Melbourne City FC has today announced the signing of Socceroos holding midfielder Joshua Brillante on a two-year deal ahead of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season.
The Bundaberg-born midfielder began his professional career in the A-League, playing for both Gold Coast United and Newcastle Jets, before earning a move to Tuscany where he joined Serie A side Fiorentina. During his time in Italy, the 26-year-old had loan spells at FC Empoli and Como, before returning to Australia in 2016.
An Australian international for both the Under-20s (18 caps, two goals) and Under-23s (10 caps, one goal), Brillante made his senior Socceroos debut against China in 2013, making five international appearances in total.
Melbourne City FC Director of Football, Michael Petrillo said:
“Josh is one of the best holding midfielders in Australia. He’s extremely mobile, works very hard, has a great attitude and character, so we’re thrilled that he’s decided to join us.” said Petrillo.
“He’s an intelligent player who can help us build an important link between defence and attack when we have the ball, while offering protection to our defenders when we’re without it.
“Josh’s experience in Italy and Australia, and with the Australian national team, will also be key in helping our young players develop.”
Commenting on his arrival, Josh Brillante said:
“This is an exciting time in Melbourne City’s journey, and I can’t wait to contribute and be a part of it,” said Brillante.
“Ultimately, I’m here to help Melbourne City win trophies and to improve myself every day in a high-performance environment. The opportunity to work with the new manager is really exciting - his vision is clear and ambitious, and we’re training at some of the best facilities in Australia.
“There is always a lot of work to do in pre-season, but I’m already looking to the first home game to show the fans what I can do. I’ve played in front of them before and know how passionate they are, and I’m determined to deliver football they’re proud to watch.”
Prior to joining City, Brillante made his A-League debut for Gold Coast United, making 14 appearances between 2010 and 2012 for the club based in his hometown state. In 2012, the 26-year-old moved to Newcastle Jets (46 appearances), where a string of strong performances saw him earn a contract with Florence-based Serie A side, Fiorentina (two appearances).
During his time in Italy, Brillante was loaned to fellow Serie A side, Empoli (one appearance) and Serie B side, Como 1907 (21 appearances). He then returned to the A-League, joining Sydney FC (79 appearances, three goals), where he played a crucial role in the club winning two premierships (2016-17, 2017-18), two championships (2016-17, 2018-19) and the FFA Cup (2017).
Named Football Federation Australia (FFA) Male U20 Footballer of the Year in 2013, Brillante has represented Australia’s U-20s, U-23s and the Socceroos on five occasions.
The versatile midfielder will join up with the Melbourne City squad next week as it begins its pre-season schedule.