Velasco: Town player recommended City
Chris Lakey Canaries new boy Juan Velasco has revealed how he was recommended to try his luck at Norwich - by an Ipswich player.
Canaries new boy Juan Velasco has revealed how he was recommended to try his luck at Norwich - by an Ipswich player.
Velasco spoke to Town's Spanish midfielder Pablo Counago before deciding to head to Norfolk a fortnight ago to try his luck in England.
And after a two-week trial the 30-year-old right back has signed a deal to the end of the season, thanks to his countryman.
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“I spoke with Pablo before I came,” said Velasco, a former team-mate of Liverpool star Fernando Torres during his time at Atletico Madrid. “Pablo recommended Norwich to me. He said it was a top club and a nice city to live in, so he gave it his full recommendation.”
Velasco was signed as a free agent after almost 300 games in La Liga with Sevilla, Celta de Vigo, Atletico and, most recently, Espanyol, from where he was released last year.
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He goes straight into the reckoning for tomorrow's game against Barnsley at Carrow Road, where another 25,000 crowd is just what he is expecting from English football having decided to.
“After finishing last season my intention was to leave Spain to play football elsewhere,” he told the club's official web site. “I was attracted to the English game because it's a high standard of football.
“It's a nice game, a passionate game, the atmosphere of the fans in the stadiums, all of that. Also the language, not only for myself but for my family too. It's important for my children to learn English.”
Having signed, Velasco is now looking forward to playing - and getting used to life in England.
“I have been very impressed by my teammates, although it's different to how it was in Spain,” he said. “I've been living in a hotel, but I will soon be moving into an apartment near to the ground in the next few days.
“I've been in the country for two weeks now on my own with no other Spanish speakers, so it has been difficult.
“The game in England I think is more physical, certainly less tactical than it is in Spain, but I'm looking afford to it.”
With his La Liga games as well as four caps for Spain, Velasco doesn't lack experience and, with Matthew Bates forced back to Middlesbrough after suffering another knee injury, reckons he has plenty to offer Norwich.
“I have a lot of experience with the big clubs playing in La Liga,” he said. “I have played also in the Uefa Cup and I hope this experience as a good technical player can help City to rise up the table and to the play-offs.”