Grygera raring to get going

Grygera was part of the Juventus side that led 4-1 on aggregate at

Craven Cottage in a last-16 tie a year and a half ago before being

stunned by one of the most unlikely comebacks ever seen in European

football. The defender, who joined Fulham on transfer deadline day,

admitted he would “never forget” the atmosphere that night and

revealed he was hoping to experience it again, starting in

Thursday’s opening Group K clash with FC Twente. He told his club’s

official website: “Fulham turned a lot of heads when they knocked

Juventus out of the competition and I’ve taken an interest ever

since – when you are involved in a game like that it is only

natural. “I’ve played a few times against English teams over the

years and, every time, I have been struck by the atmosphere in and

around the grounds, and Craven Cottage was no different. “Even

though it is small in comparison to some, the atmosphere was

fantastic and made for a great setting. “It was a difficult night

for those on the losing side but, of course, it was a special night

for Fulham. “It’s not often an Italian team concedes four goals –

you rarely see that happen. “But Fulham played the better football,

showed more fight and, in the end, were the team that deserved the

win. “It’s funny how things work out. It shows that in football you

just never know what will happen. “I’m very happy to be opening a

new chapter in my career and hopefully I can share similar lasting

memories with the fans. “This is a country that loves its football

and I’m always impressed by the way the game is played and the

manner in which the fans follow.” Grygera became the seventh of 10

new arrivals this summer, joining John Arne Riise and Pajtim Kasami

in making the move from Serie A. “You can see that football in

England is different to football in Italy,” said the 31-year-old,

who will be hoping to make his debut on Thursday. “It is a lot more

physical over here and, in my opinion, the game is played at a

higher level, although in Italy it is arguably more tactical. “It

was a great honour to play for a club like Juventus – one of the

most renowned and successful clubs not just in Italy, but perhaps

even the world. “But, after four seasons in Turin, I am now

concentrating on being here and doing well for Fulham.” The former

Ajax star added: “I am a bit older than most of the others that

have come in, but I like to think that I bring a lot of experience.

“I’m hopeful that everything will work out for me here and, like

all new signings, that I can provide my new team with something

extra. “I’m known for my versatility and, in recent years, more

often than not, I have played in either of the full-back positions.

But then, at Ajax, I played more in the centre of defence, so it’s

difficult to say what exactly my best position is. “Fulham play a

different style, so we’ll see where I can establish myself.”