Melbourne City FC is excited to today announce new contracts for five of our Academy players.
Headlining the signings is midfielder Anthony Lesiotis, who makes his return to the Club, after recent stints with both Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Lesiotis made his City debut during the 2018 season. After he departed the Club in 2019, he went on to make 30 appearances for Victory, before making the move to Western Sydney at the start of the 2020/21 season.
He did not feature at senior level for the Wanderers and after being released by the club earlier this month, has now signed a scholarship deal at City for the remainder of the season.
18-year-old defender Kerrin Stokes has also committed to City, signing a two-year extension after making his A-League debut earlier this season.
The Club’s goalkeeping stocks have also seen a boost with Ahmad Taleb and James Nieuwenhuizen signing two and three-year deals respectively.
Taleb appeared on City’s bench for its first two games of the A-League season but both are yet to debut.
Rounding out these signings is striker Max Caputo who has enjoyed a strong start to the NPL season, scoring in both of City’s last two fixtures to help the side to second on the ladder.
He has signed a two-year deal and will look to continue his strong NPL form to stake a claim for a call-up to the senior squad.
Taleb, Nieuwenhuizen and Caputo's contracts will all begin on July 1.
Melbourne City FC Director of Football Michael Petrillo said:
"We are extremely proud of all of our players in the Academy. Being able to offer new contracts to our next generation of players is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. It’s such an important time for a player’s development and we believe we can offer one of the best environments, both on and off the pitch.
Our Academy train under world-class football standards and there is always going to be a lot of competition for only a few spots. This means our players need to be patient and ready to take their opportunity when it arises.
Having players return to the club, like Anthony, shows that we are the best place for his development. We look forward to continuing to work hard with him and help him to reach his full potential.
"Kerrin is another great example, he’s one of the best young defenders in Australia, has had numerous offers from other clubs and he realises that he is in the best football program for his development. We are confident he will become a regular A-League player in the future.
"Ahmad and James are two of the best young goalkeepers in the country and we are really pleased to sign them both to longer term contracts. We believe that both have the ability to step up and become a part of the senior A-League squad.
"Max Caputo is an exciting talent and one of his biggest strengths is his commitment to wanting to be the best. For such a young player, he shows so much maturity and is a great example to other players that by working hard, you can reap the rewards.”