For Yann Kermorgant, being a footballer is a privilege, more so than for most players, and his ‘atypical’ career, as he calls it, is something he’s very proud of.
The former Bournemouth forward, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at 14, is now playing at Reading under Jaap Stam and enjoying himself, scoring eight goals and picking up three assists in 33 games for the Royals so far this season.
Moving there in January 2016, the veteran striker had just spent two years under Eddie Howe at the Vitality Stadium, where he had probably the best period of his career, something he explained in an interview with Winamax in France was down to the manager and his belief in his abilities.
Totalling 17 goals and 14 assists in his first and last full season with the Cherries, the now 35-year-old was instrumental in their promotion to the Premier League, a competition he sadly never got to enjoy all that much for a variety of reasons.
He said: “When we went up, I had real goals with the team. I’d just had a great season with a lot of praise coming my way. The next season was complicated. Straight away, the manager didn’t hesitate to ‘chop me’. He wanted quicker players and changed his system from playing with someone behind the striker, where I played.
“I still feel like I deserved a chance, at least to prove to him that I was capable to play in that league. For the first game, he chose our old formation, without me… Obviously, at that point, you lose confidence. I was also injured in training by our captain just before the last friendly, so that didn’t help. It was complicated.”
Only making seven appearances for Bournemouth in the Premier League, Kermorgant was sold during the following January to Reading for just over £500k.
However, the Frenchman remains pleased with what he achieved at the club, and even singled out one member of the current first-team as ‘the best player he’s played with’.
He explained: “It’s Harry After. He’s been at the club at every level. He has two great feet and takes perfect free-kicks. And let’s not forget his huge desire on the pitch.”