July 16, 2024
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York United Thomas Vincensini

Gardien De But: York United Signs GK Thomas Vincensini

By on February 27, 2024 0 1238 Views

When York United entered this offseason one would be forgiven for thinking the club’s goalkeeper situation would be one of its smoother transitions ahead of the upcoming season. With Niko Giantsopoulos turning down his contract offers, however, the Nine Stripes have been forced to pivot to secure a replacement later than they’d have liked to.

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Today, the club has confirmed that thirty-year-old French goalkeeper Thomas Vincensini on a one-year deal with an option for 2025, and he brings with him quite a unique playing experience from his time in Europe.

The former Bastia shot-stopper arrives to York Lions Stadium with a over seventy appearances split between France’s first, second, third, and fourth divisions ahead of his most recent stint in Belgium.

Vincensini most recently played in Belgium’s second division with Royal Excelsior Virton, playing every possible regular season minute since his arrival in late 2022 followed by two more in the club’s subsequent relegation playoff campaign.

“He’s got excellent agility, his decision-making is sharp, and he’s comfortable with the ball at his feet,” says head coach Martin Nash. “He’s a leader and a calm influence and he’s played consistently over the past few seasons at a very high level. He’s going to be a key part of this group.”

The veteran goalkeeper began his career in France with hometown side Bastia, a team which has has been an absolute rollercoaster: his original stint with them ran for seven years and saw him break through the ranks for some Ligue 1 game time before the club’s financial irregularities saw them dropped from the first division to the fifth division in one swoop, with the team losing its professional status after accruing a debt of over twenty million euros.

Shortly after that, Vincensini would sign with Ligue 2 side Valenciennes and, later on, RC Lens to challenge Jean-Louis Leca for minutes.

While those two seasons away from Bastia saw Vincensini serve as a backup, he’d find himself loaned back to his hometown side who were in the midst of several consecutive promotions. He’d go on to make the return permanent, helping his hometown team return to Ligue 2 heights before mutually terminating his contract to test himself in Belgium at the end of 2022.

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His move to York United marks his first time playing professionally outside of Europe, where he joins the Nine Stripes international contingent of Brem Soumaoro, Dennis Salanovic, Oswaldo Leon, Josue Martinez, and Orlando Botello.

Nine Stripes head coach Martin Nash has found himself a goalkeeper with quite an interesting journey behind him: having one tasted France’s top flight, Vincensini has enjoyed promotion and relegations alike with SC Bastia.

Now settled in Toronto, he’ll battle local goalkeeper Eleias Himaras for minutes as York United heads into its first season under new ownership. Elsewhere, whether whether Niko Giantsopoulos remains in the country – or the professional game – remains to be seen.

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