We continue our trip around the non-league footballing world by taking a look at Antigua and Barbuda fullback Zaine Francis-Angol of Buxton FC and a career that saw him reach the Champions League.

Francis-Angol was born in Waltham Forest and was quickly snapped up by Tottenham Hotspur but ultimately, he never made an appearance for the London based club.

His real break came once he got out of Spurs’s academy.

He made his first move to Motherwell, where, after impressing in the under 19’s he finally broke out into the first team.

At Motherwell, Francis-Angol hit form, playing in the UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round as well as playing a game in the Europa league. He scored his first senior goal in a 5-1 thrashing of Partick Thistle.

This was when the international market began to take notice. Despite being born in England, his mother was from the Caribbean Island of Antigua and Barbuda in 2012.

Altogether, he’s gone on to play 26 times for Antigua and Barbuda, making his debut in a game against Guatemala.

Eventually, Francis-Angol left Motherwell in 2015 and spent the rest of his career bouncing around the lower levels of the English game, with a high of League One football with Accrington Stanley in 2019/2020.

Francis-Angol was also a key part of AFC Fylde’s FA Trophy win in 2018/2019 and also helped Hartlepool get promoted into the football league, making 16 appearances in League Two.

Now 30, he has played 195 times in non-league and currently plays his football in the National League North for Buxton, who have just recently announced they’ll be going professional from next season.

Francis-Angol still plays for Antigua and Barbuda, with his last game being in a 2-2 draw against the Bahamas on the 17th October 2023.

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