Lithuanian defender Sigitas Olberkis has signed for Sligo Rovers for the rest of the 2020 season.

The 23-year-old joins from Senglea Athletic in Malta where their season was ended earlier this year because of Covid-19.

Olberkis, a centre-half, is a former Under-21 international and has also played in Belarus and Latvia.

He arrives in Ireland today from Lithuania, a country on the green list, meaning he does not need to quarantine.

Olberkis is awaiting international clearance.

Olberkis said: "I’m very happy, and I say that because I can play.

"When football stopped at my previous club, the league was declared over for the season so that was it, I had to go home. I have been waiting for a new season.

"When it was put to me about moving to Sligo in Ireland, I know it is a good league and it is a good option for me.

"I streamed the game with Derry City last Friday and I could see the team are a good one. It also confirmed to me why Ireland often comes up as a league for players to go to. The standard is good and the football is good.

"I like to play as a defender but it is up to the manager what type he wants me to be. I listen, I do not decide, I learn and the coaches will tell me how the team should play.

"I will train with the team on Friday and then I hope to play as soon as possible. Of course it will be strange with no supporters but I have experiences of many things and I am here to play football.

"I am here for this season but of course I would like to be here for longer. For now I want to play as much football as I can. I will be ready to play, I have so much desire and I want to use that to help my team win matches."

Manager Liam Buckley said Sligo moved for another defender after a spate of injuries led to Garry Buckley operating as a centre-half this season: "I've been looking at bringing in an additional defender because of injuries. From John Mahon at the start of the year, to a range of others, we’ve been really hit hard in that area.

"It is the way it transpired where we were down to one available defender in the squad at times. 

"Sigitas is a great addition, a really good ball player and he has played in a few leagues so it’s not a major transition to come here. He was with Žalgiris last season who are one of the leading teams in his country and was doing well in Malta before that league stopped.

"He’s available straight away once we get clearance, any player we would bring in now has to be from a country where it is safe to do so.

"We’re getting close to some of the defenders coming back and we’ll be really strong in that area.

"We’re looking forward to get him involved with us, starting with training on Friday. It was a good restart for us in Derry, that is gone now and we’re looking for the next big performance."

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