A-Leagues Life: Former Youth POTY lands at Victory, Sky Blues youngster’s fast start in Europe

Welcome to A-Leagues Life, where KEEPUP brings you all the latest news and goings on at your club. This is how the week is shaping up across the A-Leagues and beyond.

Victory sign former Wanderer and academy standout

Melbourne Victory have bolstered their squad ahead of the upcoming 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League season, with the signings of Fabian Monge and Christian Siciliano.

Monge joins the club after an impressive season with NPLM New South Wales champions APIA Leichhardt, scoring a trial with Victory as a result.

The midfielder had previously played for Western Sydney Wanderers’ youth side and won the A-League Youth Player of the Year in the 2018-19 season under now-Victory assistant Arthur Diles – before departing the club in 2020.

TRANSFER HUB: Isuzu UTE A-League 2023-24 ins/outs

He also spent time at Greek outfit Xanthi between 2021-22, arriving after current Victory head coach Tony Popovic had departed the club, and is a two-time Olyroo.

APIA coach Franco Parisi confirmed prior to their Australia Cup last-16 contest against Sydney FC that Monge would be joining “an A-Leagues club”. At the same time, the 22-year-old was lining up for Victory in a pre-season friendly against NPL2 Victoria champions Dandenong City.

Monge also played in a friendly against Northcote City.

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Meanwhile, Siciliano has earned a spot with the senior team after helping the club win promotion to NPL2 as their starting goalkeeper.

“Both Monge and Siciliano have performed impressively across the pre-season and they have earned their opportunity through hard work,” Victory Director of Football John Didulica said.

“It’s exciting to add two new young players to the squad that we know can perform at a high standard when we need them to and should the opportunity present itself.

“Prior to his recent success with APIA Leichhardt, Monge was a stand-out young talent in the Y-League and we are confident we are getting a player with quality and pedigree and one who can contribute to the team.

“Siciliano has been a standout in our NPL side all season and played a huge role in our success this year.

“Christian has matured year-on-year and his consistent performances within the NPL mean he has earned an opportunity to graduate into the A-League Men’s Team”.

Jets, Western bolster defensive stocks

Newcastle Jets have continued to mould their squad ahead of the commencement of the new Liberty A-League season with the arrival of American defender Maggie Shaw.

Shaw – who can play as both a centre-back or left-back – joins the club after playing for the University of Tennessee and Chattanooga Red Wolves in the USLW League.

The 23-year-old previously won the USLW Southern Conference defensive player of the year in 2020 and 2022.

INS AND OUTS: 2023-24 Liberty A-League Transfer Centre

“I’m very excited and proud to begin here at Newcastle,” Shaw said.

“Being able to represent this club, this town and the community with my new teammates feels like a dream come true. I’m honoured to be a part of the growth of football and female representation in this country.”

Shaw is the club’s eighth new signing, joining Rebecca Burrows (Canberra United)Sophie HobanClaudia Cicco (Wellington Phoenix)Melina Ayres (Melbourne Victory), Kiara Rochaix (Blacktown City FC), Lorena Baumann and Gema Simon (Melbourne Victory) as the Jets’ latest arrivals.

Meanwhile, Western United announced the arrival of young goalkeeper Natalie Picak on a scholarship deal, after impressing for NPLW Victoria side Calder United.

Picak’s form recently earned her the first national team call-up of her young career, joining the Young Matildas in a training camp last week.

“I am super excited to sign for Western United. It’s always been a dream to be part of an A-League club, especially my home club,” she said.

“I’m truly humbled and honoured to be part of the Western United family. I hope to inspire all the young girls in the West to achieve and follow their dreams.”

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Matilda arrives in Austria

Matilda Ella Mastrantonio has signed for Austrian champions SKN St Polten, making her debut for the club over the weekend.

Mastrantonio spent last Liberty A-League season at Perth Glory and then with NPLW Victoria side Preston Lions after stints overseas at Bristol City and Italian outfits Lazio and Pomigliano.

The midfielder made her club debut in St Polten’s 5-1 win over First Vienna on Saturday (AEST).

St Polten have been the standard bearers in the Austrian OFB Frauen Bundesliga in recent time, winning the last six league titles.

Mastrantonio and her teammates will next be in action in a UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifying action against either Greek outfit PAOK or Luxembourg’s Racing Union.

Segecic’s blistering start in the Netherlands

Adrian Segecic has had some start to life at new club FC Dordrecht.

The 19-year-old midfielder joined Dordrecht on loan from Sydney FC last week and was immediately thrusted into the starting line-up for their clash against FC Emmen.

Segecic capped off his debut by scoring in their 4-2 road victory in an impressive 63 minute showing.

As a result of his impressive showing, Segeic was named in the Eerste Divise Team of the Week for Matchday Four.

Sky Blues star at the heart of NPL promotion

Sydney FC’s Princess Ibini has helped University of New South Wales’ women’s side to promotion back to NPLW NSW next season.

Ibini joined the side following the conclusion of the 2022-23 Liberty A-League season, making 11 appearances and scoring five goals en route to UNSW finishing top of FNSW League Women’s with an undefeated season.

UNSW wrapped up top spot with a comfortable 4-0 win over Blacktown City on Sunday afternoon.

Torcaso and co hit the ground running with the Philippines

The Mark Torcaso era as head coach of the Philippines women’s national team is officially underway.

Torcaso and his new coaching staff, including A-Leagues legend Andrew Durante and South Melbourne NPL Technical Director Sinisa Cohadzic linked up with the national side for a camp last week.

He selected 12 new faces and only eight of the players who were part of their Women’s World Cup squad, including Western United captain Jaclyn Sawicki and Mt Druitt Town Rangers’ Anicka Castaneda.

The Filipinas are currently gearing up for the Asian Games, to be hold in China in late September.

They will face Hong Kong, South Kore and Mynamar in the group stage, kicking off on September 22.