Patience pays off for City youth captain who earns first senior deal after six years in academy

Melbourne City have signed senior NPL captain Harry Politidis to a one-year deal after six years in the club’s academy setup.

Politidis has been with the club since 2017, when he joined City’s Academy as a 15-year-old and has since captained the side’s NPL team for the past two seasons – including their promotion-winning side in 2022.

The full-back has had to be patient for a senior opportunity, battling injury concerns throughout the last few years, but was finally handed a senior debut in their 2-1 Australia Cup defeat over Sydney FC as a second-half substitute, after many appearances as an unused substitute in both the Cup and AFC Champions League.

He will now serve as a direct back-up for Socceroos full-back Aziz Behich, who returned to the club this off-season, as City look to rebuilt their left-back stocks following the departure of Jordan Bos and Scott Jamieson’s retirement.

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“It’s an incredible feeling and it’s been a day that I’ve been dreaming about for a long time,” Politidis said.

“The club and staff have been great in supporting me throughout a number of injuries and setbacks, and I thank them for trusting me and now offering me an opportunity to continue fulfilling my dream.”

“Between playing our first AFC Champions League campaign on home soil and competing for  more silverware in the A-League and Australia Cup, it’s an exciting time for myself and City  fans. 

“I’m hoping to push for as many games as I can play and repay the faith the club has given me. 

“I want to prove myself as a player that can play for this team consistently and contribute to  providing this great club continued success.” 

The club’s Director of Football Michael Petrillo added: “It’s really pleasing to see Harry receive his first professional contract.

“He is another product of our Academy who has over the last few seasons had a few setbacks with injury, however, he has shown remarkable resilience, determination and positivity to work even harder after each setback.

“His story is a great example to our younger players that with the right attitude and perseverance, you can achieve your goals at this club.”

City return to action in the Champions League on October 4, when they face Zhejiang on the road, as they continue to gear up for the new A-Leagues season.