Chennai, July 8, 2019: Two-time Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC announced the arrival of 31-year-old Lithuanian international forward Nerijus Valskis on Saturday. The well-travelled attacker put pen to paper on a one-year contract and is CFC’s first summer signing ahead of the 2019-20 ISL season.
Preferring to be addressed by his nickname Nerka, the excitement was palpable in his voice as he spoke to the club from his hometown of Kaunas in south-central Lithuania.
“I am very excited to take up this new challenge in a new country. I have never been to India before this, but I am really looking forward to it and I want to give my best for the fans, my teammates and the club.”
Valskis is especially humbled by the rousing reception he has received from the CFC supporters on social media following the announcement of his signing. He even shared a video message stating, “Thank you for all your love and support. See you at the Marina Arena!”
CFC Head Coach John Gregory played a pivotal role in Valskis’ arrival to the club. And while acknowledging that, the forward added, “I have had some great conversations with the Head Coach. He said he admires my playing style and my qualities. And for me, it is a fantastic opportunity to learn and improve under an experienced coach like John (Gregory).”
A versatile forward who can play across the frontline as well as an attacking midfielder, Valskis has played for clubs in Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia, Romania and Poland, before stints at Israel and even Thailand. His best season personally was at Lithuanian side FK Suduva in 2013 when he scored 27 league goals and won the Player of the Year award. He last played for Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Tel Aviv. At the international level, he has been capped 26 times for Lithuania and he featured recently for them in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Serbia. Valskis hopes to bring all of this experience to the fore at Chennaiyin FC, and help the club succeed again.
“I always look forward to new challenges. My journey so far with the many clubs I have played at has been great. But I am only looking ahead along with Chennaiyin. And my objective is to help Chennaiyin taste success again. When I step out on the pitch, I will give my everything for the team, and it will not just be through scoring goals,” said a determined Valskis before signing off.