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Knights’ new import ready to fire

MELBOURNE Knights’ star Canadian import Tommy Ples says he is ready to spearhead the side’s strike force for the 2010 Victorian Premier League season and hopes to score as many goals as former Knights’ player Mark Viduka did in his time with the club during the mid-1990s.
The 23 year old was recruited by the Knights from Canadian club Toronto Croatia, where he scored an impressive 13 goals last year. He is impressed with his new club’s players and fans despite being in the country for only two weeks.
“Everything has been really good so far and the players and coaches are treating me very well,” Ples said.
“We have a new team here and hopefully everyone will connect well before the season starts and I am looking forward to playing with these guys and proving that I am a good player.
“We went up to Sydney last week and the support the fans gave us was unbelievable. I’ve never played in front of such passionate supporters.”
Despite his young age, Ples will bring a wealth of experience to his new side considering he spent a number of years honing his skills in Europe, but he concedes he will have to work hard in order to reach full fitness in time for the new VPL season, which kicks off at the end of the month.
“When I was 18 I moved to Croatia and that is where I picked up most of my skills and in my two years there I learned that you have to work really hard to reach a high level,” Ples said.
“I hope I can reproduce the kind of football I’ve played in the past and improve my game as well while I’m here.
“I need to be at my best and work hard on my fitness so that people remember me here as a good player.”
Ples sees himself as a hard-working striker in the mould of Inter Milan star Samuel Eto and says he will score goals if given the opportunity to do so.
“I play a lot like Eto in that I chase down the opposition players a lot and I am a good finisher around the box,” Ples said.
“The midfielders have been feeding me really well so far so hopefully it all works out for me.”
Ples wants to make an impression at the Knights but says should the opportunity arise he would like to test his skills in the A League.
“Right now I’m happy where I am and I’m taking things day by day,” Ples said.
“It was hard for me to come here as I left my job and family behind but I see
it as a big opportunity for me.”
“Hopefully it goes well and maybe one day I’ll get the chance to play in the ALeague.”

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