Defensive midfielder Rohan Ince was most arguably most well known for his time at Brighton & Hove Albion between 2013 and 2018.
After being poached for a trial period following his failure to make a real impact at Chelsea, before being signed to a deal on the south coast in February 2013, he initially joined the Seagulls’ youth team in his quest to make a first-team breakthrough at the Amex Stadium.
He didn’t have to wait too long for that, making a very respectable 28 Championship appearances during the 2013/14 campaign and helping to guide the club to a play-off finish, before eventually losing out to Derby County.
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Starting that season as a 21-year-old, recording that many second-tier displays was an impressive achievement and he went on to make 32 more during the following campaign.
However, his Brighton career declined after 2014/15, receiving fewer first-team opportunities and suffering with injuries. He was subsequently sent out to Fulham, Swindon Town and Bury in the next few years before being released in the summer of 2018.
A severe knee injury kept him out of action for the entire 2018/19 season – but finally linked up with then-League Two outfit Cheltenham Town in July 2019 on a one-year contract in a bid to revive his career.
But he made just nine League Two appearances, failing to make the desired impact in his one-year stay and found himself without a club again after the conclusion of his spell at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Unfortunately, he has dropped down further since with spells at Maidenhead United (2020/21) and current club Woking in the National League – and a return to the EFL may now be the best he can hope for at 28 – barring a major turnaround in his career although there is still plenty of time for him to make his mark.
A promising sign is the fact he appeared 30 times for Maidenhead last season – and if he can continue to appear regularly for Woking after a promising start to the season – there’s no reason he can’t get back to the top four tiers of English football.
He has scored once in seven fifth-tier displays this term, but with his side currently sitting in 11th and not certain to go up, a transfer may be required if Ince wants to return to the EFL.
Some would express their sadness at his decline in football, but he seems to be physically healthy and most importantly, he’s still playing the beautiful game.
He’s definitely one for League One and League Two fans to look out for over the next couple of years, because they could easily see him in action in the third/fourth tier in the coming years.