Kiwi set for Blackburn chance

Rovers captain Ryan Nelsen helps to sell Rovers to Payne

Ryan Nelsen: New Zealand captain bringing fresh talent from his homeland to Ewood Park

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New Zealand starlet Tim Payne has expressed his excitement at the prospect of linking up with Blackburn in January.

Payne, 17, was one of the standout players at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico and is regarded as one of the most promising players to come out of his country in recent times.

The talented forward has spent considerable time training with Rovers' reserve team in recent months after initially impressing in a trial in September.

Payne is not contracted to any club currently but is expected to sign his first professional deal with Blackburn when he turns 18 in January.


"It has all happened so fast," he said in The New Zealand Herald.

"At the start of this year, I was focused on getting a start for the Under-17s and hadn't really thought about the Under-20s. Now I have a chance in England.

"It is pretty exciting. My goal is to play professionally somewhere and this is a big step in that direction."

Rovers captain and fellow New Zealander Ryan Nelsen is understood to have played a big role in luring Payne to Ewood Park.