Melbourne Victory's investment in young Australian talent received yet another boost today, with the club confirming it has signed 18-year-old attacker Jesse Makarounas and 17-year-old defender Scott Galloway – both on deals that will see them remain at the club until the conclusion of the 2014/15 season.
Makarounas joins Victory from Perth Glory, where he made his Hyundai A-League debut, coincidentally, against Melbourne Victory in 2012, while he has made a further 3 appearances so far this season.
The 18-year-old has also represented Australia in several youth squads, scoring 13 goals in his 22 underage appearances, including one of the strikes of the tournament at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. He was also awarded the golden boot at the 2010 AFC U-16 Championship in Tashkent.
Galloway arrives at Victory from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), where he has had an outstanding season for their National Youth League (NYL) team, a team which he also captained.
Melbourne Victory Coach Ange Postecoglou said both showed great potential which he looked forward to seeing develop over the coming seasons.
"Both Jesse and Scott are players we can see making an impact on this league and there is no doubt they have plenty of talent, which really excites us," Postecoglou said.
"Jesse has already had a small taste of the A-League and we think he will fit into our system really well. Goal-scorers are a priceless commodity in our game and his record with the national teams he’s played in is fantastic, so we’re excited to have him onboard.
"Scott was captaining the AIS side in the NYL and has obviously been in a good environment where he’s been allowed to develop into a fine young player who I believe will only get better,” he added.
Both have signed two-and-a-half year contracts and will be available to represent the club throughout the remainder of Hyundai A-League and National Youth League seasons.
Before flying east with his new teammates, Makarounas said, “I want to thank Perth Glory for the opportunities they gave me and it was certainly a tough decision to leave my home town, but Melbourne Victory has shown a willingness to blood youngsters on a number of occasions this season and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
Galloway was equally excited to be heading to AAMI Park, “It’s every young footballers dream to sign their first professional contract, so I’m over the moon to be joining a club like Melbourne Victory. Hopefully I can repay their faith in me over the next few seasons.” Galloway said.
The duo will arrive in Melbourne with the rest of the squad this evening.
A-League appearances: 4
Australia U20 apps: 3 (2 goals)
Australia U17 apps: 19 (11 goals)