Greek becomes a Spartan

Spartans finally have a Greek-born player in their ranks, for the first time in their history – after goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz was granted International Clearance.

Michal Misiewicz

The 22-year-old was born in Athens, but has represented Canada up to Under 23 level. He was also a member of their London 2012 qualification squad, playing all four games before Canada were eliminated by eventual Gold Medallists Mexico in the CONCACAF semi-finals.

The former Plymouth Argyle, Sunderland and FC Edmonton stopper arrives at Croft Park following a spell at Polish II Liga club MKS Swit Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki last season.

And, after featuring for Blyth in pre-season, “Magic Mike” is eager to get started for Spartans and has no worries about settling back into the English game.

He said: “I feel good about joining the club. I’ve come to England to get some games under my belt and that is the plan here.

“I didn’t know that much about Blyth really. ‘Hubbs’ (Craig Hubbard) got me in contact with the manager and I was able to play for the club in pre-season, which I was very happy about.

“It’s no different for me – as I have played in England before. I know there are some big boys in this league, but I just have to play my own game and I know I’ll be fine.

“Hopefully, I can get a good season at Blyth and see where it goes.”

Misiewicz is also looking forward to competing with established stopper Conor Grant for the number one jersey.

He said: “It’s always great to have a keeper like Conor, who’s at a good level to compete with. It means you’re always pushing each other and you’re never too comfortable in goal.

“There are times when you think ‘Oh, I’ll laze around in training because I know I’m guaranteed to be playing this week’. But it’s not like that here.

“I know I have to push on every week and, hopefully, it will push me on to be a better keeper.”

With only a further 12 months of eligibility for the Canadian Under 23 side, Misiewicz also hopes a good run of form for Blyth will attract the attention of Canadian senior team manager Benito Floro.

He said: “I’m near the age limit for Under 23 level, so the next step is the senior national side. I’m in contact with my coach all of the time and, at the moment, I just have to find myself first-team football.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that here and get as many games under my belt as I can. If I can do that and get seen, then I have every chance of moving on to the senior team.

“That is my goal.”

Posted by Glen Maxwell