Alloa Athletic announced on Wednesday night a major coup in the signing of former Newcastle United and Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra.
The 31-year-old has signed for the part time side until the end of the season after leaving Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters in August after just nine appearances and no goals to his name.
He received international clearance in time for last night’s 2-2 draw against Rangers featuring as a substitute in the final minute.
Speaking to the official Alloa website after his shock signing, Chopra said: “I had been looking to get back into football once the season finished in India, I was looking around the leagues to see what was available – last week I had been training with Port Vale, but then I got a phone call on Monday night asking if I would like to come to Alloa Athletic and I jumped at the chance.
“Obviously it is a new challenge for me, I’ve not played in Scotland before and it will be a challenge in which I want to do my best to keep Alloa Athletic in the Championship and it’s a challenge I will take with both hands, I will do my best to maintain their status and also try and help them win a trophy as well.”
A product of the Newcastle United academy, the striker was farmed out on loan throughout his time at the North East side, first to Watford then Nottingham Forest, Barnsley, Cardiff City, Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Blackpool. He played in the UEFA Champions League making his European debut against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in 2002.
In 2009, Chopra signed for Cardiff City scoring 28 goals in 73 games during his time at the Welsh side.
He added: “You look at the fixtures and results Alloa Athletic have had against the bigger teams in the Championship – they beat Hibernian, have drawn with Rangers home and away and been very close against Hearts.
“You look at the last few weeks and the team have only been losing by one goal which is good because obviously they have a very good team spirit and players who want to work hard and with me coming in it will be up to me to try and help the team and players out and try and get a goal or two which has been missing. Hopefully that will take pressure of the players and aim to get three points in the remaining matches for the club.
“I hope to pass on my experience to the younger players at the club, I remember when I was a youngster at Newcastle United, I was playing with more experienced players like Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Patrick Kluivert and they passed on to me some great experience and that is why I am the player I am today and I will be looking to help all the young players at Alloa Athletic.”