George Saunders- From Islington To Envigado

In the world of football there are few English players who take the daring risk of moving abroad to further their careers and would rather stay somewhere that is familiar but for the few players who do venture out they get an experience like no other. One of the players in question is 28-Year-Old George Saunders who is currently playing for Engivado FC in the Colombian top flight. Saunders Is a former Arsenal academy player who left England when he was a young boy to move to Spain with his family. Saunders was picked up by Villarreal when he was living in Spain and that is where his Journey began.


Saunders would have spells at Villarreal, Levante and Eldense before making the very surprising move to Colombia with second division side, America De Cali. This caught the attention of many as not only is it rare to see an Englishman play abroad but it is extremely rare to see an Englishman playing in South America and hasn’t been seen since the 50’s with the likes of Neil Franklin and Charlie Mitten. Fortunately for Saunders he was already fluent in Spanish so it was easy for him to settle into his side, make friends and get used to the local lifestyle.


His move to America De Cali came about because of a Colombian friend who gave their chairman on who to sign so he was subsequently flown out for a trial and luckily for Saunders it paid off so he is now living the dream. Envigado currently sit 2nd from bottom in the table and George Saunders has played in 18 out of the 20 games played so far scoring 0 goals but he is a defensive midfielder so he can be excused for not scoring a single goal this season.


With George Saunders seemingly living his dream playing for a top-flight team in south America it does make you wonder why more English players do not take the risk and explore the world as it can be a once in a lifetime experience. To think there are some players playing in the depths of the English leagues when they could go out abroad to play at a higher level and have a unique experience but they are too afraid of the uncertainty is a sad thought. I know if I was in their situation I would jump at the chance just like George Saunders did and just look at him now.



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