Western United has added another young star to its Isuzu UTE A-League Men squad, tying down Matthew Grimaldi to a two-year scholarship contract.
The 19-year-old was a dominant force in NPL 2 this season, scoring five goals and providing nine assists from midfield across 26 matches.
Grimaldi’s technical ability is obvious to any onlooker, with his command over the football making him a joy to watch in United’s Under 23’s.
With a mixture of mesmerising dribbling ability and superb range of passing, Grimaldi is a dynamic and creative midfielder who will add quality to John Aloisi’s ranks.
Still a teenager, Grimaldi also has the mentality and physicality to take the next step in his career and secure his first professional contract and said he is itching to get started.
“It feels very good. It’s something I’ve been working towards for quite a while now. I came to Western United looking for opportunities and now it’s come to be,” he said.
“Like all young players who get the step up, they want to make their debut. I think I’m just going to take it one step at a time now – make the bench, then get my debut, my starting debut and take it from there.”
Western United Head Coach John Aloisi said Grimaldi’s performances in NPL 2 Victoria and his impact in pre-season training had stood out.
“We are delighted to welcome Matt into the first-team and have him continue to realise his potential here at Western United,” he said.
“We have been extremely impressed by his quality, work ethic and willingness to learn and develop, and we are confident that he will be able to have an impact on the group straight away.
“Most of all, we are incredibly excited by Matt’s potential and we’re looking forward to seeing him continue to work hard and reach his ceiling in Green and Black.”
Grimaldi joined Western United from Melbourne City at the beginning of the NPL 2 Victoria season and was soon given opportunities to train with the first team.
That immediate impression led to an inclusion in John Aloisi’s extended squad for an Isuzu UTE A-League clash against Central Coast Mariners last season.
The young midfielder will be eying a league debut this season, and could be in line to feature in the Australia Cup Round of 16 clash against Gold Coast Knights on Wednesday.