The 35-year-old Novo, who last played this spring for Carlisle United in England’s League One, traveled to North Carolina in June to trial with the RailHawks and also took in a few of the club’s matches.
Novo and the club agreed to contractual terms several weeks later. However, immigration entanglements delayed Novo joining the team until this week.
After arriving in North Carolina late Wednesday evening, a jet lagged Novo trained with his new teammates Thursday morning after passing a team physical. Afterwards, he spoke with INDY Week
about what brought him to Cary, NC.
“The advantage I had was I came over here and saw the facilities and the city, and I felt relaxed,” Novo says. “The main thing for me is to feel relaxed and settled, where I come every day and enjoy training. At my age, I still enjoy football like when I was 12 years of age.”
Novo says the longest time he's previously spent in the United States was a month-long vacation in Orlando, Fla. Now, his contract with the RailHawks extends through the 2015 season.
Novo is arguably the most pedigreed player to ever join the RailHawks. During his time with Rangers from 2004-10, Novo scored 47 league goals, 25 of those in his first season with the club. During that initial season, Rangers won both the Scottish League Cup and Scottish Premier League, with Novo scoring the winning goal against Hibernian to clinch league title.
The Carolina RailHawks’ long-gestating rumor is now official: Nacho Novo, the lauded Spanish striker who spent seven seasons with Glasgow Rangers of the Scottish Premier League, has signed with the RailHawks of the North American Soccer League (NASL).