Player Profile: Ryan Nelsen
Name: Ryan Nelsen
Date of Birth: 18th October 1977, Christchurch
Nationality: New Zealander
Squad Number: 6
Internationals: Capped at Full level for New Zealand
Signed: January 2005
Previous Clubs: Greensboro College, Stanford University, DC United (All USA)
Ryan Nelsen is a gifted sportsman who was a promising cricketer in his youth before turning his attention to football.
Nelsen moved to the United States of America as a 17-year-old to concentrate on his footballing career working his way though the American collegiate system, representing Greensboro College and Stanford University.
Born a natural leader, Nelsen went on to captain US Major League side DC United starting in 2003. That season saw him named the clubs best defender also being named in the Leagues best XI. He then captained DC United to the National Title in 2004 also again being named in the Leagues best XI.
Arguably the best free transfer arrival in the clubs history following his arrival in January 2005. The summer of 2005 saw his performances at the tail end of the 2004-2005 season rewarded with a new three-year-contract.
Initial Nelsen had his application for a work permit refused leaving his move in doubt, the fact that it was later granted will be of even more relief to Rovers as he was to be instrumental in the fine 2005-2006 season Rovers endured. With him in the side Rovers concede little or no goals at all!
The summer of 2006 saw another improved four-year deal signed as others coveted his signature. Portsmouth apparently tabled three separate bids the last of which was to be a reported £5 million.
The strong, powerful and immensely talented central defender is also captain of the New Zealand national side. He is a regular fixture not only their squads but also the starting line up.
Nelsen previously stepped in as captain in previous captain Andy Todd's absence but will almost certainly become the Rovers captain once fully fit again taking over from stand in Lucas Neill (who may not even by with the club by then?)
The defender who is vital to Rovers' success has been sorely missed having missed the whole of pre-season and the opening months of the 2006-2007 season with a hamstring problem which has troubled him for some time, so basically when he returns this season will have turned into a 2007 season for him.
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
FA Cup: 5 (1 as sub)
League Cup: 5
Other (European etc.): 0
TOTAL: 56 - 0 goals
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