Irish Munster settles at Orebro

Paul Munster's incredible footballing journey has taken him from Belfast, to Canada, to the Czech Republic and now Swedish club Orebro - and the striker still has ambitions to hit the big time.

Paul Munster's incredible footballing journey has taken him from Belfast, to Canada, to the Czech Republic and now Swedish club Orebro - and the striker still has ambitions to hit the big time.

The 23-year-old has signed a contract with Patrick Walker's Superettan team until the end of the year with a view to a longer stay in Scandinavia.

But that does not even begin to describe the bizarre 18 months Munster has experienced.

A promising junior player with Celtic Boys in his home town of Belfast, Munster's rapid growth played a part in a serious knee problem and at the age of 19 he thought there was no prospect of a professional career in the game after suffering a ligament injury.

While studying and coaching in Canada, a chance reserve outing for London City saw him hit the goal trail. Twelve goals in his next three matches quickly saw him promoted to the club's first team.

He finished the season as top-scorer in the Canadian league with 25 goals in 19 matches and came to the attention of Slavia Prague.

Munster joined the Czech giants in November last year after impressing coach Josef Csaplar in a three-week trial.

Despite facing city rivals Sparta and scoring regularly for the reserves he fell out of favour after Karel Jarolim was appointed coach in April.

But through an agent, Munster landed a week's trial at Orebro and was delighted to sign for the second half of the current campaign, with the club trying to bounce straight back from relegation.

Munster said: "I was in the Czech Republic for eight months and the new coach came in and the problem was he didn't speak any English."

"I went to the reserves and I was scoring goals but nothing was happening."

"The coach Patrick called me and told me what he was looking for and I fitted the bill perfectly. I came over, did well, and he liked what he saw."

"He's told me about the team and their ambitions to go back up so I decided to come over and it was perfect."

"So far I've signed until the end of the year but in September we'll talk about a contract extension."

"They want me to play here, score some goals and get them back up again, that's their aim."

The move caps an incredible journey of three countries and thousands of miles over the past year, although Munster is at a loss to explain his sudden rise to the professional ranks.

"Before, I didn't even really think about it," he added.

"I don't know what it is and it's hard to explain, it's crazy. Even when I went home (before I went to the Czech Republic), my family thought I was going for another job in the Czech Republic but I just had a positive attitude."

"It was a big team with international players but to be honest I didn't really feel out of place."

With his knee injury now forgotten, Munster expects to thrive under his new boss and reckons even international - for the Republic or Northern Ireland - or Premiership football are not out of the question in the future.

He continued: "The main thing is that Paul can understand me. He's got the Irish mentality."

"I look up to Roy Keane so I get really into it. I get frustrated and go crazy sometimes and Paul will understand that! In Prague that was a problem."

"People laugh at me when I say it, but when I was with Slavia there was talks about internationals and it didn't really bother me."

"Now I've told Patrick when I start scoring goals, people will start watching and then I would love to be an international."

"My aim is to play in the Premiership, I always want to go higher and there's no settling for anything. I want to keep improving."
Source: PRESS ASSOCIATION