The new A-League entrants promised that unearthing National Premier League talent would be a focus of its A-League strategy, signing long-time Bentleigh Greens coach John Anastasiadis as an assistant to help recruit untapped NPL talent.
After signing an international marquee in former Serie A and Greek national team stalwart Panagiotis Kone and a slew of A-League talent including Socceroos right-back Josh Risdon, 24-year-old winger Valentino Yuel becomes the first NPL player to sign for the club.
He signs from Anastasiadis' former haunt Bentleigh where he has impressed over the past season since moving from South Australian NPL powerhouses Adelaide City.
“My colleague John Anastasiadis has a great team in the NPL and I have been attending many games looking for talent from NPL that could make the step up to A-League,” fellow Western United assistant John Hutchinson said.
“Young Valentino is an eye catcher so our coaching department was unanimous in wanting to sign him up for Western United’s first team squad.
“Fans will be drawn to the fast runs Valentino makes from wide positions and his quality delivery into the box”.
WUFC Director of Football Steve Horvat said Yuel's signing would be the first of many.
“Our intention from the outset was to create opportunities for players from the NPL, and we are pleased that Valentino Yuel is our first such signing," he said.
“Our football department continue to look at games every week and we have no doubt that there will be more announcements like this one in the coming months.
“I would like to thank Bentleigh Greens for their co-operation in the signing of Yuel so that he can continue his dream to play professional football.”
Yuel credited Anastasiadis with making the move possible.
“I am so excited to be signing with Western United Football Club. I thank Bentleigh Greens Soccer Club for their help and especially thank John Anastasiadis for his quality coaching to help my career improve," said Yuel.
“I cannot wait to start training with Western United and meet my new team mates.”