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Foreign Legion - Hungary

By TheSaddlersFC
March 14 2004

We profile Gabor Bukran, the only Hungarian to have played for Walsall Football Club. http


Gabor Bukran

Foreign Legion : Hungary


Name - Gabor Bukran  
Position - Central Midfield
Appearances - 87
Goals - 7
Period - August 1999 - August 2001

A teenage Gabor Bukran signed professional forms with Kipest Honved Budapest in the early 1990s. 

Bukran moved to Belgium in 1993 and signed for Charleroi. Gabby spent 4 years with Charleroi where he made 86 appearance playing in the center of midfield. 

98/99 saw him move to Spanish Third Division club Xerex where he played alongside another former Saddler - Walter Otta. Gabby was in and out of the Xerex first team and wasn't retained for the 99/00 season.  He moved to the Saddlers during the Summer of 1999. 

His first Walsall game came in August 1999, when the Saddlers drew 0-0 with Swindon Town.  It was a tough season for the team as they fought bravely against relegation. The highlights for Gabor were a 25 yard free kick at the Stadium of Light and goals against Charlton, Tranmere and  Plymouth.  Gabor became a first team regular, making 42 first team appearances. 

Gabby failed to find any kind of consistency during his second season with the club.  He produced his best performance in a Walsall shirt against Cambridge United, scoring 2 goals in a 3-1 win at the Bescot. Everything went right for him that day. His work rate was outstanding and his finishing  was superb. 

His inconsistent performances led fans to questioning whether or not  he was a worth a spot in the starting XI, and his actions 2 months later against Bury made him extremely unpopular.

Bury have a reputation for being windup merchants and Gabby snapped. He lashed out at a Bury opponent after a harsh challenge, getting himself a Red Card. Graydon slapped him on the transfer list and he played a peripheral role in the run-in, featuring 8 times out a possible 18. He did manage to get on in the Play-Off final, replacing skipper Tom Bennett. The Saddlers won the game 3-2 and returned to the First Division.

On his day Gabor Bukran was a quality midfielder. He was a box to box player with a good range of passing. However, he sometimes lacked the concentration needed to succeed in the English game. He would occasionally switch off and his passing would become sloppy while the game would pass him by. His performance against Cambridge United in December 2000 ranks as one of the finest midfield performances ever seen at the Bescot. 

It was hardly surprising that he wasn't at the club for the start of the 2001/2002 season.  Considering that he had failed to become a first team regular and had fallen out with Graydon it was inevitable that he would leave. 

Gabby started 2001/2002 with Wigan Athletic. They looked set to sign him after an impressive trial spell and league debut against Brentford, but it is alleged that the player asked for a hefty signing on fee which Wigan refused to pay. 

Austrian club SV Salzburg then showed an interest in Gabby and snapped him up. He spent 2 years in Austria struggling to establish himself as a first team regular, before moving back to Belgium to sign for Royal Antwerp in time for the 2003/2004 season.

Royal Antwerp, like Walsall have a link up Manchester United and Gabby plays alongside a number of United's promising youngsters.

Photograph (c) and must not be reproduced without permission.



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