Eugene Dadi Interview

Last updated : 01 February 2005 By West Lothian News

But there was a time when it looked as if Eugene would be following a career outside of sport. He was so affected by the death of his father that he gave up football completely for two years.

However, Eugene was eventually tempted back into the sport he loves and took a circuitous route before ending up at Livingston.

Growing up as a youngster, Eugene came from a large, loving family. He has three sisters and two brothers. His dad was a teacher, and one of his brothers is also a professional footballer, in Greece.

Known for his trickery, Eugene revealed where he had learned his footballing skills: “In the area where I used to live, we would play in the streets without shoes

“We used two small cans as goals and when the cars were coming, we moved the cans and put them back when the cars had passed.”

Eugene’s skills were soon noticed and, as a 15-year-old, he joined the football academy at French side FC Sochaux. As well as a footballing education, Eugene also took off-the-field lessons at the soccer academy.
And he admits that he often despairs when he hears of young Scottish footballers who have no education to fall back on. “I hear players here telling me that they’re 15 years old and have stopped going to school. It’s a shame.”

Eugene, who speaks three languages fluently – English, French and German – said: “It’s very important that everyone should have an education.”

After leaving FC Sochaux, Eugene moved to Stad. Lavallois, another French team, where he plied his skills for a further two years.

Then came the devastating blow of the death of his father. “I stopped playing for two years,” said Eugene, “and went to the Isle de Reunion to work selling property.

“I was working over there and was playing football with a friend. A manager of a team saw me and asked me to sign, but I said no and told him that I wasn’t interested in playing professional again.

“But he came back two or three months later and asked me to go to Austria and play for LASK (Linz Athletic Sporting Klub)”

Eugene says that he loved life in Austria – both on and off the field. And it was while over there that he first indulged in a spot of acting. And not content with treading the boards, Eugene also tried his hand at some modelling

“I really enjoyed my time over there, everything was perfect.”

Eugene also decided to lean English and German, in order that he could communicate with his fellow professionals.

“I bought an A to Z of English and that’s how I learned the language.”

Livingston’s recent EUFA Cup opponents, Sturm Graz, and Rapide Vienna both expressed an interest in Eugene, but he decided to move back to France and play for Tolousse, Franck Sauzee’s former club. It was here Eugene developed a passion for Scottish football, watching Sauzee’s career with interest. So when the club went bankrupt and were relegated, he jumped at the chance to join Aberdeen.

Eugene loved the Granite City and loved his year at the club. But he has one abiding memory: “It was cold, but I had an absolutely great time and got on well with the fans. It was just too cold.”

Like many players, Eugene was impressed with the Livingston set-up when he turned out against them. And he didn’t need a second chance when the opportunity came to sign for the Lions after being freed by the Dons in the summer.

“Livingston were the best side outside of the Old Firm,” said Eugene.

However, he freely admits that the team have yet to show the consistency that earned them that accolade last season.

“Everything hasn’t gone like I thought it would go, but we are starting to come back again. We have been starting to play not too bad and get results. We have great players here, but it is a problem with confidence.

“It will come back again, it is just a matter of really working hard. We know that it is not easy for the fans, as they expect us to do the same job we did last year, but they are still behind us and that is very positive.

Eugene admits that his own form has been more inconsistent than he would like. But he hopes he’ll be in the team to face Celtic this afternoon. “It is more or less the same defence or midfield that plays every week, but the forwards change a lot,” he added, “that makes it difficult.

“I am looking forward to playing Celtic, they are a great team.”

Although Eugene hopes to keep playing for a few years yet – ideally at Livingston – he has been bitten by the acting bug. Once his career is over, he hopes to take drama lessons and earn his living as an actor.

10-second Interview

When and where were you born?

Ivory Coast, 20/8/73

Romantic status (ie married, single, available, unavailable)

Single, with a girlfriend

What’s your favourite record?

Anything R & B

Who would you want to play you in a film?

Eddie Murphy

What do you like most about West Lothian?

I really like the town of Livingston

What do you like least about West Lothian?

There’s nothing that I especially dislike

If you could be someone else, who would it be?

Nelson Mandella, for all the good work he did

What do you like most about yourself?

I am kind

What do you like least about yourself?

I can be too kind sometimes

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I used to be an actor in the theatre in Austria. I played a black American parachutist in a play there for nearly a year