Brisbane Roar has announced Australian Institute of Sport striker Anthony Proia as the newest addition to the Hyundai A-League squad as Head Coach Ange Postecoglou sticks firm to his recruiting philosophy of blooding young Australian players.
Proia, a regular in the Qantas Joeys set-up, has signed a contract until the end of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season but is not expected to feature too extensively in this latter part of this campaign with Postecoglou earmarking him as one for the future.
“We’ve brought him on board this week but he’s someone we’ve been following for a while,” Postecoglou said.
“Part of our recruiting strategy is that it’s not just about today but about tomorrow because we want to make sure this club is successful and maintains its success.
“We’ve seen a lot of A-League clubs have the yo-yo effect of being up and down over many years and we certainly don’t want to be a club like that.
“We want to be challenging for the title every year and to do that, you’ve got to make sure you’re recruiting not just for today.”
In terms of ability, attitude and potential, the Brisbane coach was confident the 17-year-old ticked all the right boxes, saying he was looking forward to seeing how Proia developed training alongside some of the Hyundai A-League’s best players.
“I’m sure he’ll fit in well and be a contributor,” Postecoglou said.
“He’s young, he’s quick and he’s a good finisher and he’s still got a lot to learn about the game but being in our environment will help him in terms of that and he’s certainly got a hunger to succeed which is really important.
“He’s a very coachable guy, so those are the kind of attributes we look for.”
The Sydney-born striker played against the Roar in the National Youth League less than three months ago, notching up a brace as Brisbane took the points in a 3-2 victory in early November.
But the memories of that fixture have been quickly forgotten as Proia looks to make a mark in Brisbane with the prospect of playing alongside one particular player the most exciting aspect of his move north of the border.
“This means everything to me because it’s Brisbane Roar,” he said.
“I was watching last year and I guess it’s everyone’s dream to play for Brisbane Roar in the Australian league, especially me.
“To look at some of the boys they’ve got here up here like Bes [Berisha] - he’s a great guy to learn from, he said.
“I can’t wait to play with him, learn from him and hopefully become a great footballer like him one day.”
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 78 kg
Date of birth: March 16, 1994
Place of birth: Sydney, NSW