Matt Nigro’s trial in Croatia with Vestri FC during pre-season was a tremendous success, and the midfielder from New Jersey signed his first professional contract with the club shortly thereafter. Matt’s return to America was only to pack his belongings, as he was flown immediately back to Iceland to finish pre-season with the club before opening up competition in Icelandic Cup play on May 1.
“I’m excited, it’s everything that I’ve worked for and dreamed of.” Matt told SoccerViza.
“I’m excited for the opportunity, and that someone believed in me and gave me the chance, and I’m thankful to SoccerViza for everything they did during this process.”
It was a stressful time waiting for paperwork clearances, as changes in internal policy in both the United States and Icelandic government agencies created a logjam of confusion and false start application processes. Eventually though, Matt was cleared to play two days before the season kick off, allowing him to suit up in Sunday’s game against visiting KH.
“It’s been a good experience so far [in Iceland]. I think it would have been a little better if paperwork came in a bit smoother, but that’s in the past now, and I’m happy to no longer have to worry about the legal side of things, and just focus on football.”
With the paperwork behind him, Matt earned his first professional cap playing in the center of the park for Vestri, alongside Iceland U-17 National Team star Viktor Juliusson and veteran midfielder Daniel Badu.
The game went well, with Matt creating several scoring opportunities through clever passes and identifying gaps in KH’s defense. Vestri went on to win the Cup opener 4-0, sending them through to the next round.
With paperwork and his debut behind him, Matt has turned his attention forward to the league opener against KF on May 7, marking the start of 2016’s campaign as Vestri tries to win promotion back to the first division after dropping last season.
“This season it’s about promotion for the team, and trying to push and get to a higher division. The support from the town, the belief in the locker room, I really think it’s going to be possible. The boys are working hard, and we’re looking forward to the year.”
Matt, a former player and assistant coach at William Paterson University, will be with Vestri through the 2016 season, and you can follow along with his progress through Vestri and SoccerViza’s social media.
“I want to say thank you to SoccerViza and everyone back home,” He concluded.
“My family, my mother and father pushing me, and everyone else who helped me get here. I’m just excited to get going now.”