Name - Gabor
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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) rafc.be
and must not be reproduced without permission.