Newcastle Jets has today confirmed the signing of versatile 18-year-old defender Daniel Alessi on a two-season deal.
Alessi, who has spent the past three seasons with one of the Jets’ Hyundai A-League rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, made his professional debut in a high-stakes Sydney Derby in 2014.
The ambitious young defender has made 17 appearances for the Young Socceroos and has also featured for the Wanderers in international competition in the past.
Indeed, Alessi played against Asian heavyweights FC Seoul and Guangzhou Evergrande in the 2014 AFC Champions League, and participated in Western Sydney’s clash with Algeria’s ES Sétif at the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup held in Morocco. During that time Alessi was teammates with current Jets Mateo Poljak, Labinot Haliti, and Daniel Mullen.
“I am excited to move up to Newcastle,” Alessi said. “I met with Scott [Miller] a few weeks ago and I was really impressed with what the club has to offer going forward. I can’t wait to put the skills I have learnt as a 16, 17, 18-year-old at the Wanderers into practice in a first team environment again.”
“I have already had a little bit of experience in the A-League and in Asia and I am hungry to impress Scott. I am still young so I obviously have plenty of room for improvement. I know Scott is very good in that aspect, so I am excited to get more experience and show him what I have learnt already.”
Alessi, who can play centrally in defence or at left or right full back, is eager to knuckle down in training and battle the likes of Nigel Boogaard, Daniel Mullen, Jason Hoffman, Lachlan Jackson and Nick Cowburn for a place in the club’s backline.
“I think for the team to be successful there needs to be a culture where everyone is pushing for places and everyone is competitive and keeping each other working hard,” he said.
“It’s good for young players to be pushing each other for those spots in the backline and spots on the bench.”
Jets Head Coach Miller says Alessi’s addition is consistent with the club’s vision to recruit young footballers with Hyundai A-League experience and who have already played at Australian representative levels.
“We all look forward to welcoming Daniel into the squad and assisting him in his development as a young footballer here at Newcastle Jets,” Miller said.
Alessi will be one of the club’s designated U20 players next season.