Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Thursday January 24 2008
Another win for Rams at appeal
The Rams have completed the signing of Australian midfielder Mile Sterjovski, after he received a work permit on appeal.
Paul Jewell travelled down to London straight after the Rams penalty shoot-out victory against Sheffield Wednesday where he had to face a Home Office hearing on Wednesday after the 28-year-old Australian fell short of the criteria to gain an automatic permit to play in the Premier League.
But in another victory for the club the hearing found in their favour and Sterjovski was free to join the Rams from Turkish club Genclerbirligi for an undisclosed fee.
Jewell was delighted with the outcome and happy to have the experienced midfielder on board.
He said: 'I am delighted with the decision, although we always felt we had a strong case.
'Mile is an international player with Champions League and World Cup experience. He will make a fantastic addition to the squad.'
The stumbling block was even though the attacking midfielder was a member of Australia's World Cup squad in 2006, he has not played the required 75 per cent of their matches in the past two years.
But before the appeal the 28-year-old was confident the matter can be resolved and Derby's case was backed by a letter of support from the Australian Football Federation.
'I'm confident that the work permit will be OK but there's always a chance that it won't,' said Sterjovski.
'One game I missed was when the national team only used A-League players against Kuwait and the other was when my former club, Basel, had an important UEFA Cup match.'
There is still some red tape to go before Sterjovski can play for the Rams, as they are still awaiting international clearance and are hoping to get it by noon on Friday so that he can play against Preston in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Sterjovski can play as a right winger or striker and has signed an 18-month deal with the Rams.
Date:Thursday January 24 2008
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|3. Derby County||43||23||9||11||+29||78|
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