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FOOTBALL: Joachim's regret at leaving City.

STRIKER Julian Joachim has left Coventry City for Leeds after passing a medical.

The 29-year-old will officially sign a two-year contract on July 1 after turning down the offer of a new contract at Coventry City.

"I am pleased there are no problems relating to my previous ankle and hamstring injuries," said Joachim, who joins Leeds on a free transfer.

"Obviously I am sorry to be leaving Coventry but unfortunately that is just the way it is."

Joachim, who was earning pounds 12,000 a week at Highfield Road, denied that he was making extravagant demands to stay at the club, adding: "I have had to take a significant pay cut to come to Leeds just as I would if I had stayed at Coventry.

"But I was never asking the earth at Coventry. What I was offered was not quite what I wanted but it wasn't that far away.

"So I don't know if it was about the money in the end or whether the club just didn't really want me."

The former Leicester City and Aston Villa forward, who is believed to have signed a deal worth pounds 5,000 a week plus bonuses for goals, is relishing his move to relegated Leeds and getting his career on an even keel after a difficult time with injury.

"It is a fresh start and I am really looking forward to it," he said.

"It's a big club and obviously having just come out of the Premiership I think Leeds will have a great chance of getting straight back up.

"I know they have got financial problems and have got to cut the wage bill but if they can keep hold of some of the better players we should be in with a great chance."

Joachim, who has lived in Leicestershire for most of his professional career revealed he will uproot his family and move to Leeds.

Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell, meanwhile, is delighted to have added Joachim to his squad.

"He is a proven scorer in the First Division and offers us something we have not had for a while - lightning-quick pace," he said.

"I spoke to Eric Black about him and he said Julian was one of the reasons Coventry did as well as they did last season.

"He had a strong finish to the season and we will just be happy for him to carry on where he left off."


MOVING ON: Joachim
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 15, 2004
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