|view Jean-François's match-by-match record
A Haitian under-23 international defender signed on a short term deal in January 2009 after a successful trial spell, Jean-François made his debut as a substitute in a 1-1 draw at Millwall in February, before making his full debut the following Saturday against Scunthorpe. Though he made just three more appearances before the season was out - twice as a substitute in April and finally as a starter on the last day of the season at Peterborough as manager Danny Wilson experimented with a 3-5-2 formation - Jean-François was one of only four out-of-contract players who were offered extensions at the end of the campaign, and he put pen to paper on a one year deal.
When Wilson’s search for a left-back over the summer failed to come to fruition, Jean-François started the season as first choice, and though his performances could sometimes be erratic - with some superb defending interspersed with the occasional costly error - Wilson was quick to praise Jean-François, stating that his performances had persuaded him to halt his search. Throughout September and October though, Jean-François faced a battle for his place with youngster Callum Kennedy - and then after Alan Sheehan arrived in November, initially Jean-François lined up in defence with Sheehan in front of him, but by Christmas Sheehan was first choice. An injury to Sheehan saw Jean-François regain his place in mid-January, despite tragedy striking his family - when several members of his family, including his younger sister, were caught in a powerful earthquake in his homeland of Haiti. Over the next few weeks, Jean-François courageously continued playing with no news from home, and he often spoke of football taking his mind off of his situation.
When Sheehan returned to action in February, Jean-François again found himself on the bench, but an injury to Scott Cuthbert sustained in a 1-0 win at Southampton saw him thrust into the centre of defence. It was in this position that Jean-François gave some of his best performances of the season, as Swindon went on to beat the Saints, Hartlepool and Leeds, and draw with champions-elect Norwich with Jean-François in the heart of the defence. It was perhaps a little harsh when he was benched again when Cuthbert returned, and after sitting out most of April, Jean-François only returned when Wilson decided to rest players on the penultimate day of the season. When the 3-2 win over Brentford and favourable results elsewhere meant that the Town still had a chance of automatic promotion if they could beat Millwall on the final day, it was perhaps surprising that Wilson decided to keep Jean-François in the side - and when the Town lost that final game, the manager reverted back to his normal central defensive partnership of Gordon Greer and Cuthbert for the first play-off game. Nevertheless, Jean-François was to play a significant role in the play-offs - when Sheehan was forced out of the second leg at Charlton, Jean-François slotted in on the left-side of defence, reverting to the centre when captain Greer was sent off in the second half, as the Town went through on penalties. Then, with Greer suspended for the final at Wembley, Jean-François returned to his new central role - when the Town lost the game against Millwall, he looked inconsolable at the final whistle - days later, it was revealed that the body of his sister had finally been found just before the second leg of the semi-final, and that the defender had returned home to France for the funeral a week before the final - and the combination of the defeat coupled with his tragic news brought his emotion to the fore.
After the departure of Greer to Brighton over the summer, Jean-François started the season as first choice in the centre of defence, partnering Scott Cuthbert, but when Swindon started the season badly, he was dropped in favour of Sean Morrison - then, at the end of September, a groin injury kept him out of the squad for a month. He returned at the beginning of November, as the Town won 4-0 at Plymouth in the FA Cup, keeping his place in the side right through to the end of the month - though after telling fans that the best was yet to come from him, a less than impressive display at Notts County saw him dropped to the bench for the FA Cup tie with Crawley.
It was six weeks and into the New Year before Jean-François was in the frame again - leading the Swindon Advertiser to run a story calling him 'the forgotten man' - manager Wilson having explained to the defender that his lack of game time was not down to his performances, but instead that he was looking to play a different style of football. When Sean Morrison left for Reading in January, Jean-François came back into the side, and despite some less than convincing performances (particularly in a 3-1 defeat at local rivals Bristol Rovers), it was widely reported that Championship side Swansea and Scottish Premier side Hibernian had both expressed an interest in signing the Haitian. When no bid materialised, Jean-François stated that he was never close to leaving Swindon, and that he was ready to fight for his place in the team.
Jean-François played just 47 minutes during February - at left back as the Town slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Leyton Orient - and after being granted a week's paternity leave, it was over a month before he featured again - a five minute cameo at Huddersfield in mid-March. By this time, with Swindon struggling, Wilson had resigned, and it was new boss Paul Hart who put him back in his starting eleven in April, Jean-François ever-present for the final seven games of the season, as Swindon's relegation was confirmed. On the final day of the season, and what proved to be Jean-François' last game for the club, he notched his only goal in a Town shirt in a 2-0 win at Tranmere. Jean-François left the club the following month, joining up again with Danny Wilson at Sheffield United, signing a two year deal.
date of birth