International talent will move to Australian shores after signing for National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland, National Premier Leagues Women’s (NPLW) Queensland and Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) clubs for the 2020 season.
NPL Queensland’s Magpies Crusaders have made a statement ahead of the 2020 season with the signing of Belgian playmaker Jordy Vleugels, from PO Xylotymbou in Cyprus.
The twenty-three-year-old, who represented Belgium at U18 and U19 level, rose through the ranks at Willem II in the Netherlands, appearing frequently for their reserves and making a first team appearance off the bench against star-studded AFC Ajax, in the Eredivisie.
A technical player – known for his exceptional first touch and vision – Vleugels is known to ply his trade as a central midfielder, but often drives forward with the ball at his feet to join the attack.
Bringing his vast experience from international competitions to the top league in Queensland, the Belgian will link up with new Magpies Head Coach Tom Ballantyne, who has already added a host of youthful talent to his squad.
In Vleugels, Ballantyne has acquired a player that is guaranteed to keep opposition players on their toes, and Magpies fans on the edge of their seats throughout the 2020 campaign.
NPLW side Capalaba FC have added an international talent of their own to their squad with the acquisition of Annie Walker, who joins the club from Rice University Owls in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Conference-USA.
Walker is an attacking player that can play across the front three and as an attacking midfielder – allowing her to create problems for the opposition both centrally and from the wings.
The versatile playmaker boasts an impressive record of goals and assists, averaging 0.5 assists per game during her most recent season – a statistic with which she topped the conference.
A player known for her exceptional work rate, Walker earned the Warrior Award from Rice Soccer – an award presented to the most consistent, hard-working and passionate player throughout the season.
New Capalaba FC Head Coach Skie Hanifin has welcomed the former Owls captain to his ranks, and has sent out a warning to the rest of the competition.
“I am really excited for Annie to join this playing group and our club. She is a genuine goal scorer and is hungry to attack up front,” Hanifin said.
“Her current goal scoring streak overseas is red-hot and, when she brings that here, she will cause problems for every defensive line in the competition.”
All three of FQ’s competitions will welcome international signings in 2020, with Rochedale Rovers announcing the signing of Alessandro Granillo, who joins the FQPL side from Italian Serie D club USD Caravaggio.
In addition to his pace and finishing ability, Rochedale will benefit from the Italian attacker’s versatility thanks to his capacity to play as a second striker, on the left-wing or as a centre-forward.
Granillo provided several goals and assists during his 15 appearances for USD Caravaggio last season, and will be looking to contribute many more in his new colours this coming year.
The young Italian joins a team in Rochedale that finished fourth in the FQPL last season, but went on to win the Championship after a Grand Final victory over Premiers, Sunshine Coast Wanderers.
At just twenty years old, Granillo is a player with valuable playing experience and a high potential he will be hoping to unlock under the guidance of new Rochedale Rovers head coach Marcus Stergiopoulos.
Words: Darren Newell