Eugen Bopp is a Ukrainian football of German descent who currently once played for York City. He was born in Kyiv, Ukraine on 5th September 1983. Bopps mother was Ukrainian and his father was German. It was this German link that provided his first opportunity in football. Bopp is a midfield player, who is comfortable attacking and solid in a more measured position. He has somewhat of an eye for a long distance goal, and built up a cult following while playing in England.
Having German citizenship, Bopp joined the Bayern Munich youth set up at a young age, but later moved to England and he joined the Nottingham Forest Academy at the age of 16. He progressed through the youth system and earned himself his first full time professional contract. While still playing in the junior ranks, Bopp played an important part in helping Forest secure the U19 title in 2000-01. His promising start at youth level was due to his good technical ability, and he was even labelled a future ‘Joe Cole’, although ultimately this comparison was seemingly premature.
He made the decision to represent Germany on the international stage and made two appearances for the German U-19 side. In his second cap, Bopp was substituted and replaced by the 2014 World Cup winning captain Philip Lahm, showing in which high regard he was held in his early career.
His impressive start to his Forest career would lead to him being selected for the first team, where he would go on to make nearly eighty appearances in four seasons, bagging himself eight goals. Whilst initially struggling with the step up to first team football by the 2002-03 season, Bopp began to show his true form and was impressing for Forest. However, an injury disrupted his season and he never recovered his form. This led to him being released at the end of the 2005-06 season.
Bopp then made a short move to Rotherham, initially signing on trial, and then a short term contract, Bopp remained at the club for the season and by all accounts impressed scoring five goals in his thirty appearances for the Millers.
Another move was on the cards at the end of the season and Bopp joined Crewe Alexandra. He struggled to make an impact for Crewe and was made available for transfer, but remained at the club. He was given a chance in the second half of the season, and put in a few impressive performances, but not enough to earn a new deal and again at the end of the season, Bopp found himself as a free agent. Despite a relatively disappointing spell at Crewe, he will be fondly remembered by the Alex fans, as he scored the crucial goal which kept Crewe in the division and sent down Gillingham.
A surprise move was to follow as Bopp was given a trial with Premier League side Portsmouth. He impressed in pre-season and Pompey eventually made a move to try and sign the Ukrainian. However, the move was blocked by the Premier League because of Pompey’s financial state, and they were placed under a transfer embargo.
After this latest setback in English football, Bopp returned to Germany where he signed for third tier side FC Carl Zeiss Jena. Again, he only stayed at the club for one season, where he made 16 appearances before being released at the end of the 2010-11 season.
Bopp had remained without a club for the majority of the 2011-12 season returning to England and having trials with Scunthorpe and Watford which failed to materialise into permanent transfers. He returned to Yorkshire, signing until the end of the season for Conference side York City, where he will wore the number 13 shirt. This was ultimately an unsuccessful period for Bopp as he only made two appearances and was released at the end of the season. Following a couple of years out of football, Bopp had a an unsuccessful trial with Hartlepool before returning as a player-coach for amateur English side Dunkirk. Most recently he signed for Basford United who play in the Northern Premier League Division One South in October 2015.
Eugen Bopp also has a brother, Viktor who plays professional football in Belgium for Sporting Charleroi.
Profile by Peter Chymera, committee member of the UK Ukrainian Sports Supporters Club and Co-founder of the Viktor Leonenko Hall of Fame. Follow Peter on twitter – @PMChymera89