ADELAIDE United have confirmed the signing of Portuguese forward and former Chelsea reserves player Fabio Ferreira ahead of their 2012/13 A-League campaign.
The one-year deal with the 23-year-old completes the playing roster and imports contingent for the Reds.
Ferreira, who made 12 appearances for the Chelsea reserves in 2007–08 and represented Portugal twice at U19 level, was labelled one to watch by coach John Kosmina after he was invited to trial with the Reds more than a month ago.
“He is quite happy and he’s another one that I think is going to be a real surprise packet,” Kosmina said.
“Everyone talks about Marcelo or Jeronimo or Dario (Vidosic) or Serge (van Dijk) or somebody else, but Fabio has got a really good pedigree.
“You don’t get signed to Chelsea for four years by Jose Mourinho unless you’ve got something about you.
“He did enough to show that he has got what it takes and now it’s just a matter of getting back up to where he was.
“He offers us a real point of difference in that he’s a natural wide player and we don’t have a lot of natural width.
“So someone who can play as a natural winger and is a good dribbler with pace, they’re hard to find these days, so I think Fabs is going to have a bit of fun as well.
“We’ve got quality but this is a bit of extra quality.”
Ferreira has been living with relatives in Sydney since the start of the year and playing for Dulwich Hill in the second tier of the NSW State leagues. While he won’t be making an appearance in the Reds’ upcoming AFC Champions League knockout match, Kosmina is convinced the player has what it takes to make a big impact on the domestic front as the club seeks to bounce back from the disappointment of last season.
Adelaide’s newest recruit also sees it as an opportunity to reclaim some of the promise he displayed as a teenager.
After struggling to crack into Chelsea’s first team, Ferreira’s career stalled with stints at English club Oldham Athletic and Portugal’s second division.
“It’s a very good opportunity for me and I look forward to this season," Ferreira said. "I’ll just do my best and see how it goes.
“I came to Sydney to try and get my career on track again at a high level and now I’ve got my chance at Adelaide, I’ll try to do my best, that’s the first thing, and I hope the fans like what they see. I just want to do the best I can do.”