June 08, 2015 10:58:43 UK
Coach John van ‘t Schip hopes Western Sydney’s loss will be Melbourne City’s gain, after signing teenager winger Steve Kuzmanovski from the Asian Champions League holders.
Kuzmanovski had been expected to sign a new deal with Wanderers, having made eight appearances in his debut A-League campaign.
Western Sydney have upgraded three players from youth contracts but did not manage to secure the 18-year-old, who has inked a two-year deal with City.
City, who are 9.00 to win the 2015-16 Grand Final, had the youngster with them for a short time after he finished his Australian Institute of Sport scholarship.
He then signed a youth contract with Western Sydney and was capped at U-20 level by Australia during his time with Wanderers.
Kuzmanovski made three starts for Tony Popovic’s side, being handed his A-League bow off the bench in the 2-1 home defeat to Melbourne Victory on 6th January.
Van ‘t Schip said: “We are excited about Steve joining the club for the 2015-16 season. He will bring added depth to our forward line and although he is still young, he has the ability to become an important player for us next season.”
Kuzmanovski, who scored on his U-20 international debut against Panama earlier this year, said: “It’s a new challenge for me coming from Sydney. It’s a privilege to be here and I can’t wait to get started.
“I came here to win and I know Melbourne City are hungry to achieve as well so I will do whatever it takes to win.”
The winger is the second signing of the pre-season for City, who recruited Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic last week.
Meanwhile, Australia are 13.00 to win their opening game at the Women’s World Cup against the USA, who are 1.20, with the draw 6.50.
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