Dundee United’s new striker Patrick N’Koyi has revealed how he felt like a prisoner as he tried to escape the clutches of a club in Thailand.
The Congolese-Dutch frontman had flown out to have a look at Thai team Sukhothai but quickly realised the move wasn’t for him.
However, he felt he was being forced into staying rather than being allowed to head back home to the Netherlands.
The bizarre behaviour of the club saw N’Koyi take centre stage at a Press conference, wear the club gear in photos and be listed as a Sukhothai player on website Wikipedia and in the Dutch media – all without having any intention of signing a contract with them.
Now happily ensconced in the relatively safe haven of Scottish football, the former MVV Maastricht frontman reflected upon his traumatic Thai trip.
N’Koyi said: “I did go to Thailand about one week after we stopped our league in Holland.
“I didn’t have this (pointed to his heart) and you need to click with the people, the squad and everything.
“I never signed for them.
“There was a misunderstanding between the club and the manager who took me there, who said that I was coming to sign when I was going just to have a look.
“They even had a Press conference where they wanted me to sign.
“I couldn’t understand a word they were saying as their English wasn’t the best.
“Someone was translating but even he wasn’t that good.
“I knew what they were up to, though. They were trying to force me and put pressure on me to sign but I said no.
“It was like they were keeping me prisoner.
“They even wanted me to play a game when I was there.
“I told them I was there for just four days to have a look and then I would go back home.”
After informing Sukhothai that he was leaving, he revealed that a big hurdle was put in his way.
“They didn’t book my plane ticket,” he added.
“So I called my manager and said they won’t let me go and he said he would get me a ticket and I just left.
“I went to have a look and almost never came back!”
Some of N’Koyi’s comments were made with a big smile on his face but he stressed there was a serious side to his experience in that it might have affected his chances of sealing a deal with a club like United.
“That was the big problem because who knows what could have come out of that,” he said.
“It is not a problem now because I am at Dundee United but it was a bummer when I came back home.
“I hadn’t signed elsewhere but everyone thought I had done so.
“It wasn’t true and maybe some clubs thought I had joined them (Sukhothai).”
Asked if his time in Thailand was the oddest thing that had happen in his career, he responded: “Yeah, I think it is.
“It was very strange.
“I can’t imagine you join a big club like Manchester United or City and they say that you have signed already when you haven’t.
“Everything is good and quiet now and I don’t have to stress about where I am going.
“What has clicked for me here in Scotland is that it is Europe, we are near England, and I like the football but not the weather,” added N’Koyi, who has signed a one-year deal with the Tangerines.
“I play with ambition and if you play well in this league there are a lot of people who can see you.
“I want to go up in my career and you can get noticed here.
“I knew about two weeks ago when I got a call from Fred (ex United player Freddie van der Hoorn), who told me he had a club for me and asked if I would be interested.
“I said of course I would because I had been without a club for about a month as we had finished the season on May 28.
“I wanted to play football again so I came here, talked to the coach (Ray McKinnon) and Darren (Taylor).
“Everything seems good and everyone is delighted.”