|Kris Bright along with coach Stuart Watkiss after the striker's arrival in Pune|
Bharat FC has signed its first player for the 2014-15 season of the I-League, acquiring New Zealand international Kris Bright on a season-long contract. Bright will turn out for Bharat FC in the new I-League season slated to start on the 17th of January.
The 28-year-old Bright, son of 1982 World Cupper David Bright, is a proven goal-getter having played in the Australian A-League, the Dutch first division along with top-flight football in Norway, Finland, Greece and Hungary. Bright spent the 2013-14 season with English Conference Premier side Lincoln City FC, making seven appearances and scoring two goals.
The lanky Bright has a solid goal-scoring record in every league he has played in. Out of a total of 178 appearances for clubs from 2004-2005 till 2013-14, the Kiwi has scored 88 goals. Bright is also a full international for New Zealand having made six appearances for his national team. He has also scored one goal for New Zealand, finding the back of the net in a friendly against Thailand in 2009.
Bright made his name at hometown club Waitakere City, scoring 30 goals in 22 appearances in the 2004-2005 season. He then subsequently played 11 games for A-League club New Zealand Knights scoring once before moving to Holland with Fortuna Sittard. However, after spending a year with Fortuna Sittard, Bright moved to Norway with Kristiansund BK. It was here that the lanky striker flourished, netting a phenomenal 28 goals in 24 appearances for the Norwegian side. Spells at Greek Super League side Panserraikos were followed by appearances for Shrewsbury Town, Honved Budapest, FC Haka and IFK Mariehamm. Bright has also played for the New Zealand under-17 and under-20 sides, scoring a total of 10 goals over 12 appearances for both sides.
Amit Kalyani, Executive Director of the Kalyani Group and Managing Director of Bharat FC, believed that it was Bright’s sharpness and awareness in front of goal that drew the club towards him. “Kris is a prolific goal-scorer and someone who can ably lead the line as we aim to start our first season strongly. He has managed to score in every country that he has played in and I am sure his Indian stint will be full of goals too,” he said.
The 28-year-old Kiwi said that the chance of leading the line at a new club and the responsibility of driving his side’s attacking endeavours were the main reasons that he agreed to the move. “I was very excited about coming to India after speaking to Stuart (Watkiss) and getting to know more about the project. Leading the line is something that I immensely enjoy and I hope to perform really for Bharat FC. Also, I would get a chance to interact with the young Indian players and pass on a few things that I have learnt over my career,” he said.