Grella happy to move to English pastures

August 27, 2008
By Philip Henderson

Socceroos star Vince Grella admits the Serie A had become stale after a decade playing top-tier club football in Italy.

After completing his STG4 million ($A8.55 million) transfer move from Torino to Blackburn Rovers this week, the 28-year-old said he was looking forward to reinvigorating his club career in the English Premier League.

"I'd spent 10 years in Italy and I learnt a lot there," said the holding midfielder.

"I'm happy that I started my career in that country, but it was just getting a little bit stale there.

"Italy is still an important country to play in but the English Premier League had something special that I wanted to be involved in."

The 2006 World Cup hero has signed a four-year deal with Rovers to play alongside fellow Socceroo Brett Emerton, who scored in the club's 4-1 League Cup victory over lowly Grimsby.

Grella's club debut could come as early as this weekend's away trip to Lucas Neill's West Ham.

"I'm very pleased to be here," Grella told the club's website.

"I'd made up my mind to leave Italy, obviously it wasn't that simple, but Blackburn made an important offer and I'm happy to be here.

"There's a certain enthusiasm about all the stadiums of England, the way that the people enjoy their football.

"I think the clubs have invested a lot of money in bringing in the top players and they have improved the football as a consequence.

"It is an enthusiastic league to watch, the opportunity was there and I thought it would be good to measure myself against such a good league."

Grella began his European career with Empoli in the Serie A in 1998 before moving to Parma in 2004, where he was joined by fellow Socceroo Mark Bresciano, and then to Torino in 2007.