Norwegian midfielder joins Southern Utd for national premiership

The good word from last year's Norwegian has lured another to Dunedin.

Chris Wingate has signed with Southern United for the coming national football premiership.

The 25-year-old midfielder brings experience from both Norway and the United States.

It is a path similar to that of Markus Fjortoft, the tall defender who turned out for Southern last season.

Fjortoft has since progressed to the Scottish Premier League, where he plays for Hamilton Academical. But his New Zealand experience left a positive mark, so much so that he recommended it to his friend Wingate.

"Markus had so many good things to say about the club, the region, the people and the potential for the club to make further progress," Wingate said in a release.

"I'm looking forward to assisting the team get as many positive results as possible and finishing as high on the table as we can."

The University of New Hampshire's first player to get drafted to Major League Soccer, Wingate was picked by New York City FC.

He also spent time with the Seattle Sounders under-23 side, as well as the Bethlehem Steel.

More recently he was in Norway playing for Baerum SK.

Southern coach Paul O'Reilly said Wingate would add great quality to the squad.

"Chris is a technically gifted midfielder with superb awareness and vision.

"He possesses a great passing range and has an eye for a killer pass.

"He'll bring his ability to create and unlock opposition's defences.

"We expect to see him develop a clinical relationship with Joel Stevens and Garbhan Coughlan."

Wingate joins a solid group of confirmed signings.

Among those are returning Irishmen Conor O'Keeffe, Garbhan Coughlan, Stephen Last and Danny Ledwith.

Liam Little and Ben Deeley are also back, while Dunedin product Joel Stevens is also returning home to play for Southern.

Meanwhile, a quartet from last year's youth squad - Alex Cox, Rory Findlay, Stewart Catto and Tim O'Farrell - have all been contracted.

More signings will be announced in the coming weeks.

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