It’s fair to say you don’t get many Argentines’ plying their trade in the third and fourth tier of English football; however Sergio Torres has bucked that trend, having played for no less than four football league clubs.
After leaving Banfield der Mar del Plata in his native Argentina, his agent made a 10 minute clip of him, in an attempt to earn him a contract in Europe.
Though a two week trial with Mark McGhee’s Brighton and Hove Albion in 2004 didn’t result in Torres being offered a contract, it was the start of his love affair with England. Being used to a more technical style of football, Torres was surprised with how different England and Argentina was in playing style. “I had come from Argentina where I’d get more time on the ball, and it was a shock to me how quick the English game was. That was a reason why I didn’t get a contract with Brighton.”
Shortly after his trial with Brighton, Torres joined non-league Molesey before moving to Basingstoke Town. Whilst with the latter club it is well documented that he worked in Boots pharmacy store to earn extra money.
In 2005 he finally earned a professional contract with a league club in the form of Wycombe Wanderers. “I had worked so hard to earn the chance to play with a professional club, and when John Gorman offered me a contract, it was the greatest moment of my career.” Torres said. Before going on to mention he still keeps in contact with Gorman, who is now assistant manager at the MK Dons.
His big career move came when he joined Peterborough, a side who were well backed by owner Darragh MacAnthony; however Torres was transfer listed when the club were promoted to the Championship in 2009.
A loan spell at Lincoln City was followed by a permanent move to another well backed club in the form of Crawley Town. “It was a fresh start for me. It was the chance to join a club on the up and now we’ve a great chance at promotion to League One, and the move has worked for me.”
Whilst at Crawley, Torres has been fortunate enough to enjoy a couple of good F.A Cup runs, with last year’s run to the 5th round of the tournament putting the club on the football map. “I scored the winner versus Derby and it was and still is my favourite ever goal.” Torres dedicated his goal to the late Richard Butcher, a former colleague during his time at Lincoln, who died in the week leading up to the match.
Despite defeat, the real highlight of his career was playing at Old Trafford, which ultimately brought their brilliant 2010-11 F.A Cup run to an end. “To play at Old Trafford was a dream come true for me, and we gave them a good game and probably should’ve got a result.”
Crawley and Torres currently sit fourth in League Two and despite the recent loss of manager Steve Evans to Rotherham, the club are look set for back-to-back promotions.
Other questions I asked will be used for a piece on 'Why South American's come to England' which will be on my other website shortly http://www.footballinsouthamerica.wordpress.com