Birthday Boys Still In Touch
Long-Distance Messaging Of Popular Duo
For two years, they were not only Wolves team-mates but role models and inspirations.
They didn’t manage to haul the club over the line and into the Premier League but no-one ever doubted for one minute that Ludovic Pollet and Neil Emblen did all they could in the pursuit of the holy grail.
Now, almost a quarter of a century on, they have had celebrations these last few days in their different corners of the world.
On Saturday, Pollet – the unfailingly brave central defender who literally spilled blood in the Molineux cause – turned 52.
Yesterday, on Father’s Day as we know it, Emblen had his 51st birthday, having been born a year and a day later than the Frenchman.
They are, of course, on opposite sides of the Atlantic, with the blond former utility man still part of the coaching team at Colorado Rapids as well as holding an assistant coach’s role with the New Zealand national team.
“I have exchanged messages with Ludo in the past few hours,” Emblen said over the weekend. “Hope you are well.”
Given that he has spent all his backroom career overseas, it is natural to wonder whether he is going to have the chance or inclination to work in the dug-out in this country.
Good though it would be to see him operating at closer quarters, we have to respect the fact he has found some exciting parts of the world in which to pursue his living.
And the thought of starting here now, possibly towards the lower reaches of the English game, might not be as appealling as it was soon after he hung up his playing boots.
Pollet has made good strides in management by holding senior coaching positions at USL Dunkirk (his last club before retirement as a player), Tarbes Pyrenees, Gravelines and Cannes, the last of them where he is currently working with the youngsters.
By coincidence, two of his last six appearances in English football were away to Portsmouth. He played there in a 1-0 defeat at the start of his final Wolves hurrah in March, 2003, having played at Fratton Park earlier in the winter during a loan spell with Walsall.
Emblen had temporary stints with Colin Lee’s Saddlers just before and just after and then joined them permanently. renewing acquaintances there with a cluster of former Wolves colleagues, Darren Bazeley, Steve Corica, Carl Robinson and Vinny Samways.