WHEN Romain Vincelot first moved to England in 2010, the lack of a winter break was something to bemoan.
Growing up in his native France, he had become used to football shutting down for the festive season to allow everyone to recharge their batteries and also, hopefully, avoid the worst of the weather.
People are on holiday and you are a bit part of this thing. People come during their holidays to come and watch the games.Bradford City’s Romain Vincelot
That first Christmas at Dagenham & Redbridge, therefore, took some getting used to as Vincelot and his team-mates trained every day only to suffer the frustration of three consecutive postponements in the space of 10 days.
After that and 2011 starting with two defeats inside three days for the Daggers, Vincelot could have been forgiven for wondering why the English were so out of step with the rest of Europe by playing – or attempting to play – over the holiday period. Seven years on, however, and the 32-year-old Bradford City captain wouldn’t have it any other way.
“At first, it was a bit hard to not be back (home) for Christmas,” he admits. “But then I saw the other side of it, like being at the centre of the entertainment.
“People are on holiday and you are a bit part of this thing. People come during their holidays to come and watch the games.
“The atmosphere of Boxing Day is special and we have time later to enjoy time with our family. I try to have it in my mind this way. To be part of this big thing in the country where everyone is watching the TV with a big dinner is a nice thing.”
As City look to maintain the Football League’s best away record today, manager Stuart McCall insists complacency will not be a problem against the second-bottom Dons.
“What happened at Bury (City lost 3-1, their only defeat on the road) is a warning to us all,” he added.