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François Zoko

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François Zoko
Zoko F.jpg
Personal information
Full name Bernard François Dassise Zoko[1]
Date of birth (1983-09-13) 13 September 1983 (age 31)
Place of birth Daloa, Côte d'Ivoire
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Bradford City
(on loan from Blackpool)
Number 13
Youth career
0000–2000 C.O. Savigny-sur-Orge
2000–2001 Nancy
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2004 Nancy 70 (8)
2004–2006 Laval 60 (9)
2006–2008 Mons 55 (12)
2008–2009 Hacettepe Spor Kulübü 27 (1)
2010 KV Oostende 13 (3)
2010–2012 Carlisle United 88 (19)
2012–2013 Notts County 39 (7)
2013–2014 Stevenage 33 (10)
2014– Blackpool 14 (1)
2014– Bradford City (loan) 16 (1)
National team
2003 Côte d'Ivoire U-20, U-23
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:14, 15 April 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Bernard François Dassise Zoko (born 13 September 1983), known as François Zoko, is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays for Bradford City, on loan from Blackpool.


Born in Daloa, Zoko began his career at youth team C.O. Savigny-sur-Orge and signed in 2000 for AS Nancy. He played four years at AS Nancy playing 70 games and scoring 8 goals before signing in summer 2004 for Stade Laval. Zoko then moved to R.A.E.C. Mons in 2006, and played 2 seasons in the Jupiler League. After 55 games and scoring 11 goals, Zoko was contacted by several teams in the Jupiler League but decided to join the Ankara club for a new challenge in the Turkcell Süper Lig.[2]

There were many off field problems at Hacettepe which meant that Zoko finally left and joined his former R.A.E.C Mons manager at KV Oostende in January in order to play football again. At Oostende Zoko played 11 games, scoring 4 goals and making 5 assists.

Throughout his career, Zoko has been used as a striker or winger. Whilst at Hacettepe Spor, Zoko was also used as a central midfielder.

Carlisle United[edit]

Zoko was on trial with League One side Carlisle United ahead of the 2010–11 season, scoring in a 4–1 pre-season friendly victory against Kendal Town.[3] After impressing during a two-week trial, Zoko signed a permanent one-year contract with the club in July 2010.[4] On joining Carlisle, Zoko said "I am really looking forward to playing for Carlisle United and I hope that I score goals and do well".[5] Zoko made his debut for Carlisle in the club's first game of the 2010–11 season, playing 75 minutes in Carlisle's 2–0 win against Brentford.[6] He received a standing ovation from the Carlisle United supporters when he was substituted, and manager Greg Abbott said there's "more to come" from Zoko.[7] Zoko has had an amazing start to life in English football and is already a crowd and team favourite, and under 10 matches into his season he is already being offered a new contract in order to keep Championship and Premiership teams away.[8] Zoko has been strongly linked to Wigan, Swansea and Burnley.[9] Among management and the players Francois is highly respected and loved due to his hard work, funny personality and humble ways. Carlisle manager Gregg Abott has mainly used Zoko at the top of his diamond formation due to his explosive pace, skill, imagination/vision, relentless hard work and experience.

On 6 June 2012 Zoko revealed he wanted to play at a higher level and quit Carlisle United after refusing a new contract. A number of Championship clubs have been linked with the skilful forward, with Middlesbrough and Charlton being some of a number involved. The 'Ivorian Enigma' received many tributes after his exit from the Border City and says his time at the club will always be remembered. BBC Radio Cumbria reporter James Phillips commented saying "He may just be one of the greatest raw talents Carlisle United have ever had on his day".

In July 2012 it was reported that Sheffield United and Preston North End were interested in signing the free agent following his release from Carlisle United.[10]

Notts County[edit]

On 3 August 2012 Zoko signed a two-year deal with Notts County. He made his competitive debut in the league against Crewe. He also scored his first goal for the club as they ran out 2–1 winners.[11] He scored his second goal for the club just three days later against Hartlepool in a 2–0 win. Zoko came of the bench to score his 4th goal for Notts County in a 4–0 victory over his old team Carlisle.[12] He picked up the man of the match award in a 4–1 victory over Bury after coming of the bench to score two goals.[13] On 29 August 2013 Zoko left Notts County by mutual consent because he was on to high of a wage for the club.


Following his departure from Notts County, Zoko signed a short-term deal with League One side Stevenage on 4 October, on a contract lasting until January 2014.[14][15] He made a goalscoring debut for the club four days after signing, poking in Michael Doughty's shot to restore parity in an eventual 2–1 home win over Milton Keynes Dons in the Football League Trophy.[16] In Stevenage's next match, Zoko scored twice in a 2–1 victory over Brentford at Broadhall Way, the club's first home league win of the season.[17] Zoko made it four goals in his first three games when he scored a late consolation strike in Stevenage's 2–1 loss at Walsall on 19 October.[18] He waited three weeks before netting again, this time scoring twice in Stevenage's 2–1 win over Portsmouth in the FA Cup on 9 November, taking his seasonal goal tally to six.[19] Three days later, Zoko scored in a 3–2 win over Leyton Orient in the Football League Trophy; his goal coming in just the third minute when he connected with Luke Freeman's inswinging cross.[20] He took his goal tally for the season to ten when he scored in three consecutive matches towards the end of November and start of December, scoring in league defeats to Gillingham and Shrewsbury Town,[21][22] before netting a headed goal in a 4–0 win over Stourbridge in the FA Cup Second Round.[23] Zoko ended the year by scoring a late consolation strike in Stevenage's 4–1 loss away at Bristol City, curling the ball into the goal with a first-time finish after good work from Luke Freeman.[24] He scored in the club's first game of 2014, the final game before Zoko's short-term contract was set to expire, a 3–2 win away at Championship side Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup.[25] Just three days later, on 7 January 2014, Zoko signed a contract to remain at Stevenage for the rest of the 2013–14 season.[26]

In 40 appearances for Stevenage, he scored 16 goals.

On 17 May 2014, Zoko was released by Stevenage.[27]


On 15 August 2014, Zoko signed for Championship club Blackpool on a one-year contract.[28] He made his debut for the club the next day as a second-half substitute.[29]

Bradford City[edit]

On 22 November 2014, Zoko joined Bradford City on loan until 17 January 2015.[30]

International career[edit]

Zoko has been capped for Côte d'Ivoire at U-20 level, and played at 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship alongside Everton striker Arouna Koné and has also played for Côte d'Ivoire at U-23 level.



  1. ^ "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 39. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  2. ^ OFTAŞ Zoko ile anlaştı! – Futbol –
  3. ^ "Trialist Francois Zoko impresses Carlisle United". BBC Sport. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  4. ^ "Ivorian Francois Zoko signs Carlisle United deal". BBC Sport. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  5. ^ "Forward commits to Carlisle". Carlisle United F.C. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  6. ^ "Carlisle 2–0 Brentford". BBC Sport. 7 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  7. ^ "More to come from Francois Zoko – Carlisle boss Abbott". BBC Sport. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  8. ^ "Carlisle keen to keep Zoko". Sky Sports. 22 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Wigan in four-way battle for Carlisle attacking midfielder Francois Zoko". Daily Mail (London). 21 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Sheffield United keen on Zoko". Fans FC. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Crewe 1 Notts County 2". BBC Sport. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  12. ^ "Carlise 0 Notts County 4". BBC Sport. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  13. ^ "Report: Notts County v Bury". Nottingham Post. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
  14. ^ "Stevenage: Francis Zoko and Bruno Andrade join Boro". BBC Sport. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Double signing for Boro". Stevenage F.C. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "Brilliant Boro beat Dons". Stevenage F.C. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Stevenage 2–1 Brentford". BBC Sport. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Walsall 2–1 Stevenage". BBC Sport. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Stevenage 2–1 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Stevenage march on in JPT". Stevenage F.C. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Gillingham 3–2 Stevenage". BBC Sport. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Stevenage 1–3 Shrewsbury". BBC Sport. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Stevenage 4–0 Stourbridge". BBC Sport. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "Bristol City 4–1 Stevenage". BBC Sport. 29 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  25. ^ "Doncaster 2–3 Stevenage". BBC Sport. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  26. ^ "Stevenage keep Francois Zoko until end of season". BBC Sport. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "Francois Zoko: Blackpool sign ex-Stevenage striker". BBC Sport. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "Blackpool - Blackburn Rovers". BBC Sport. 16 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "Francois Zoko: Bradford sign Blackpool striker on loan". BBC Sport. 22 November 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 

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