AMSTERDAM – New Tours signing Quentin Westberg says he made the surprise move on Tuesday from Norwegian club Sarpsborg 08 due to both family considerations and the Ligue 2 side's ambitious pitch.
The 29-year-old French-American had claimed the starting job in goal mere months after joining Sarpsborg on a one-year deal, putting in four solid league starts despite his 0-3-1 record. Westberg admits it is tough to leave the Tippeligaen team so soon after arriving, especially considering the fact that they recently initiated extension talks.
"I was really heartbroken to leave 08 because everything was going great for me as a player and as a man," Westberg told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. "I was offered to establish myself with a much longer contract, which I was really grateful for. But when thinking at the bigger picture family-wise, I was asked to consider coming back to France for personal reasons."
However, bringing Westberg closer to his suburban Paris hometown was not enough to lure the netminder, as he had multiple offers in France. Now, he is as excited to join the Loire Valley side as he is heavy-hearted in leaving Norway.
"When Tours called me and told me about their intentions as a club, it felt right on all standpoints," he stated.
"The club went trough a couple of rough years lately and wants to turn it around by bringing in some experienced players to surround a very promising young group of players that won the Under-19 France championship two years ago. The idea is to be competitive for promotion battle within two years."
"But it is truly hard to leave the great overall atmosphere of Sarpsborg 08 and I will always be grateful and lucky that I got to meet great people like I did there."
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Westberg, who already has one Ligue 2 title with Évian to his credit, thought enough of the Tours mission to sign on despite having to give up his place in the Sarpsborg lineup to battle for a spot with Tours.
"I have no guarantees, like I didn't have any walking into Sarpsborg," said Westberg. "There is a very promising young goalkeeper here that has done well for himself last year, so the idea is to make the position stronger bringing my experience in."
Looking to improve upon last season's 15th place finish, Tours will open the Ligue 2 season with an August 3 visit to Nancy.