Soccer: Visa issues in way of Krishna's English dream

Roy Krishna is one of the great unfulfilled talents of local football. Photo / Getty Images
Roy Krishna is one of the great unfulfilled talents of local football. Photo / Getty Images

Waitakere United striker Roy Krishna looks set to miss out on a dream opportunity in England because of an immigration clause.

The prolific Fijian forward was offered an extended one-month trial at Championship club Derby County, which was due to begin at the end of June.

However, Krishna's New Zealand residency application was granted earlier this month which means he is now unable to spend extended periods outside New Zealand. New New Zealand residents need to spend a minimum of 184 days in the country across the first two years if they wish to be granted permanent residence, a requirement that the 25-year-old would be unable to fulfil if he was signed by Derby.

In recent years, Krishna has been one of the great unfulfilled talents of local football.

With his incredible pace, razor-sharp finishing and goal-scoring instinct, the Fijian international has seemed too good for the ASB Premiership.

This has been especially pronounced over the last season, where he took his game to a new level. Slightly built, the 1.70m Krishna has increased his strength, while his awareness and game smarts have also improved.

He won the golden boot (12 goals, including two hat-tricks) in the 2012-13 ASB Premiership, including the last-gasp winner in the final against Auckland City and he also grabbed six goals in eight games in Waitakere's OFC Champions League campaign.

Krishna signed with Waitakere in January 2008, transferring from his local club Labasa FC. Coming to Auckland was a massive culture shock.

Labasa is a small town (population 23,000) with a relaxed lifestyle, well off the tourist track, and Krishna had limited English.

He made an instant impression in his first NZFC season and was invited to spend a few weeks at the Wellington Phoenix in May 2008.

It was ostensibly to provide an introduction to professional football for the then 20-year-old but he wasn't picked up.

In March 2009, the Herald on Sunday reported that Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven were interested but it was decided that he wasn't ready for a move to Europe at that stage. A transfer to the A-League has been occasionally mooted since then but has never come to fruition.

Derby County enjoyed their halcyon days in the early 1970s, when they became champions of England under legendary manager Brian Clough (in 1972) and also reached the semifinals of the European Cup. They won the title again that decade, in 1974-75.

Derby have since enjoyed spells in the top flight but were last in the Premier League in the 2007-08 season, when they were relegated by March. They are currently managed by Nigel Clough, son of Brian.

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 30 Aug 2014 23:47:49 Processing Time: 690ms