David Friio

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David Friio
Personal information
Date of birth (1973-02-17) 17 February 1973 (age 48)
Place of birth Thionville, France
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1997 Épinal 104 (5)
1997–1999 Nîmes 48 (2)
1999–2000 Valence 33 (3)
2000–2005 Plymouth Argyle 167 (39)
2005–2006 Nottingham Forest 22 (1)
Total 374 (50)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

David Friio (born 17 February 1973) is a French former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He played in the Football League for Plymouth Argyle and Nottingham Forest, and Ligue 2 for Nîmes and Valence. He is now technical director at Marseille.

Playing career[edit]

French football[edit]

Born in Thionville, Friio began his career as a defender with local club Épinal in 1994. He made 104 league appearances for the club, scoring 5 goals, before he joined established Ligue 2 club Nîmes in 1997. In his two-years at the club he made 50 league appearances, scoring 2 goals, before being transferred to fellow Ligue 2 club Valence ahead of the 1999–2000 season, where he would first meet Romain Larrieu. He made 33 appearances in his one-year at the club, scoring 3 goals, as the club suffered relegation.[2] Valence had to cut back and as a result released a number of players, Friio was included along with Larrieu.[3]

Plymouth Argyle[edit]

He moved to England with Larrieu early on in the 2000–01 season, where Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock offered them a trial. It was here that Friio would be converted from a defender into a box-to-box midfielder.[4] He signed a contract until the end of the season in November and made his debut for the Pilgrims in the 2–0 Devon derby victory over Exeter City on 2 December.[5] He figured consistently for the remainder of the season, scoring 5 goals, and signed a two-year contract extension in the summer of 2001. Friio went from strength to strength in the following season as he established himself as a key player, scoring 11 goals, as the club were crowned Third Division Champions. He was named in the division's Team of the Year by the PFA along with three of his team-mates, Larrieu, Paul Wotton, and Graham Coughlan.[6]

Friio enjoyed another productive season in 2002–03, making 41 appearances in all competitions, scoring 7 goals, as the club finished eighth in the Second Division. He signed a two-year contract extension in April 2003.[7] The following season was the best of his career as he sealed his place in the affections of the club's supporters. He made 40 appearances in all competitions, scoring 15 goals, including a hat-trick in the 7–0 demolition of Chesterfield,[8] and consecutive doubles in a 5–1 win at Port Vale and a 3–1 win at Sheffield Wednesday. The club were crowned Second Division Champions and Friio was named in the divisional Team of the Year for the second time.[9]

The 2004–05 season was to be his last for Argyle. His mentor Paul Sturrock had moved on, at the back end of the previous season, and Bobby Williamson had taken over. So Friio began their first season back in the Championship – previously known as the First Division – since 1992 in an unusual role, as a substitute. He forced his way back into the starting-eleven in September 2004, scoring 2 goals that month and followed that up in October with a remarkable double against Gillingham.[10] In a game which looked like ending in frustration for the Pilgrims, Friio had other ideas, trailing 1–0 heading into injury-time he scored with two trademark, pin-point headers inside the last 96 seconds of the game.

January came and with Friio's contract expiring rumours were rife about his future with several clubs apparently interested.[11] His last goal for the club came in a 1–1 draw with Wolves on 1 January 2005 and his last appearance in a green shirt was at Reading on 5 February 2005, somewhat fittingly, with an estimated 4,000 of the club's supporters there to see it.[12] Contract negotiations had broken down, with Williamson unwilling to break the club's wage structure in order to keep the Frenchman. So instead of losing him for nothing in the summer the club accepted an offer of £100,000 from fellow Championship side Nottingham Forest.[13]

In all competitions, he made 185 appearances for the Pilgrims, scoring 44 goals.

Nottingham Forest[edit]

Friio signed for Nottingham Forest on 14 February 2005 and made his debut against Preston on 23 February.[14] A calf injury hampered him for the remainder of the season, he made 5 appearances in three months as Forest were relegated to League One. The 2005–2006 season started well for him, he featured regularly for the club from August to late October, scoring once against Walsall,[15] before injuries struck again. His last game for the club was in a 1–1 draw at Rotherham United on 21 January 2006. He reported for pre-season training ahead of the 2006–2007 season, but had his contract terminated in August 2006 after deciding that he wanted to retire from playing.[16]

After retirement[edit]

Friio returned to France following his retirement to set up a business within football. However, he did link up again with Nottingham Forest three months later in October 2006 after then manager Colin Calderwood asked him if he would like to be a scout for the club in his native France. He blamed a lack of desire to continue playing as the reason he retired.[17] He was instrumental in the signing of Guy Moussi, having recommended him to the club after watching Moussi play for Angers in his homeland.[18] Friio worked as a scout for Manchester United[19] and AS Saint-Étienne,[20] before joining Marseille as head scout. He was later promoted to technical director at the club.[21]

Career statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
SAS Épinal 1994–95 Championnat National
1995–96[1] French Division 2 40 4
1996–97[1] French Division 2 17 1
Total 104 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 104 5
Nîmes 1997–98 French Division 2 25 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 27 2
1998–99 French Division 2 23 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 24 0
Total 48 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 51 2
ASOA Valence 1999–2000 French Division 2 33 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 33 3
Plymouth Argyle 2000–01[22] Football League Third Division 26 5 0 0 0 0 1[a] 0 27 5
2001–02[23] Football League Third Division 41 8 4 2 1 0 1[a] 1 47 11
2002–03[24] Football League Second Division 36 6 4 1 1 0 0 0 41 7
2003–04[25] Football League Second Division 36 14 1 1 1 0 2[a] 0 40 15
2004–05[26] Championship 28 6 1 0 1 0 0 0 30 6
Total 167 39 10 4 4 0 4 1 185 44
Nottingham Forest 2004–05[26] Championship 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
2005–06[27] League One 17 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 1
Total 22 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 1
Career total 374 50 10 4 4 0 4 1 392 55
  1. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Plymouth Argyle

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c David Friio at FootballDatabase.eu
  2. ^ 1999–2000 Ligue 2 Table
  3. ^ "Argyle close in on Frenchman". thisisplymouth.co.uk. 28 July 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ GoS Archive November 2003
  5. ^ Exeter City 0–2 Plymouth Argyle
  6. ^ "Plymouth players rewarded". BBC Sport. 15 April 2002.
  7. ^ "Friio deal pleases Sturrock". BBC Sport. 8 April 2003.
  8. ^ Plymouth Argyle 7–0 Chesterfield
  9. ^ Friio in Team of the Year
  10. ^ Plymouth Argyle 2–1 Gillingham
  11. ^ "Friio interests Clarets". Archived from the original on 7 September 2005. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  12. ^ Reading 0–0 Plymouth Argyle
  13. ^ Forest Agree Deal
  14. ^ Nottingham Forest 3–0 Preston
  15. ^ "Walsall 3–2 Nott'm For". BBC. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  16. ^ Friio to Retire
  17. ^ French Connection
  18. ^ Moussi Joins Forest
  19. ^ Gordon Sparks – Twitter
  20. ^ Ball, Jak (26 February 2019). "David Friio on potential link between Plymouth Argyle and top French side". Plymouth Live. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  21. ^ "OM : arrivée d'un nouveau responsable de la cellule de recrutement". LaProvence.com (in French). 23 April 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  22. ^ "Games played by David Friio in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm.
  23. ^ "Games played by David Friio in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Centurycomm.
  24. ^ "Games played by David Friio in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm.
  25. ^ "Games played by David Friio in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm.
  26. ^ a b "Games played by David Friio in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm.
  27. ^ "Games played by David Friio in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm.

External links[edit]