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Barnet FC Player Profiles

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UPDATED 12:00 28th November 2016

Centre-back Bira Dembele joined Barnet on a free transfer in the summer of 2015 following his release by local rivals Stevenage.

A former French Under-21 international who played alongside Yohan Cabaye, Yoan Gouffran, Loic Remy and Charles N'Zogbia for Les Bleus, Bira quickly settled in at The Hive and became a key man for the Bees making 30 appearances and scoring four goals during his maiden season.

As a young player Bira trained to become an electrician but did not get far before joining Stade Rennes and embarking on a career as a professional footballer. It was for Rennes that he played against an Olympique Lyonnais side which included, among others, current Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.

A loan switch to US Boulogne saw Bira get a taste of regular first-team football and the rangy defender joined CS Sedan and Red Star 93, on loan, before moving to England in February 2014.

Bira signed a short-term contract with Stevenage and remained with the club as they were relegated from League One.

The following season Bira captained Boro to the League Two play-off semi finals where they were beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Southend United.

It was during the first leg that Dembele was on the receiving end of a challenge from Southend's Michael Timlin which saw him need 15 stitches.

Bira is quick, good in the air and also comfortable at left-back.