U20 international signed for Conference Premier side Solihull Moors on Monday, then missed a crucial penalty in their Scottish Challenge Cup shootout defeat to Rangers U21’s last night.

It’s fair to say he’s had an interesting career to date. He moved to England from his native Burundi as a refugee in 2004. He signed his first professional contract for Coventry City in 2011, and after excelling in his first season from the Sky Blues in League One, we signed him the following year.

He appeared in the Europa League for us under Alan Pardew, and I’m sure we can all remember his screamer against Wigan. However he never quite kicked on from that, and was loaned out to Rangers, and then former club Coventry, before rejoining them permanently again in 2016.

Since then he’s also had other spells north of the border at Motherwell and Hibernian. Despite his 2 caps for England U20’s, he is currently a full international for Burundi, and even captained them in this summer’s African Cup Of Nations in a game against Guinea.

He’s always come across as a likeable lad, and indeed considering his upbringing,his career is a great success story.

We wish him all the best at Solihull Moors…..just maybe don’t take any more penalties!

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