VELIKONJA CONVINCED BY CITY DRIVE
New City striker Etien Velikonja spoke exclusively tocardiffcityfc.co.uk on Friday afternoon ahead of his Maribor departure and Cardiff arrival next week.
As part of the deal to bring the Slovenian international to South Wales, it was agreed that Etien would remain at Maribor until the Club had played the second leg of their second round Champions League qualifier against FK Željezničar Sarajevo of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"I'd like to thank everybody for the encouragement and messages of support I've received after signing with Cardiff City," said Etien.
"It was always my ambition to come to the UK and play in the English leagues. I want to play in the Premier League and feel that I've come to the right club to achieve that goal. Cardiff City is a big Club and I'm very pleased to be part of the squad.
"It was the ambition that Cardiff City are showing that convinced me that this is where I wanted to be. We already have a very good squad and are hopefully going to become even stronger by the start of the new season."
Malky Mackay has stated that he's been watching Etien for a number of years after being impressed by the striker at a young age. Of the gaffer, he added: "Mr Mackay is a very good, young manager who I'm really excited about playing for."
Having scored twenty goals in forty-six appearances for Slovenian Champions Maribor last season, it made perfect sense that the Club wanted Etien to remain a Maribor player until they had secured safe passage through the second round of Champions League qualifying.
The Slovenians beat Sarajevo 4-1 in Wednesday's home first-leg, putting them in pole position ahead of next Tuesday return tie.
"Maribor wanted me to remain part of their squad ahead of the return leg on Tuesday," Etien commented. "After that match I will fly home to Slovenia and then leave for Cardiff to arrive on Wednesday.
"I can't wait to get to Cardiff now and meet up with the manager and my new team-mates. I hear they are having a good week in Switzerland and I'm eager to be part of the group as we prepare for the new season. I'm looking forward to wearing the City shirt and meeting the fans.
"I'm a quick striker with a good left-foot. I grew up admiring the Brazilian Ronaldo and now Sergio Agüero at Manchester City. He's a fantastic striker and hopefully I will be playing in the same League as him soon with Cardiff City."
Check back next week as Etien gets his first taste of Cardiff City Stadium - only on Cardiff City Player