Valentin Gjokaj

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Valentin Gjokaj
Valentin Gjokaj01.jpg
Personal information
Full name Valentin Gasper Gjokaj
Date of birth (1993-08-23) 23 August 1993 (age 24)
Place of birth Lucerne, Switzerland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
SSV Reutlingen 05
Youth career
 –2011 FC Luzern
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2012 FC Luzern II 14 (4)
2012–2014 Derby County 6 (0)
2012 Carlisle United (loan) 0 (0)
2014 Barnet (loan) 14 (2)
2014–2015 Gateshead 19 (0)
2016– SSV Reutlingen 05 5 (0)
National team
2013– Albania U21 9 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:00, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13:00, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Valentin Gasper Gjokaj (born 23 August 1993) is an Albanian football defender who currently plays for SSV Reutlingen 05.

Club career

FC Luzern

Born in Lucerne, Gjokaj began his career at hometown Swiss club FC Luzern and played for the club's under-18 team[1] before having trial at Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in August 2011,[1] playing the full 90 minutes a in a reserve pre-season friendly against Chorley, which Rovers won 2–1.[1] After this trial Gjokaj returned to Luzern and featured 14 times for the second team in the 1.Liga Group 3 during the 2011–12 season, scoring 4 goals after he made his début in March 2012 against GC Biaschesi. In May 2012, Gjokaj had a trial at Premier League club Newcastle United.[2] However he failed to get a deal[3] and Gjokaj was released by Luzern at the end of the season.[3][4]

Derby County

In July 2012, ahead of the 2012–13 season, Gjokaj went on trial at Championship side Derby County, featuring in a pre-season friendly against Mansfield Town on 25 July 2012.[3] Gjokaj impressed in this game and was given further run outs against Burton Albion[5] and Northampton Town.[6] Gjokaj returned to his home in Switzerland, but Derby manager Nigel Clough was keen to sign him.[7] Gjokaj signed a two-year contract with the club, with an option of a third year on 18 August 2012.[4]

Gjokaj made his competitive first team début in a 2–2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday on 18 August 2012, as an 87th minute substitute for Will Hughes.[8] Gjokaj spent the following three months as a regular for Derby's under-21 side, before he joined League One outfit Carlisle United on loan for six weeks on 22 November.[9] However he was recalled after a month, after making only one appearance as a second-half substitute in an FA Cup match against Bournemouth on 1 December.[10] Upon his return at Derby, Gjokaj was again mainly featuring for the clubs under-21 team and as an unused substitute for the first before, before making his first start at right back in Derby's 1–1 draw at Cardiff City on 5 March 2013.[11]

During the 2013–14 pre-season, Gjokaj took part in Derby's first team friendlies. As confirmed by Nigel Clough, the player was going to be used as cover in central defence for Jake Buxton and Richard Keogh as more senior options Shaun Barker and Mark O'Brien were both recovering from knee injuries.[12]

Gjokaj joined Barnet on loan on 14 February 2014.[13] On 18 March 2014, Gjokaj extended his loan stay with the Bees until the end of the 2013–14 season.[14] His first goal for them came in a 2-1 win over Forest Green Rovers on 5 April 2014.[15] He scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at Nuneaton Town on 19 April, scoring from outside the box.[16] In total, he scored twice in his 14 appearances for the Bees.

Gateshead

Following his release from Derby County, Gjokaj signed for Gateshead on 18 November 2014.[17] He made his debut on 22 November in a 2–2 draw at Torquay United, being sent off during second half injury time.[18] Gjokaj's only goal for Gateshead came on 7 February 2015 in an FA Trophy tie against Wrexham.[19] Gjokaj was sent off for a second time while at Gateshead on 4 April against Grimsby Town[20] before being released at the end of the season.[21]

SSV Reutlingen 05

In February 2016, Gjokaj signed for SSV Reutlingen 05.[22] He made his debut on 13 February in a 0–2 defeat to SGV Freiberg.[23]

International career

Gjokaj was eligible for both Switzerland and Albania at international level and in January 2013, Gjokaj was called up for the Albania under-21 for their friendly against Macedonia under-21 on 6 February.[24] Gjokaj played the full 90 minutes of the game, which ended 0–0.

On 4 June 2013, Gjokaj received the Albanian citizenship among Albania senior side Agon Mehmeti and fellow Albania U21 players Haxhi Neziraj, Amir Rrahmani & Herolind Shala.[25]

Career statistics

As of match played 19 March 2016.
Club Performance League Cup League Cup Other1 Discipline Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals YC Red card Apps Goals
2011–12 FC Luzern II 1.Liga Group 3 14 4 3 0 14 4
2011–12 FC Luzern II Total 14 4 3 0 14 4
2012–13[26] Derby County Championship 6 0 1 0 6 0
2012–13[26] Carlisle United (loan) League One 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
2013–14[27] Derby County Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013–14[27] Barnet (loan) Conference Premier 14 2 0 0 1 0 14 2
2012–14 Derby County Total 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
2014–15[28] Gateshead Conference 19 0 1 0 4 1 6 2 24 1
2014–15 Gateshead Total 19 0 1 0 0 0 4 1 6 2 24 1
2015–16[29] SSV Reutlingen 05 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 0
2015–16 SSV Reutlingen 05 Total 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 0
Career Total 58 6 2 0 0 0 4 1 13 2 64 7
Notes

1Other appearances include Football League Trophy, FA Community Shield, FA Trophy and play-off appearances.

References

  1. ^ a b c "2011/12 Pre-Season: Chorley 1 Rovers Reserves 2". BRFCS. 11 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Newcastle Offer Trials To Christophe Lowinsky and Valentin Gjokaj". Sky Tyne & Wear. 10 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "New faces are given a run-out as Derby County suffer friendly defeat against Mansfield Town". Derby Evening Telegraph. 26 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Gjokaj Deal done". Derby County. 18 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Valentin Gjokaj and James Caton will get another chance to impress". Derby County. 27 July 2012. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Gjokaj Given More Time To Impress". Derby Evening Telegraph. 31 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Derby County Keen to Sign Swiss defender Valentin Gjokaj". Derby Evening Telegraph. 3 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Derby 2–2 Sheff Wed". BBC Sport. 18 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "TRANSFER: Rams defender signs up". Carlisle United. 22 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Derby County recall Valentin Gjokaj from Carlisle loan". BBC Sport. 18 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Cardiff 2–2 Derby". BBC Sport. 5 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Nigel Clough in no rush to land central defender for Derby County". Derby Telegraph. 29 July 2013. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Happy Valentin's Day
  14. ^ "Gjokaj Loan Extended". Barnet FC. 18 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Barnet 2 – 1 Forest Green Rovers
  16. ^ Nuneaton Town 0 – 1 Barnet
  17. ^ "One in, one out". Gateshead FC. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  18. ^ "Torquay United 2-2 Gateshead". Gateshead FC. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "Gateshead 2-2 Wrexham AET (Wrexham win 5-3 on penalties)". Gateshead FC. 7 February 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "Grimsby Town 2-2 Gateshead". Gateshead FC. 4 April 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  21. ^ "Gateshead confirm retained and released list". Gateshead FC. 11 June 2015. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "SSV verpflichtet vier Neuzugänge" (in German). SSV Reutlingen 05. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "SSV verliert in Freiberg mit 0:2" (in German). SSV Reutlingen 05. 13 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  24. ^ "Derby defender Valentin Gjokaj named in the Albania Under-21 squad for friendly against Macedonia". Sky Sports. 29 January 2013. 
  25. ^ Ekskluzive: Agon Mehmeti dhe 4 lojtarë të shpresave marrin shtetësi shqiptare aSport.al
  26. ^ a b "Games played by Valentin Gjokaj in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "Games played by Valentin Gjokaj in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  28. ^ "V. Gjokaj". Soccerway. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  29. ^ Appearances and goals for this season are taken from:
    "SSV verliert in Freiberg mit 0:2" (in German). SSV Reutlingen 05. 13 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
    "Unentschieden gegen Ravensburg" (in German). SSV Reutlingen 05. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
    "Punktgewinn in Nöttingen" (in German). SSV Reutlingen 05. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
    "Verdienter Heimsieg gegen den Kehler FV" (in German). SSV Reutlingen 05. 13 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 

External links

  • Valentin Gjokaj at Soccerbase
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