Wanderers rookie chooses A-League over EPL
Reece Caira has given up a spot in the reserves of a 138-year-old English Premier League club to join an A-League side founded barely four months ago.
But the 19-year-old is excited about his return to Australia and being among Western Sydney Wanderers' first signings.
"It's great that I get to become a foundation player but it's going to be a tough first season," Caira said.
The defender has secured a one-year contract with the new A-League franchise, after spending the past three-and-a-half years in Aston Villa's youth squad and reserves.
He caught the attention of Wanderers' coach Tony Popovic during a recent trip to England and has been on trial since.
"I've always been interested to work with Popovic and I've finally got the chance," Caira said.
"Hopefully I can have a few good seasons here ... to help me get back into a European club (and) help keep up my progress with the Young Socceroos."
Caira was one of three new additions announced on Wednesday, including former Gold Coast United goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson and midfielder Jason Trifiro.
It brings to 12 the number of official signings for the Wanderers.
Trifiro said securing a deal with fledgling club was a very proud moment, having grown up in western Sydney and played most of his soccer in the region.
The 24-year-old drifted through a series of NSW Premier League clubs before playing for Northcote City in Melbourne.
"It's going to be a big step up (from state league to A-League) but it's a new challenge for me," Trifiro said.
"I'm looking forward to just being on the pitch every day."
Popovic said all three signings were an important addition to the club but admitted he was still weeks away from having a full squad.
"The three of them have earned the right to gain a contract," he said.
"Hopefully as we add players, the squad will work better together, understand each other better and we'll see the team improve in the way we want to play."
The club will face Central Coast - Caira's home region - for their A-League debut on October 6.