By Paddy Higgs
Australian-American goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell has revealed a face-to-face chat with coach Jose Mota persuaded him to sign with Vitoria Setubal amid interest from several other clubs.
Having impressed during the 2011-12 season in the Portuguese second-tier with Atletico Clube de Portugal, the 25-year-old shot-stopper had been on the radar of as many as four Primeira Liga clubs as well as a Polish Ekstraklasa outfit as his contract neared its end.
The Tennessee-born, Queensland-bred goalkeeper's move to Vitoria was confirmed on Tuesday, with Patterson-Sewell telling Goal.com his talk with Mota and the chance to stay both in Portugal and close to Lisbon - his home for the last year - had made the club the right one.
"There was a few clubs interested - about three or four in the [Portuguese] top league," he said on Thursday.
"My agent had been working pretty tirelessly. We had some stuff abroad as well… a UEFA Cup side from Poland.
"We had a few things but in the end I had a meeting with the club's coach Mota and he put forward his ideas and what he thought and how I would fit in. That just sort of set me at ease."
Patterson-Sewell's latest stop in his career comes after stints in the academies of Liverpool and Sheffield Wednesday and two separate stays with MLS heavyweights New York Red Bulls.
He was also a target for Melbourne Victory before the 2011-12 A-League season, but rejected a trial at the club after Atletico tabled their one-year deal.
Vitoria finished 11th in the top-flight last campaign, and Patterson-Sewell now faces a tough challenge to land the No.1 role - even if first-choice Brazilian Diego departs the club as rumoured.
"He's got a very good reputation, Mota. [He's] someone that is very well respected and, for me when I spoke to him, he was a very believable guy," he said.
"So for me, I thought, 'Yup, that'd be the best spot for me'."
Of a potential battle with Diego when pre-season begins at Vitoria on July 2, Patterson-Sewell said: "Either way, if he stays or the other goalkeepers stay as well, for me it's all the same.
"I'm going to have to perform. In this level now of football, you're not going to go to a club where they're just going to say, 'Yeah mate, this is all yours' and away you go.
"Every club's got two or three good goalkeepers and every club the goalkeepers will fight for the position, so for me it's all the same.
"The main thing that I just wanted to hear was that it was going to be fair and even, not he's established and he's untouchable."
Patterson-Sewell had played a big part in Atletico's outstanding run of form in the first half of the season, claiming seven clean sheets as his newly promoted side led the Liga Orangina in December.
The run was not to continue, as a lack of squad depth saw the club struggle for results after the Christmas break. It led to the resignation of coach Joao de Deus, and Atletico limped to an 11th-placed finish.
But Patterson-Sewell's performances as 12 clean sheets for the season had done enough to warrant a move and - while it is by no means Mission: Accomplished for the shot-stopper - finding a new home was part of the plan.
"It was probably a disappointing end [to the season], but I said all along that I wanted to come for one year and do my best and help the team win first and foremost, but then after that get another move," he said.
"Thankfully and luckily, on a personal note, I can move on."