Sydney FC Academy Graduate Sold For Record Transfer Fee

Hear from Jake before he heads to America

Sydney FC Academy graduate Jake Girdwood-Reich is moving on to the next stage of his career after the Sky Blues agreed a club record transfer fee with Major League Soccer (MLS) Western Conference Champions St Louis City SC.

The midfielder-cum-defender, who turned 20 last week, heads to the United States after eight years as a Sydney FC player, having joined the Sky Blues Academy aged 12.

The seven-figure transfer fee is a club record for an out-going player and makes Girdwood-Reich Sydney FC’s first million-dollar-plus transfer.

Jake Girdwood-Reich has come right through the Sydney FC Academy.

“I love this club, I started here as a 12-year-old so I’m sad and very emotional to be leaving but incredibly thankful for what Sydney FC has done for me over the past eight years,” he said.

“I’ve got so many great memories, winning the Australia Cup was an unbelievable feeling and getting my first contract was the best thing I’ve experienced in my life.

“It was always my dream to go through the Sydney FC Academy, to play regularly in the A-League and then give it a try overseas.

“The education I’ve had here has prepared me for that and will help me enormously on my football journey.”

Girdwood-Reich was named the Sydney FC Rising Star at the Sky Blue Ball in 2022 and was included in the PFA Team of the Season last month.

He also won the National Premier League NSW Championship with the Sky Blues Under 14’s and Under 20’s squads.

He attended Sydney FC Academy School Endeavour Sports High where his progress was fast-tracked

His path through the Academy included time attending Endeavour Sports High School, one of Sydney FC’s Academy Football Schools, which fast-tracked his development.

The young Sky Blue has since made 45 appearances for Sydney FC’s A-League team and is pumped to be playing opposite some legends of the World Game.

“I’ve always wanted to play in America and when this opportunity came up it really caught my eye,” he continued.

“St Louis are a new club, they have a clear and exciting philosophy from which I can learn and I hope to show what I can do.

“To even have the possibility of playing against greats of the game such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez excites me.”

Girdwood-Reich was never one to back out of a challenge.

Sydney FC Head Coach Ufuk Talay was full of praise for Girdwood-Reich as he embarks on his new challenge.

“Jake has done extremely well and fully deserves this opportunity to progress his career,” he said.

“He is proof that Australia’s best young talent will get an opportunity at Sydney FC and potentially unlock a path to an overseas career.

“His development since the age of 12 is a huge credit to Sydney FC’s Academy who have created the best elite pathways in professional sport.”

Jake (left) won the Australia Cup as a 19-year-old last season

The MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 18th which means Girdwood-Reich will first be available to play for his new club after this date.