Centre-back Radinio Balker might make his debut for Huddersfield Town against Queens Park Rangers this weekend.
Radinio Balker, a new signing for Huddersfield Town from FC Groningen, is eager to get started.
Town made the centre-back their third signing of the window at the end of last week, with Rhys Healey arriving a day later on Friday, bringing their total to four new arrivals.
The 25-year-old defender has signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Terriers, leaving his home nation after more than 100 appearances in the top two divisions of Dutch football with Almere City and FC Groningen.
Balker believes his new club’s ambitions to progress match his own as a player, and the 25-year-old is eager to get started as they look to realise those aims together.
The defender was left “very excited” about his move following conversations with FC Groningen teammate and former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Joey Pelupessy. He also feels he can improve under the guidance of Terriers boss Darren Moore, who was a centre-back in his playing days.
Speaking to HTTV following his move, the new recruit said: “This morning I was still in the Netherlands, and I couldn’t wait to be here, so I’m glad to be here.
“First of all, I think England is like the biggest in football, that’s the first thing. The second thing, I heard of the interest, and I was like ‘okay, let’s see what kind of club it is’.
“I’ve seen it in the Premier League a few years ago, so I knew about it. I took some more information, and I thought this is an amazing chance for me, and also I hope I can help them to win games.
“I spoke to Joe Pelupessy, he’s a good friend of mine, and he told me great things about the city, the club and stadium, so I was very excited from the start, and he was too.
“Of course it was very important (conversations with Moore and sporting director Mark Cartwright), because those are the people you’re going to work with every day, especially the coach. Of course it’s a plus that he was a centre-back as well. I want to improve myself, so with him as a coach, I think I can improve myself and help this team to a better time.
“It’s a great team, so I believe the objectives here will rise as well, and I share that. I don’t see it as a large commitment since I think it’s natural for a team with lofty objectives like this one.”
Despite signing on Thursday, Balker was unable to make his debut in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers due to illness when he arrived.
However, the centre-back was approved to travel to Ewood Park to observe his new team in action, with the expectation that the 25-year-old will be featured in Sunday’s critical game against QPR.
“We brought him here today. We checked with our doctor that he’d be okay to come and travel,” Moore told HTTV after the game. “The reason why we brought him here today was because I wanted him to get straight into it.
“For the first couple of days next week, he’ll be with the sports science and the medical team, and then we’ll have him for three or four days building into the QPR game.
“For him, he arrived and he was ill in the hotel, and as a new signing what they just want to do is get in and around the players, so we just thought we’d bring him today.
“We got clearance with the doctor so we could bring him, and let him get a feel of the dressing room and meet his new teammates and watch the game, so he can get a visual
for what we’re about and receive messages, so when he starts next week, he’ll have an edge because he’ll be able to see the game and be in the dressing room, which is how we’ve been connecting with the players.
“We’re pleased to have him here, and hopefully he can be part of the squad next week.”