Vassell - No regrets
Darius Vassell has no regrets over his Turkish switch, despite spending just one season with Ankaragucu.
Last Updated: 28/10/10 9:55am
Darius Vassell claims he has no regrets over his Turkish switch, despite spending just one season with Ankaragucu before returning to England with Leicester.
The former England international had a tough time with the Ankara-based side and has now signed on under former Three Lions boss Sven Goran Eriksson until the end of next season.
Vassell found life away from these shores tough to deal with, with a number of incidents - including a goat being sacrificed at training - leading him to be back on the market as a free agent after 12 months.
But the 30-year-old still views his experience in Turkey as an important part of his career and had nothing but praise for the passionate supporters who greeted his arrival with scenes of adulation.
"After I had signed I realised that there wasn't anyone I could turn to," he told the Daily Mail. "Perhaps people will say it's ignorant but the move happened so quickly and you don't have the first clue about the language, the religion, their customs or beliefs, different holidays. The way they think.
Paying the bills
"For example, I'd turn up to training and there would be no one there. I'd find out it was a public holiday.
"Then there was an incident at the hotel I was staying in, when one day I was just told to leave. I assumed the club hadn't been paying the bills. I had to go and find myself a place to stay, which would have been fine if someone had bothered to tell me what was going on.
"I've never been one to complain. I think most people at Villa and Manchester City would tell you that I just get on with things.
"I went there to play football. The problem is that you cannot concentrate on doing that if there are other issues that needed to be dealt with. But in the end, I don't think I was thinking about football much.
"I'm not going to be disrespectful to the Turkish people. The supporters could not have done more to make me feel welcome. There were six or seven other foreigners in our side but the problem was that the club was going through a change of ownership.
"I don't regret going. If anything, it has appreciate what I've got a bit more. I had a chance to go abroad again, but I had a chat with my family and we decided to stay here."
A scene of complete bedlam faced Vassell at the airport when he jetted in to hold talks over a prospective move last summer, and he admits that he became swept along by events having only planned to discuss a possible deal.
He added: "At the end of my contract with Manchester City, I did have offers. But most of them came from clubs where I would be sitting on the bench.
"The question was: Did I want to go somewhere and be the main man, play week in, week out and try something new?
"The offer from Turkey came in and I thought "Why not have a chat with them?" But it was all so unexpected. When I landed at the airport it was chaos. I wasn't going there to sign a contract.
"But the supporters had been misinformed that I was going to sign that day. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know that reception was for me, I kept looking behind me, thinking it was for someone else."