Bulgarian Brothers Debut in New Zealand Football League
Two Bulgarian brothers will bolster Canterbury United for the start of the New Zealand football league season on Friday.
Attacking midfielder Dimitar Bayrev, 25, and his brother Vladimir, a 23-year-old central defender, are likely to make their ASB premiership debuts when the Canterbury Dragons travel to play four-time champions Auckland City, press.co.nz reported.
Canterbury head coach Keith Braithwaite said the brothers were friends of Dragons assistant-coach Tsetso Ivanov and were holidaying in New Zealand.
"They've come here to see Tsetso, who is a close friend of their father and has known them since they were boys," Braithwaite said. "They decided to play football while they are here on holiday."
Dimitar Bayrev, who scored in Canterbury's recent 2-0 pre-season win over Otago United, said the brothers had spent two years with Bulgarian first division club FC Botev Plovdiv and were looking forward to experiencing New Zealand football.
Braithwaite said the pair would be handy additions to a Canterbury squad missing veteran midfielder Joe Murray, English import left back Daniel Glozier and top scorer George Slefendorfas who has defected to champions Waitakere United.
"They are both very talented. Vlad has got an educated left foot and is a good distributor of the ball and Dimi, up front, will play the No 10 role tucked behind striker Russell Kamo."
Dimi Bayrev's arrival means Canterbury should not be short of scoring options despite the loss of Golden Boot winner Slefendorfas.
The Bulgarian, who Braithwaite rates as "skilful on the ball and an excellent finisher", will join Kamo, Darren White, Andy Barton and All White Aaron Clapham at the fulcrum of the attack.
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