Ritter arrives in Newcastle

Newcastle Jets recruit Dominik Ritter met his new teammates at training for the first time on Sunday morning.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets recruit Dominik Ritter met his new teammates for the first time at training at Ray Watt Oval on Sunday morning.

The former Swiss under 20-s international arrived in Australia on Saturday evening and said he was pleased with his new surroundings.

“My first impressions are very good,” he said.

“I arrived yesterday evening so haven-t had a lot of time to look at things but today was the first time on the pitch at training and it is very good weather so I-m happy.”

Ritter said he was excited by the challenge of moving to the other side of the world to pursue his football career.

“There is an agent here who contacted me to see if I wanted to play in Australia and everything went very fast from there and now I am here,” he said.

“It-s a chance to play somewhere new and it-s an adventure. There is a new language, a new culture and everything is new to me here, so it-s very exciting.”

Ritter admitted he didn-t know a lot about the A-League before the prospect of joining the Jets came up, but he said he was pleased with what he learned about the competition after researching it online.

“I didn-t know a lot, but people informed me about the 10 teams that play in the A-League and I saw all the stadiums on the internet and I-m really excited to play here,” he explained.

“I-ve not seen every match, but on the internet and on YouTube I-ve seen some parts of games and it is good… it is maybe a little bit nearer to English football.”

Ritter came through the youth system at Switzerland-s most successful club of the past decade, FC Basel, where he also played at first team level with former Socceroo Scott Chipperfield.

He has represented the Swiss national team at underage level and most recently played for FC Winterthur.

The 23-year-old said he was confident of fitting in well with the playing philosophy of Jets head coach Gary van Egmond.

“I like to play as a defender at left back or centre back. For me it doesn-t matter which one, but we-ll see what the coach chooses,” he said.

“(Gary) has spoken to me that he wants to make a lot of pressure (in defence).

“I like to go forward, to attack and make two against one in the offence if I-m playing on the left side. I think maybe the best type of defence is to attack.”

Ritter will join his teammates for the four-day pre-season camp in Canberra starting on Monday. He said he felt fit enough to play in Wednesday night-s trial game against Canberra Rockets if required.

“I was in Switzerland doing my own fitness and I think I am pretty good. But we-ll see tomorrow (at training),” he said.

“I would like to play on Wednesday, maybe not for the whole game, but for a part of it of course.

“I-ve heard it will be a little bit colder there… but in winter in Switzerland we have cold temperatures so it will be not so cold for me in Canberra.”