Furtado hoping to make big impact at Raith

Willis Furtado would like to follow in the footsteps of Didier Agathe after making the move from Airdrieonians to Raith Rovers.

Thursday, 25th January 2018, 2:05 pm
Updated Friday, 26th January 2018, 4:19 pm
Willis Furtado made his Raith debut as a substitute in Stranraer on Saturday. Pic: Eddie Doig

Furtado was only two-years-old when fellow Frenchman Agathe made his Raith debut back in September 1999, famously scoring a hat-trick against Airdrie.

Agathe spent a season at Raith before winning a move to Hibs, and subsequently Celtic, where he became part of one of the Parkhead club’s greatest ever sides under Martin O’Neill, even playing in a UEFA Cup final.

“I wish to do the same thing,” Furtado, now 20, says. And why not?

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Didier Agathe, Raith Rovers. Pic: Tony Fimister

There are certainly similarities between Furtado and Agathe that extend beyond nationality.

Both arrived in Scotland having struggled to make the breakthrough in France, while Furtado possesses all of the raw ingredients – pace, power, technique, goals – that made Agathe such a success.

Furtado made his move to Scotland last year after becoming frustrated with the lack of opportunities in his homeland, initially joining part-time Stenhousemuir, then moving to Airdrie.

Impressive performances in League One did not go unnoticed by Barry Smith, who has been in the opposition dug-out both as East Fife and now Raith manager.

Didier Agathe, Raith Rovers. Pic: Tony Fimister

And Furtado hopes his move to Stark’s Park can be the next step on his way up the career ladder.

“I was playing in Paris, but it was the level below professional,” Furtado said.

“There are too many young players in France, so I wanted to change, and I chose to come to Scotland.

“I thought, why not come and try, and things have been going well so far.

“I’m very happy to come to Raith because I know it is a good team.

“I will do my best for the team, and hope I can progress to play at a high level.”

Furtado made his Raith debut as a second half substitute in the 1-0 defeat in Stranraer on Saturday, and boss Smith has high hopes for his January addition.

“I wouldn’t bring anyone here that I didn’t think will add competition and be better than what we’ve got,” he said.

“He’s certainly shown in training and in the half hour he come on that he’s got good ability, strength, and can play in a wider area or through the middle, which bodes well for us.”