Riise boosts Fulham Norwegian link

13 July 2011 05:00

New Fulham signing John Arne Riise is delighted to be back in the Barclays Premier League and thinks the Cottagers' Norwegian connection can only benefit the club he joined on Wednesday for an undisclosed fee.

Riise's move will see him link up with brother Bjorn Helge in west London, as well as fellow Norway international Brede Hangeland. The 30-year-old came up against the pair in Fulham's 2010 Europa League run while at Roma and admits it will be special to now play alongside them.

"It was the first time my brother and I played against each other at a high level so it was a big experience for both of us," he told the club's official website. "I managed to score against Fulham - my brother likes that one - and we enjoyed it, but now we can finally play together in a club."

The former Liverpool man added: "[As for Brede], we play next to each other in the national team and hopefully we can do the same here at Fulham. It can only help both Fulham and the national team that we can play together so having three Norwegians at the same club is going to be nice and we're going to enjoy it."

While the left-back admits he will enjoy playing alongside his brother and international team-mate, he insists they did not need to persuade him to join Martin Jol's side.

"Even before I knew of the interest I had heard a lot about how Fulham treated players - how they operate, all the physios, doctors and everything around the club," said Riise, who almost joined the club 10 years ago. I knew it was a great club to come to so I didn't need too much convincing because I knew already.

"But obviously now that everything is done I am really happy and looking forward to starting training and being fit for the season."

Riise is the club's second signing of the summer, following the deal for Hungarian goalkeeper Csaba Somogyi.

He will not travel with Fulham for Thursday's Europa League second qualifying round clash against Crusaders in Northern Ireland, but hopes to be available for next week's second leg and admits he cannot wait to start working with manager Jol.

"I had a chat with a few of the medical staff and stuff about my fitness," he said. "I am already there but I need some football training - a bit of ball work - so hopefully it looks I will be playing in the second leg. A little week of football training and then I am ready."

Source: PA