Chabukiani Snaps Up Arca
After 352 appearances in Argentina and England's biggest leagues, Argentinian midfielder Julio Arca has found his way to Horsfall Stadium, on a part-time contract.
Arca retired from professional football way back in 2013, when his contract at Championship side Middlesbrough expired. He was aged 32 upon his retirement.
But that wasn't completely the end for the former Argentina Under-20 international, as he went on to join Willow Pond FC, a second-division pub side in the Sunderland Sunday League. He made three appearances for Willow Pond before joining Sunderland's coaching staff at The Stadium of Light in July 2015.
That role was short-lived for Arca, though, as in September 4th 2015, Arca agreed to join Northern League Division Two side South Shields.
He scored on his debut for the club, in a 1-1 draw with Stokesley Sports Club at Mariners Park. He later netted a superb goal against Ryton and Crawcrook Albion as the Mariners won 4-0 in front of a crowd of 1,045, while his third goal for South Shields came when he notched a trademark free-kick in a 4-0 victory at Esh Winning.
Arca was the captain of the Argentina Youth Team which featured players like Javier Saviola, Nicolás Burdisso and Maxi Rodríguez in the same squad.
But as his contract with South Shields was only on non-contract basis, any team could pick up the midfielder at any time they wanted. Bradford Park Avenue's manager, Adam Chabukiani was the first to pick up on this following an extensive report given by his Chief Scout, Kenny Lindoe.
His arrival comes just after Avenue's 1-0 away win against 19th placed Worcester City.
Arca was a much needed new face at Horsfall Stadium, according to his new manager Chabukiani in his welcoming press conference, which Bradford PA's Twitter account used the hashtag of #WelcomeArca upon updating news relating to Arca's arrival.
"Julio [Arca] is just what we've needed for a while in this team," Chabukiani said to Bradford Telegraph & Argus. "Myself and Kenny [Lindoe, Chief Scout] realised that Potts and Marshall were inevitably going to tire after playing in nearly every single game this season, we needed a new face in midfield and thank god it's Arca - this man is a wonderful player."
The 34-year-old Argentinian joins until the end of the season, earning £200 per week - making Arca the highest-paid player in the Bradford Park Avenue ranks.