York City boss captures Estonia winger Sander Puri
12:08pm Saturday 1st June 2013 in Sport
ESTONIAN international winger Sander Puri has agreed to join York City in a two-year deal.
Puri, who is due to gain a 50th cap for his country in Monday’s friendly against Belarus, has become Nigel Worthington’s fourth summer signing following the arrivals of Ryan Jarvis, Craig Clay and Ryan Bowman.
The move is still subject to a successful medical when the 25-year-old attacker returns from international duty following further matches against Trinidad & Tobago and Krgystan.
City boss Nigel Worthington first encountered Puri when he was Northern Ireland manager and Estonia were in the same Euro 2012 qualifying group.
Estonia beat Worthington’s team 4-1 and 2-1 during that competition and the Minstermen chief also received a glowing reference on his new signing from former Northern Ireland team-mate Jimmy Nicholl, who is now in charge of Kilmarnock.
Nicholl took on Puri as a trialist last season before he went on to join fellow Scottish Premier League outfit St Mirren in March, making two appearances for the Paisley side.
Having started his career in Estonia, where he was named Young Footballer of the Year in 2009, Puri has also plied his trade in Greece, Poland and Hungary and has scored goals against Lithuania and Armenia for his country.
According to internet sources, he was also linked with Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and Celtic as a younger player and is currently a key member of the Estonia team that is fifth behind Holland, Hungary, Romania and Turkey in a tough qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup finals.On his latest signing, Worthington said: “He’s a wide player who can play on the right or left. I remember him playing against us when I was with Northern Ireland and, being in the same group, we obviously watched Estonia several times and I’ve looked back at my reports from then.
“He’s 5ft 9in and, when I was talking about our need for tall players not preventing us from signing a good, small one, he falls into that category. He had a trial period at Kilmarnock last season and I have spoken to Jimmy Nicholl about him.
“Jimmy said he was excellent and could not fault him on anything so I asked him why he didn’t sign him and he said that they had a young lad coming through the system who was a similar player and they did not want to block his progress so Sander went to St Mirren instead.”
• Chesterfield have made Hibernian’s Scottish FA Cup final striker Eoin Doyle their first summer signing.
Morecambe forward Jordan Burrow has moved to Stevenage, while Millwall ’keeper Steve Mildenhall has joined Bristol Rovers on a permanent basis following his successful loan spell with the Pirates last season.
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