MIDFIELDER Yan Klukowski is backing himself to replicate his non-league goalscoring form in the Football League with Newport County AFC, writes Andrew Penman.
The 27-year-old rejected a lucrative offer to stay at Conference club Forest Green Rovers in favour of testing himself in League Two for the first time.
And the Chippenham-born player, the all-time record scorer for Rovers with 49 goals, is convinced he and County have what it takes to succeed at this level.
“I was very impressed with what the manager had to say and the location is perfect for me,” said Klukowski.
“I came to the last home game of the season and really enjoyed the atmosphere and the feel of the club so that was a big factor as well.
“I’m looking forward to getting going now and I’m very excited by the new challenge.
“Forest Green offered me a new deal but I’ve always wanted to play in the Football League and I believe I can be successful with Newport County.
“I’d like to think I can help improve the side,” he added. “Everywhere I’ve played I’ve always chipped in with goals from midfield.
“It’s obviously a challenge now to show I can do that at this level but I back myself and hopefully I can help the team progress.”
Klukowski started out at Bath City before moving to America on a college scholarship and going on to play for Ottawa Fury, Cape Cod Crusaders and Western Mass Pioneers.
He moved to Forest Green in 2010 and has been one of the standout performers in the Conference since then.
“With Yan we knew he wasn’t going to be staying at Forest Green and someone who has scored that amount of goals is a big attraction,” said Exiles boss Justin Edinburgh.
Klukowski added: “I know a lot of the players, particularly Andy Sandell from our time at Bath City and I played with Chris Zebroski when we were both very young.
“It will be nice to see a few old faces and hopefully get settled in quickly and hit the ground running.”
The contract also comes as an early wedding present for Klukowski, who is set to marry his long-term sweetheart Sian Perham in Antigua on Monday.
Klukowski added: “Sian and I fly to Antigua on Thursday and we can relax knowing my football future is sorted.”