New Zealand striker Max Mata has told fans at his new club he arrives with one objective: “It’s to score goals.”
Mata (23) has completed his move to English League One club Shrewsbury Town, from League of Ireland’s Sligo Rovers where he has scored 11 goals in 23 appearances this season.
His performances attracted interest from Shrewsbury whose manager Matt Taylor watched Mata and his New Zealand teammate Nando Pijnaker (24) play in a league match in late July.
Leaving the League of Ireland in mid-season may work to Mata’s advantage as Shrewsbury Town have just completed their pre-season preparation for their season opener against Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
Main photo: Max Mata is unveiled as a Shrewsbury Town player. Credit: Shrewsbury Town FC.
“(For me it’s) mid-season and I’m lucky that I’m fit and healthy and it’s just a matter of breaking into the team, getting to know the lads, getting comfortable and hopefully start scoring goals as soon as possible.”
Of his move, Mata said:
“I think my objective stays the same wherever I go in the world, it’s to score goals.
“Very excited to get started in League One football, I think it was the right place for me to come, I think it’s the right place the player that I am and the person that I am so, yeah, really excited.”
Sligo is expected to receive an undisclosed fee for leading scorer Mata, with potential add-on payments, as the striker still has 18 months left on his contract.
Newly-promoted League One club Carlisle United was also reportedly interested in Mata.
Mata played his club football in New Zealand for Onehunga Sports, Eastern Suburbs and the Wellington Phoenix reserves, and made his All Whites debut in 2019.
In joining Shrewsbury, Mata follows fellow New Zealanders Declan Edge, Rory Fallon, Benjamin van den Broek and Kris Bright to the club.