Sydney FC have captured the signing of the most successful National Premier League (NPL) Captain in Australia Cup history.
Sydney United centre half Adrian Vlastelica became the first NPL Captain to lead his club to the Australia Cup Final last month and will join the Sky Blues on a three month injury replacement contract for injured skipper Alex Wilkinson.
27-year old Vlastelica signs his first professional Isuzu-UTE A-League contract.
“It’s a privilege to earn my first professional contract at Sydney FC, and I’m determined to help continue our good start to the season,” he said.
“I’ve been training with the club for the past few weeks and feel like I’m up to speed.
“I want to keep up the high standards they set here and put pressure on the boys for a place in the team.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of my first A-League campaign.”
Head Coach Steve Corica is pleased to sign a player of Adrian’s ability.
“It’s extremely hard to bring in quality players who are up to speed and are free agents outside of the transfer window; so I’m delighted Adrian is available and ready to go,” he said.
“He’s a winner, a natural leader, a very good defender and showed in the Australia Cup he can match it at this level.
“He will give us great competition in the back four.”
Wilkinson has recently undergone surgery on a groin issue which is expected to keep him out until the New Year.
The skipper’s loss has made life tough for the Sky Blues in recent weeks but Corica says his return will give the club fresh impetus at the business end of the season.
“It’s unfortunate to lose Alex in the first game but after a number of consultations with the specialist it was decided surgery would produce the best outcome for him,” said Corica.
“He will still be around leading the squad in the meantime and will be a valuable fresh addition for us in the second half of the season.
“I’ve been very happy with the way Brattsy has taken on the armband and how Gurdy has stepped into defence to ensure seven out of the last nine points.”
Vlastelica goes straight into the Sky Blues squad which heads to Brisbane to face the Roar this Sunday afternoon and will wear squad number 27.