Medals motivation for Nelsen
Ryan Nelsen's determination to end his playing career on a high was the driving factor behind his move from Blackburn to Tottenham.
Last Updated: 02/02/12 10:39am
Ryan Nelsen's determination to end his playing career on a high was the driving factor behind his move from Blackburn Rovers to Tottenham Hotspur.
The New Zealand captain, who has played only once this season due to a knee injury, emerged as a late target for Spurs in the closing minutes of Tuesday's January transfer deadline.
Nelsen has since been released from his contract at Blackburn and is now awaiting clearance before signing a six-month contract at White Hart Lane with an option to extend the deal to a year.
The 34-year-old had already been offered a coaching role in America, but the chance to join Premier League title-chasing Spurs and challenge for silverware was too good to turn down after seven years at Blackburn.
"Medals, trophies are things you strive for. Blackburn got to five semis and never made a final, so it's very exciting," Nelsen told New Zealand's 3News.
The centre-back is expected to sign a deal with Spurs on Thursday after undergoing a medical with Harry Redknapp's club.
"Yeah, it's different," said Nelsen. "(It) feels like you're going back to the first day of school, so yeah, everyone will be looking at you and judging you so I better clean my boots and comb my hair... it'll be fun."
Despite being signed as a replacement for Sebastien Bassong, who joined Wolves on loan, Nelsen faces a battle for a first-team place at Tottenham.
Ledley King, Younes Kaboul and Michael Dawson are all established at Spurs, while William Gallas is currently on the treatment table, but the club's new arrival is relishing the challenge.
"I kind of like when the odds are stacked against you, so we'll see. We'll get out there and give it everything," said Nelsen.
Meanwhile, Blackburn manager Steve Kean has wished Nelsen all the best in his new career at Tottenham.
The Rovers boss said: "He had an offer to become a player-coach at an American club, a situation that he was very excited about.
"It was over a two-year period and then right at the very last minute Tottenham came in and offered him a short-term contract until the end of the season.
"I don't know if the opportunity in America will still be there, I would imagine so, so he's decided to take a short-term contract.
"He was a fabulous servant for the club and we wish him all the best, because it's going to be another chapter in his career."