Striker Farid El Alagui reveals name mystery of his 2011 time as Falkirk trialist

Farid El Alagui worked his way into the hearts of Falkirk fans during one season nine years ago with his goals, smile and coin-kissing celebration.

By David Oliver
Friday, 18th September 2020, 12:24 pm
Updated Friday, 18th September 2020, 12:26 pm
Farid El Alagui became a fan favourite
Farid El Alagui became a fan favourite

But it almost didn’t happen – as we revealed in our ‘What If Falkirk’ series – with David Winters also on the Bairns radar vying for one striker’s slot.

And the French-Morroccan forward has revealed another spanner in the works when he pitched up for a place in Steven Pressley’s side – he wasn’t even supposed to be there.

El Alagui was brought to Falkirk’s attention by former Hearts striker Stefano Salvatori – a former Tynecastle contact and team-mate of the manager and assistant Neil Macfarlane.

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Farid El Alagui.

He scored on his closed doors debut against Dundee United at Grangemouth Stadium, and then on his first public outing at Alloa’s Recreation Park.

That was enough to convince Pressley to sign him up and he was rewarded with 29 goals in an exhilirating season.

But Farid has revealed he was an unknown when he joined up with the Bairns – because he was a last minute replacement for another striker whose trial fell through.

Commenting on the ‘What If Falkirk’ story detailing the David Winters dilemma for Steven Pressley, the forward, who went on to play for Brentford, Hibernian, Ayr United, Dunfermline, Edinburgh City and Dundee United, said: “Funniest story about my trial at Falkirk? I had to use the identity of another striker who let the agent down at the last minute. So the whole week I responded to “Arouero” when people were calling me!”

But he soon wrote his own name into Falkirk folklore with a prolific season and goals that fired Falkirk to Hampden and a League Cup semi-final with Celtic and a championship chase in the then First Division.

El Alagui is now heavily involved in football back in his French homeland, taking a leading role in FC Marmande.

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Read more on his time of trial with Falkirk

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