Adelaide United have reaffirmed their commitment to developing home grown players with the additions of local products Joseph Costa and Francesco Monterosso to the senior playing roster.
The move to sign the promising youngsters, both for two years highlights the Reds ideals of nurturing and providing chances for homegrown players with an eye to the future.
“We think that they have very bright futures, and although still very young, we think that within a couple of years we will be able to mould them into significant players at our club,” Reds Coach Aurelio Vidmar said on the duo.
“This is another opportunity to bolster the squad and what better way to do that than by giving a couple of talented young South Australian players the opportunity.”
Both players spent the 2008/2009 season under the guidance of Reds youth coach Joe Mullen, with the duo both training with the senior squad so far this pre-season.
Both played in the Reds 1-0 win over Super League side with the goal coming courtesy of Cristiano.
Monterosso, 18, was the golden boot in the inaugural National Youth League last season netting 13 times in 19 appearances, including a hattrick against Perth Glory.
“He (Monterosso) is strong, he's got a fantastic knack of scoring goals and in a way he's a little bit like (former star NSL and Hyundai A-League striker) Damian Mori,” Vidmar said.
“He's not as quick as Damian but he certainly knows where the goals are.”
After being offered a contract with the Reds, Monterosso admitted he was still coming to terms with it.
“I'm still shocked about it to be honest,” Monterosso said.
“It's a privilege to be part of Adelaide United and hopefully I can take this opportunity.”
Costa, who is 17 next month, was not named in Mullen's initial Youth squad, however was a regular train on player and eventually made his full NYL debut scoring one goal in a 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory. He then went on to make nine appearances, including in the NYL Grand Final.
“We think Joe has got a big future, he's someone who can read the play well, understands the game and has the ability to be a very good attacking midfielder for us,” Vidmar said.
“He's certainly a young kid that with three years work he can become a very good player for the club.”
The Year 11 Student has been playing for SASI this season and is considered one of the nations most promising and up and coming players.
“It feels very surreal but I'm very excited and looking forward to everything that's coming my way,” Costa said on his signing.
“This is what I've dreamt of and hopefully it's just the start, I'm going to do everything I can at training and then the results can take care of themselves, but I'm just going to focus on playing football, which I love doing.”
The latest signing takes United's squad up to 18, with the Reds also hopeful of hearing news on striker Lloyd Owusu, who is due to undergo a medical in Perth later on Wednesday.