Premier League

Anelka: Albion right club for me

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Fri, 05 Jul 2013 11:23:00

Gary MacKenzie has completed his permanent transfer to Blackpool from MK Dons for an undisclosed fee.

The 27-year-old defender, who made 12 appearances for the Seasiders during a loan spell last season, has signed a two-year deal with an option for a further year.

"It's good to have it all tied up now and be able to focus on the new season," said MacKenzie.

"I'm just looking forward to getting out on the training pitch with the boys again and planning for the start of the season.

"I enjoyed my time here last season and the three months that I had here were pretty good. It gave me a wee taste of Championship football and it kind of made my mind up of where I wanted to try and play.

"I've been given the opportunity to come here and do that so hopefully I can do well."

MacKenzie joined MK Dons from Dundee in 2010 and made 79 appearances during his three years at the club.

Injuries and suspensions prevented the Scot from reaching a century of appearances for the Dons but he was still a key player in two play-off campaigns.

Dons boss Karl Robinson said: "Gary has been a tremendous servant to this football club and has matured both on and off the pitch during his time in Milton Keynes.

"It is not in this club's nature to stand in the way of a player's own personal progression and the opportunity to play in the Championship, and perhaps get the Scotland cap that currently eludes him, is too good to turn down."

The 34-year-old former France international signed a one-year deal at The Hawthorns on Thursday night with the option of a further 12 months, and is hoping to see out his footballing days in the Black Country.

He told the club's official website, www.wba.co.uk: "I think I will finish in England, I'm happy here. I also hope that it will be with this club. I think this is the right club for me.

"I'm 34 years old now and I want to enjoy my football. I hope everything will be perfect.

"I hope we will be successful this year and hopefully we will reach Europe. We will try to do better than last season.

"That's why I'm here. When I spoke with the head coach, he said he wants to do better than last year. We will try our best to do that.

"We will also try to do the same in the cup competitions."

Anelka's relationship with Baggies boss Steve Clarke, who he also worked with at Chelsea, proved key in his decision to return to England from his short spell at Juventus.

He said: "I know the club and I know the head coach, which was very important for me.

"He knows how to use me on the pitch, which is important later on in your career.

"I know he likes to play football and that's why I signed here. He knows me and I know him. I also have friends in the changing room."

The sight of Anelka in an Albion shirt may come as something of a relief to the club's fans, who have previously seen him score five times in seven appearances against his new employers.

Anelka said with a smile: "I've always liked West Brom.

"I have a lot of good memories of playing against West Brom, and now I have to do my best to score for West Brom. When I was playing for Chelsea, it was always tough to beat Albion.

"The team plays good football and I know I will be able to play my game here. Hopefully I will be able to help the team win more games.

"I don't know which position I will play. As long as I'm playing and enjoying my football, I'm happy."

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