Western United is excited to announce that Adisu Bayew and Ajak Deu have this week signed scholarship contracts and will be joining the A-League side next season.
Both players have been key members of United’s inaugural NPL team and have been rewarded with their first professional contracts, which will run for two years.
An attacking midfielder or winger, Bayew has starred in Ante Moric’s academy side, wearing the captain’s armband on occasion throughout the season.
His creativity and eye for goal from midfield had already caught the eye of the A-League coaching staff last season, resulting in Bayew making four appearances, including a first start in the final match of the campaign against Central Coast Mariners.
The 19-year-old spoke of his excitement and gratitude at signing the contract, but insisted that this is only another step in continuing the hard work.
“After making my debut last season, this was the next step that I wanted to achieve and I’m so happy to get it done," he said.
“This club has given me so many opportunities and I’m so grateful and excited to sign this contract.
“The hard work doesn’t stop and I’ll be going up and trying to play as many games as I can.
“I’ll give my all in training and fight to play a big part in the A-League season with the team.”
Deu will also be joining Bayew in the A-League set-up for next season. The centre-back has played every game so far in NPL 3 this season, marshalling the team from the back.
A dominant presence at the back with commanding defensive qualities and confidence in possession of the ball, Deu has continued his strong development throughout the campaign.
Deu said he has fulfilled a dream from ever since he arrived in Australia and will do everything in his power to make this opportunity count.
“It means so much to me, because that’s what I wanted since I came to Australia, to play in the A-League and do the best I can,” he said.
“It’s been great since I came here to the club. I’ve been learning a lot, every day I learn.
“I’m really happy for the opportunity that I have and I just want to do my best, be the best player I can.”
On two local talents signing first ever A-League contracts, Western United GM Football Mal Impiombato expressed his pride at seeing the Club’s Academy successfully transitioning players into professional football.
“One of the main ambitions of our Club was always to grow the game in western Melbourne and to give opportunities to the best young players out in the west,” he said.
“To see Adisu and Ajak coming through our academy and be part of the A-League squad is a real source of pride for the club.
“This only justifies what we are doing at this club and I cannot wait to see them both taking to the pitch next season.”
For now, both players will remain with the academy team until the conclusion of the NPL 3 season in September, with the FFA Cup providing potential opportunities for them to feature with the first-team.