GEOFF CAMERON felt an enormous sense of relief when Stoke City’s final pre-season game presented him with the chance to make his long-awaited debut for the Club . . . and now he can’t wait for the real thing in the Barclays Premier League.
The American international launched his Potters career in the draw against Bundesliga newcomers Sp Vgg Greuther Furth on Friday evening at the end of a protracted transfer process from Major League Soccer outfit Houston Dynamo this summer.
Cameron produced an impressive debut in the centre of midfield at the Trolli Arena just 48 hours after he had been granted a work permit by an appeals panel, so enabling City to make further progress towards concluding the deal to sign him.
Afterwards, the 27-year-old revealed to Stoke City Player that he will fulfil a lifelong ambition when he makes his first appearance in the Premier League.
Before that though, Cameron will head back to the United States to link up with his international team-mates for their game against Mexico before completing the necessary paperwork which will rubber-stamp his move to the Britannia Stadium.
Although it promises to be a hectic week for him ahead of the Premier League opener, he is just relieved that everything is moving in the right direction.
“It’s been a long process since the Club first opened the negotiations for me, but we are there now and I am delighted to be a Stoke City player,” he said.
“Everything was on hold for a time while we waited for the visa and international clearance and it was difficult when I joined up with the squad in the States.
“I wanted to train and play, but I couldn’t really do much as the MLS wouldn’t allow me to train or get those games under my belt until everything had gone through.”
He added: “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders that everything is cleared now and I can’t wait for the season to start. To play in the Premier League has been a lifelong goal of mine and it’s kind of just hit me that I am about to achieve that here at Stoke City.
“It was fantastic to get out there and play in a competitive game. The lads have been working hard and it was good to get in there and play alongside them.”
Cameron showed his versatile qualities in the Greuther Furth game by switching from a midfield role to the centre of defence in the closing stages of the match.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I can play anywhere, but I am comfortable at the back and in midfield. To be honest though, I will play wherever the gaffer wants me to.
“The last few weeks have been great for me because it has given me an idea of how the team operates, what the players’ roles are and it also given me a chance to get to know them properly. All of the lads have been absolutely great with me since I arrived.”
He added: “I can’t thank them enough for that. Everybody looks after one another here and I feel absolutely great being a part of that.”