THE English Premiership is renowned for its international dimension, with so many foreign players lining up in arguably the best league in the world, writes Stewart McConnell.

But McBookie League Two club Saltcoats Victoria have a multi-national team, with quite a number of players being originally of African descent. Players are British, Nigerian, Congolese, Jamaican and Portuguese, and all have a good sense of being a team together.

Chaplain and club secretary Don Currie said: “We have players who would not have any recognised faith connection as well as having Muslims and different kinds of Christians. Once again, we all get on and pull together as a team.”

Player-manager Eva Bembo is originally from the Congo but was raised in Belgium.

He has been in Scotland for 10 years now but came on board at Campbell Park at the start of the season.

“I was at BSC for a spell and also had a trial with Greenock Morton. Before coming here I was at Ardeer Thistle.

“We have a few players from France, the Congo and Nigeria. I brought the players here. Every time I see a good footballer I approach them and speak to them. French is my first language.

“I’ve never seen a team with so many different nationalities in football. Junior football is special and we get on well.

“We all communicate in a friendly manner but all in English. But if I’m having a private conversation with someone and understand French better I will talk to them in French. We have a majority of Scottish players so the language we all speak is English. I try to make sure no-one swears at the referee. I try to encourage discipline. We try to be respectful. Discipline is very important to me as a Christian,” he said.

He appreciates the fans and added: “The expectations from them are to win. We have always maintained a good performance level. We lost eight games 2-1 and in some matches have lost a goal in he last five minutes because we switched off.”

This season is almost done but what are Eva’s ambitions?

He said: Our target is promotion. We hope to add to the squad and sign my brother Arnault, who is at Cumbernauld Colts this season.”

Don Currie enjoys working with the squad.

He said: “I talk to the players about private things, say they had a gambling issue or relationship stuff. They would talk to me rather than the manager. My role is to be pastorally reactive and spiritually reactive. I’m also friendly with the local priest and people can talk to him or there’s the Muslim Centre in Glasgow. You want players who are not distracted by off-the-field issues.”