Faith and football: Pascal Millien still waiting for ‘the moment’ at Finn Harps


Pascal Millien’s Twitter bio describes himself as a ‘pro soccer player and son of God’ and the midfielder has had to call on his strong faith quite a bit since March.

The much-traveled Millien previously spent two years in the League of Ireland with Sligo Rovers in 2012 and 2013 and the call came early this year from his agent, who flagged up interest from Ireland again.

He briefly trained with Cork City, but no move was forthcoming when Ollie Horgan intervened and Millien pitched up in Donegal.

Millien endured a three-month wait before he was eligible to play a game, but his game time has been confined to five substitute appearances.

“I am here to play football,” the 31-year-old Millien says.

“I am hard working and I believe in hard work. It can happen and I will be ready for the right moment when it comes. I am here to play and I will stay positive. When that time is right, I will be ready to make the best of it.

“I give everything in training and I keep my head up. I don’t want to be negative about things.”

Finn Harps secretary John Campbell described as ‘just incredible’ the amount of material he had to collate for the Department of Labour to process Millien’s work permit.

“The amount of work involved in this signing dwarfed any other than I ever worked on in my time as Harps secretary,” Mr Campbell said, noting that he had exchanged 126 emails with various agencies.

Pascal Millien. Picture by Joe Boland, North West News Pix
Pascal Millien. Picture by Joe Boland, North West News Pix

For Millien, who lives with Eddie Dsane and Ibrahim Keita in Letterkenny, had a frustrating start to life at Harps.

He says: “I have strong faith. I would not be here otherwise. Everything in my life is up to Him.

“It was frustrating having to wait for so long to be allowed to play. I didn’t think that it would take so long. I was involved playing in a professional League and played with the national team, I thought that it would be faster. I had to wait for a while in Sligo too, but I didn’t think it would happen again.

“I was delighted to have it fixed. It wasn’t in my hands and Finn Harps did everything they could to make it happen.”

Millien has been capped 30 times by Haiti, making his debut in a 0-0 draw with Guyana in the 2010 Caribbean Cup. His last outing was a 1-0 loss to Panama last March.

He is one of two current senior internationals – along with Northern Irish capped Paddy McCourt – in the current Harps squad.

“I have unfinished business, I think, in the League of Ireland,” says Millien, who had a memorable spell in Sligo, winning the League in 2012 and the FAI Cup in 2013.

“When I left Sligo, it was a decision that I had to make. The gaffer there wasn’t on the same page as me.

“You never know where you end up in football. So, I always stay positive. If the time is right for a move, then why not?”

Pascal Millien. Picture by Joe Boland, North West News Pix
Pascal Millien. Picture by Joe Boland, North West News Pix

Millien was part of the Sligo squad that went on to defeat Drogheda United 3-2 in the 2013 Cup final. With squad rotation possible, Millien could well be handed a first Harps start against Bohemians.

He says: “A lot of people have been asking the questions and asking if I am injured and why I haven’t had the chance yet. I am pretty sure that the opportunity will come for me. I am looking forward to it. I know that I will be ready when that moment comes to me.

“You need a squad to compete in this League. If I am not playing, I am working hard in the training and giving a go. I am pushing whoever is there, in my position. A team needs options. There is nothing else I can do, but to work hard and time will give my moment.”

The glory days in Sligo meant a lot to Millien and he still treasurers the memories of his time at The Showgrounds.

Of the 2013 Cup win, Millien says: “It was a special moment, a great moment. To watch everyone winning the Cup like that in a final at the Aviva Stadium, with all those thousands of people there, was really special.

“The Cup has to be a goal for every player and every club. I have been there and I do not take it lightly at all. I know that the people at Finn Harps would love a run in the Cup.”

After leaving Sligo, Millien moved to Sheikh Russel KC in Bangladesh before switching to Jacksonville Armada FC in the North American Soccer League (NASL), where he spent time with FC Tampa Bay earlier in his career.

Last season, he was with Fort Lauderdale Strikers, for whom he played seven games.

Still hoping for a recall to the Haiti squad, Millien knows he needs to be playing regularly and aims to work his way into Horgan’s plans. Millien was taken by the Harps manager after he made initial contact and after seeking advice of Joseph Ndo, his former Sligo team-mate, the midfielder put pen to paper.

Millien says: “Ollie was the reason I came here. I can see the ambition that he has for the club. Ollie is a very hard-working man. He is always looking for solutions to make it better. He really cares about where we are going.”

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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