Kilmarnock complete signing of Czech defender Kroca

By Liam McLeodBBC Scotland
Zdenek Kroca
Kroca arrives at Kilmarnock on a two-year contract from Luton Town

Kilmarnock have signed Czech defender Zdenek Kroca from Luton Town as manager Kenny Shiels continues to rebuild the Ayrshire side.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year contract and joined up with his new team-mates on Thursday.

Kroca is Killie's fifth summer signing as the start of the new season nears.

Shiels is also confident that he will unveil another new signing at a media conference on Friday though he would not be drawn on the player's identity.

The signing of Kroca will see the towering centre-half slot into one of the roles vacated by Frazer Wright who has moved to St Johnstone and Momo Sissoko who returned to Italians Udinese after a season-long loan.

"We've been after him now for three months and worked hard on it," he told BBC Scotland.

"He'll bring stature, domination at the back and he's a very good player with lots of qualities which we've been looking for for a long time.

"You don't lose a player of Frazer Wright's quality and expect to fill it as well as we have done with this signing."

Kroca's arrival follows that of fellow defender Patrick Ada, midfielders Gary Harkins and Daniel Racchi and striker Paul Heffernan.

But Shiels has ruled out any possibility of Sissoko returning on a permanent basis.

"Udinese are looking at a big fee for him so that's not going to happen," he said.

Kroca himself says he is delighted with the move after just one year at Conference National side Luton.

"It feels very good to be here and after the first training session this morning, I'm looking forward to my playing career here in Kilmarnock," the Czech said.

"My time at Luton will help me as I don't think there's too much difference between English football and Scottish football.

"I can defend well and also score goals - which is a bonus for me and that is what I want to show the Kilmarnock fans.

"Everyone in the Czech Republic knows Rangers and Celtic but there are teams outside those two who are hungry for success and I think Kilmarnock is one of those teams.

"There were a couple of teams in England interested in me but the manager here really wanted me so I decided to come here."

Kenny Shiels
Shiels is happy with the capture of Czech Kroca and says more will arrive

The signing is a boost to the Killie boss after his failure to land midfielder Chris Clark earlier in the week when the player went to Aberdeen instead.

"Chris Clark had more or less agreed to come here but it was difficult for him because his wife had just moved to Aberdeen, the most northerly club, from the most southern and western in the UK in Plymouth," he said.

"His wife had a big influence - she didn't want to move again - which I can understand as they've a young family.

"We give him our best wishes as he's a good guy."

But Shiels is confident another new addition will arrive before the weekend.

"We should be in a position to hold a press conference on Friday for another new player," the Northern Irishman added.

"We've lost practically a full team this summer but are working hard to establish a squad that can compete in the SPL.

"We'll know better after our pre-season friendlies what stage we're at."

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