Brighton & Hove Albion’s latest goalkeeping recruit Niki Maenpaa insists he is ready to battle with David Stockdale and Casper Ankergren for a starting berth.
The shot-stopper has also met his new goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts and now cannot wait to don his gloves.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “It’s a challenge, but that’s what I’ve come here for and it will be great to work with these players.
“I had a good conversation with Ben and it is very exciting to be working with a new goalkeeping coach.
“I haven’t been to the stadium yet, but we drove past and I’ve seen some great pictures. The facilities here at the training ground will be a joy to use and it will be great to get some minutes at the Amex.”
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Maenpaa believes that the competitive nature of the Championship means it is crucial that Albion start the season in a positive fashion and he cannot wait to link up with his new team-mates for pre-season next week.
“There are so many changes to the teams at the top of the league, whereas in Holland there are always the same clubs at both ends of the table.
“In this league you could say that almost anyone can get promoted, so it’s a really open and it’s very important that we start the season well.
“I am now looking forward to meeting all the new players in the team, as I have not come across any of them before and I cannot wait to meet the whole squad.”
The 30-year-old added that he has fulfilled a career-long ambition by coming to England and is relishing the prospect of playing in the Championship.
“I’m really pleased and very happy because this is a big step in my career. I love English football, so I always wanted to come and play in this country.
“There are a lot of games to play [in the Championship] and you have to be mentally and physically fit throughout the season. It’s going to be tough and you have to be fully focussed for the full 90 to 95 minutes in every game.
“The teams here believe that they can still recover even from two or three nil down, so I think that’s a big change from playing in Holland.”