Sligo Rovers have confirmed the signing of Canadian international Kris Twardek on a contract until the end of the 2019 season, subject to international clearance.
The Millwall player spent the second part of last season on loan at League 2 Carlisle United, playing 12 matches, while he also played two games in the Championship for the Lions, as well as featuring in the FA Cup and EFL Trophy.
He was previously declared best player at U20 level for Canada and made his senior debut against El Salvador last October.
Last month he captained the Canadian U21 in the prestigious Toulon tournament.
Previously he was an underage Czech Republic international up to Under-19 level before the switch to Canada.
Gerard Lyttle said: “I think Kris’s pedigree speaks volumes.
“He spent six months with Carlisle on loan and I spoke with Keith Curle and he thought really well of him, of his enthusiasm, and the talent and potential.
“The progress he has made at international level has been excellent and he has a lot of experience at all underage levels now, and I know he wants to try to be in the senior squad on a regular basis in the future after a taste so far.
“He’s hard-working, strong, quick and a big lad too which is what we are looking for. He can play as a winger, across a front three and has filled in a wing-back as well.
“Kris was recommended to us by Gerry Cassidy, and those I followed it up with in England were really surprised he was leaving that level, and the discussions on the phone we’ve had have shown he’s a great guy who is really up for this move.
“Kris clearly has a lot of ability and he feels Sligo Rovers can give him the chance to build on it and show what he can do. The club were very sharp in getting the deal over the line and I’m grateful for that.
“It’s important we don’t jump into signing players for the sake of it. We’ve moved some players out to free up room to improve the quality in the squad and in Mikey Drennan and Kris I’m confident that will prove to be the case.
“We are targeting another signing or two. It’s tricky. We have to manage the budget, and the players we bring in have to really improve us. That’s what we’ll be looking for.”
Twardek said of moving to the Showgrounds: “Kevin Nugent at Millwall told me about Sligo’s interest from a contact of his in Ireland. He was always really good to me there and he started the move. I’ve spoken with the manager and he seems like a really good guy. From our conversations he told me what he wants from me and for the club.
“I spent over five years at Millwall and while I got a taste of the Championship, EFL Cups, I needed more games. I got some on loan last season at Carlisle. But now I need to really play every week and make a big impact for myself and the team. From speaking to a few Irish friends in London and elsewhere, they told me about the League of Ireland and how it’s growing. They said the teams pass the ball and aren’t overly direct, and that will suit my game.
“It’s a new chapter that I’m really excited about. I’ve been looking up the league and Sligo Rovers over the last couple of weeks. I didn’t know a lot before that to be honest, but all the things I’ve seen have been positive. It seems like a really good club.
“Primarily my position is on the right of a front three, but I can play in other positions. In the Toulon tournament a few weeks ago I played right-wing but I also played wing-back in a game. Obviously that versatility helps players, but I’d be looking at the attacking role on the right side.
“I want to keep wearing that Canadian shirt at all the levels and get more caps at senior level and in order to do so I have to work really hard and be a great player for Sligo.
“I’ve signed for 18 months and from some clips I’ve seen Sligo have got some good players. I want to help the team get up the table, play in the big cup competitions coming up and take what I see as a great opportunity that has come my way. This morning I’d like to thank all those that helped make the deal possible and I can’t wait to get to training and get on the pitch soon and play for Rovers.”