Melbourne Victory announced the signing of promising Australian youngster Theo Markelis on a two-year deal.
Having moved to Spain at the age of just 15 to join La Liga giant Valencia, the now 20 year-old striker spent last season in Italy with Vicenza, before deciding upon a move home to Melbourne after his contract with the 1997 Italian Cup winner expired.
Melbourne Victory Coach, Ange Postecoglou, sees plenty of upside in the Young Socceroos player: “Theo is a player who I believe we can really develop over the next two years.
“To have been signed by a club such as Valencia when he was just 15 years old is a fair indication of his potential.
“His record in the youth ranks over there (Europe) was exceptional and he averaged 15 goals a season during his 3 years at Valencia,” Postecoglou added.
Markelis, who grew up playing at Green Gully, is looking forward to the challenge of making himself a first team regular at Melbourne Victory.
“I’ve been away for quite a few years now, so it’s really good to be home and to have signed for the biggest club in Australia is very exciting," he said.
“I learnt so much playing in Spain and Italy, but it’s very competitive over there and at 20 I need to be playing regular first team football if I’m going to continue to progress.
“I still feel that my best football is ahead of me, so hopefully I can have an impact at Melbourne Victory and help the club achieve more success,” he added.
Markelis joins Guilherme Finker, Jonathan Bru, Spase Dilevski, Sam Gallagher and Adama Traore as Melbourne Victory’s signings during the off season.
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan, defender Pedj Bojic and midfielder Oliver Bozanic look to have played their last games for Central Coast Mariners as the A-League champion faces a raft of departures.