Dundalk FC have completed the signing of Latvian international defender Raivis Andris Jurkovskis. The 24-year-old, who has won 13 caps for his country, arrives on a free transfer after his contract expired at FK Liepaja.
“Raivis can play at full-back, on either side,” said Lilywhites coach Filippo Giovagnoli. “He is a really good player, strong, fast and physical. He is considered as one of the best players in Latvia and when we started to watch him, we had no doubt he was the player for us.”
Jurkovskis was handed his senior debut for FK Liepaja as an 18-year-old in March 2015 and went on to make 13 more appearances that season as the club won the Latvian Virsliga title for the first time.
He spent 2016 on loan at FK Rigas Futbola Skola and finished as the side’s top scorer with six goals before returning to Liepaja at the end of the year. In 2017, he played 19 times as Liepaja won the Latvian Cup and finished as runners-up in the FIFA Club Winter Cup.
After being selected at U19 and U21 level, Jurkovskis made his debut for the Latvian national team in a friendly against South Korea in February 2018 and was part of the squad that lifted the Baltic Cup, a competition held between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, later that year.
He has gone on to collect 13 caps for Latvia, the last coming in a 5-0 win over Andorra in a UEFA Nations League game which was played at the Estadi Comunal d’Andorra la Vella – the venue where Dundalk beat Inter-Club Escaldes in the UEFA Europa League qualifier last September.
Jurkovskis was an integral part of the Liepaja side over the past two seasons, racking up more minutes on the pitch than any of his teammates. He signed off with a goal in Liepaja’s 7-0 win over Jelgava on the final day of the Latvian season in November, a result that secured them a fifth-place finish and qualification for the UEFA Europa Conference League.