Pierre-Yves Andre recently gave an interview to French website Foot d’Avant. The former striker had a very short loan spell with Wanderers in 2003, meaning to be a replacement for Michael Ricketts, who had gone to Middlesbrough, but he didn’t score in nine appearances. Ultimately though, he was part of the squad which kept us in the Premiership in our second season back in the top flight.
Andre is living in Corsica, an island which he has made home after two spells with Bastia, his second spell a six-year stay after which he retired from football in 2010. In the interview he talks about his entire career, if your French, or Google Translate skills are up to scratch, you can read the full interview in French here, but we’ve understandably focused on what he had to say about his memories of Bolton, the only time in his career he played outside France. Playing abroad was something he wanted to do, giving us the advantage over another interested party.
“Lille and Bolton were interested but I wanted a foreign adventure and I thought I had the profile to play in England. I liked Bolton. It allowed me to see other things,” said Andre.
He never really got to make an impact, and despite being seemingly frustrated by a lack of game time, getting just five minutes in his debut at West Brom, and never starting a game, he enjoyed the English experience.
“In England, they approach football differently. In the end, I didn’t play much, I never started a match. I got five minutes in the first match. The next match, I wasn’t on the team sheet. I understood that to play in England, there are rules. At training, I was wholehearted, and they said to me, “Calm down, don’t go injuring anybody.” I replied to them, “How will I go winning my place?”
“Even if I didn’t play a lot, I liked the English spirit: we had fun playing football, we were joking before the match but when the captain put a bit of mood-music on five minutes before the match, the faces would change completely, there was no longer a smile. It was fighting spirit.”