Luke Kanjor has arrived in Ballarat with the hope of taking his soccer game to the next level.
The English national is gearing up for Ballarat City’s National Premier Leagues Victoria 2 season, which kicks off this Saturday.
Kanjor made a name for himself in England’s Conference South league before being scouted to play in Germany and featuring for UE Cornella in Spain’s third division.
He comes to Ballarat following a year with the Monaro Panthers in the ACT National Premier Leagues.
The 28-year-old defender has ambitions of becoming a professional player in the future.
“I’ve come here in a bid to play here, to be noticed and to climb higher. That’s the whole idea,” Kanjor told The Courier.
“What’s good about Australia is that you guys value experienced players like myself because I’ve played in England, Germany and Spain.”
Ballarat City head coach Danny Gnjidic said Kanjor was a key signing for the club.
“Luke has come in and quickly adapted to his new surroundings both on and off the field,” he said.
“He’s a player with a real presence and his experience with the NPL in the ACT last year means he has a good understanding of all the factors that are part of football at a semi-professional level in Australia.”
Gnjidic said the club was on the lookout for a defender following the departures of Charlie and David King, and Alex Antonelli - who are pursuing business interests overseas - as well as Michael Mullins and Josh de Voogel, who have relocated to Melbourne for university studies.
“We’ve unfortunately lost a number of players who played in defensive positions last season so Luke is a key signing for us,” he said.
“He’s comfortable on the ball and an excellent communicator so he is someone that will provide leadership and confidence to his teammates. In addition to that, he provides versatility and can play across a number of roles in both defence and midfield.
“He’s already made it very clear that he’s keen to get amongst the goals this season as well. So if he can do his part in keeping them out at one end and then contribute to the scoring at the other, then that could go a long way to both he and the team having a successful year.”
Ballarat City will host Moreland Zebras in round one of the new season on Saturday, with the game set to kick off at 6pm.
Following that fixture, the team will hit the road the following weekend for an away clash against the St Albans Saints.
Ballarat finished seventh on the ladder last season with 10 wins.