Date:Tuesday May 22 2007
Chris Iwelumo has spoke of his excitement after joining Charlton on Monday.
The big Scot could hardly contain his excitement and he intends to help put the club back where it belongs, in The Premiership. Pardew snapped Iwelumo up on a free transfer from Colchester United.
The 28-year-old, who netted 18 goals for the U's last term, said: 'I'm absolutely delighted and excited to join.
'Charlton is a massive club, a club that has a great desire to get back in the Premiership and I want to be a part of that.
'I'm delighted, very excited, nervous and looking forward to the challenge.'
The Scottish forward, who was joined on The Valley roster by former Crewe Alexandra striker Luke Varney the same day, was signed by current Addicks number two Phil Parkinson when he joined Colchester United two seasons ago.
In the last 24 months he has hit an impressive 35 goals and Iwelumo is hungry for his new challenge ahead of the upcoming Championship campaign.
He recalled: 'Two years ago when Phil Parkinson brought me back to England from Germany, Colchester were the favourites to be relegated from League One but we went and won promotion.
'I took it on from there this season and with Curo [Jamie Cureton] was part of the deadliest partnership in the Championship.
'I've also played in this league before with Stoke City and the season just gone was fantastic for me. I'll be hoping to carry that on next season and be at the forefront of putting Charlton back where they belong.'
The new man continued: 'This is a massive club and there is a great expectation for the players, staff and fans to go straight back up and it will be great to be part of that.
'To be in the gaffer's thoughts straight away is great. He knew my situation and that I was out of contract and has told me he wants to push me up to the next level.
'He's known of me since my Stoke days and has thrown down the gauntlet to me and feels I should score a lot more goals. Now it's up to me to try to prove that and make sure that the faith he's shown in me is spot on.'
Of Pardew's assistant Parkinson, the striker added: 'I know Phil Parkinson and he is someone I have great respect for.
'His man-management is very special and I'm delighted to be working with him again.'
Speaking of his own abilities Chris said,
'It's important to have a presence up front in the Championship, someone who can hold the ball up for you and that's what I do,'
'Target men that score goals are a bit of a dying breed right now but I'd compare myself to Stevie Howard at Derby County, and Dion Dublin.
'I'm strong in the air and like to also link the play on the ground. I've got a bit of everything - and I love scoring goals as well!'
The big man said he is sad to leave Layer Road, but he admitted his new London location takes him to the next level on his football journey.
He said: 'I've got some great memories and some great friends at United and it's a fantastic club.
'Everyone wants to play at the highest level and for the biggest clubs, and I just think that Charlton is one of those clubs that if they show interest or come in for you it's stupid not to even contemplate it.
'I know for a fact I've made the right and best decision; obviously it is part and parcel of football that you move around and say many hellos and many goodbyes. Now I'm looking to a new chapter in my career.'
Iwelumo will be joined up front by fellow new recruit Luke Varney. A partnership that could prove to be the key factor to our bounce back up to the top tier.
Speaking of his new striking colleague, Chris said: 'I've not played against him but he's a friend of a friend.
'He's a fantastic player and I've heard he's as fast as lighting and likes to score goals as well, so that's not a bad thing.
'The more goal threats you can bring to a club the more chance of getting goals. That will probably put us in a better position to go straight back up.'
'After relegation everyone is disappointed and all the people at Charlton who have had a taste of the Premiership want to get back there as quickly as possible.
'Hopefully that expectation from the fans and the people around the club will push us to get back there; it's on everyone's agenda and everyone wants to get back at the first time of asking.'
And he added: 'It's just great for me that the deal is done and dusted now and I'm buzzing at the thought of the calibre of players I will be playing with.
'Now I can go away and prepare properly and enjoy the summer with my wife and daughters.
'It's just a fantastic club to be involved with and I'll be coming in for my first day of training with the biggest smile on my face.'
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