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Tadhg out to strike deal in Norway

MUCH-TRAVELLED Irish striker Tadhg Purcell hopes he can carve out a career for himself in Scandinavia after chasing the dream across England.

The 27-year-old Dubliner has been struggling to establish himself since he joined Northampton Town from Darlington in 2010 and he recently had a spell in Australia, working as a personal trainer as well as focusing on his own fitness.

This week Purcell is in Norway, part of the PFAI team of unemployed players who are hoping to win contracts and extend their careers. And while Irish exports to the leagues in Scandinavia are rare, Purcell hopes that today's indoor tournament in the Norwegian capital will allow him to showcase his goalscoring talents to interesting club managers.

"I've had a few offers and I will listen to what people have to say but these trial games here in Norway could be really good for me," says Purcell.

"I have some contacts out in this part of the world and maybe a move to Finland or Norway could work out for me. I'd love to try and do something different.

"Not many Irish players end up in this part of the world. I think Irish footballers see it as a risky move, but if I got the chance I'd snap it up," added Purcell, who began with Kilkenny City before making his name with Shamrock Rovers.

Purcell is now a free agent and has had spells on loan to Darlington and Cork City while he was on the books of Northampton.

Cork offered him a deal in the summer but former Shamrock Rovers man Purcell chose to head to England, hopeful that trials could lead to a deal.

Spells at Port Vale and Preston didn't work out as planned and it was a tough time. "I was living on my own, in a hotel, for two months, just chasing a deal here and there, travelling all over the country and that's not ideal. You're offered something from month to month or game to game and that's no good at this stage of my career," he says.

"So I walked away from all that and headed to Sydney for a while, did some work as a personal trainer down there.

"I am back now, fitter than I ever have been, and I'm hoping to get a good club for myself."

His former manager at Kilkenny and Rovers, Pat Scully, included Purcell in a 17-strong squad of players -- all of them Irish -- who will play two matches in an indoor tournament here in Oslo today. They take on squads made up of out-of-contract players from Sweden, Norway and Finland, with some familiar faces around -- the Norwegian panel is managed by former Leeds United man Eirik Bakke, and ex-Drogheda United player and coach Sami Ristila is also here, scouting for new players in his role as manager of Finnish side KooTeePee.

Purcell says: "It's a great tournament to have and credit to the PFAI for putting it together.

"I think it would be great for players and for the union if a couple of Irish players end up getting a move out of this."