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James Crawley


Posted Wednesday, August 1st 2018

'I want to take Bristol City into the Premier League'

Niki Mäenpää has his eyes set on a return to the top flight with his new club.

The experienced Finnish keeper spent three seasons with Brighton & Hove Albion, during which time saw the Seagulls win promotion to the Premier League for the 2017/18 campaign.

But after making 11 appearances for the first team in that time, Mäenpää has now put pen to paper on a one-year contract at Ashton Gate, with the option of a further 12 months.

His deal comes following a successful trial with the first-team squad, which included the warm weather training camp in Marbella.

“I’m really happy to sign here and it’s exactly what I was looking for,” he revealed exclusively to BCTV. 

“I trained with the team for a couple of weeks and now I know the camp and the players. It’s been a good few weeks and now I am looking forward to playing.”

“That’s the ultimate goal, to get into the Premier League,” Mäenpää added. 

“For three years I played with Brighton & Hove Albion but the reason I left there was because I was looking for more game time and I hope to achieve that here with Bristol City.”

Mäenpää added he was keen to get the move to City sorted as soon as he realised how serious the club was about bringing the 33-year-old keeper to BS3.

He said: “I heard a lot of good things about both the clubs and the city. They wanted to have me and that’s always a big thing; to feel welcomed and wanted so this is a big thing for me.”

Having began his career with French side RC Lens in 2003, the shot-stopper moved to FC Den Bosch three years later. He then spent three seasons with Willem II, before completing a transfer to AZ Alkmaar in 2011, which followed a move to VVV-Venlo in 2012.

Mäenpää spent three campaigns with VVV-Venlo, including one top-flight Eredivisie season, and he won the club Player of the Season award, before joining Albion in 2015.

Mäenpää earned six clean sheets during his time with the Seagulls.