Graduate from talented class of 2017 joins Socceroos sensation in Belgium

Macarthur FC prospect Rhys Youlley has sealed a move to Jordan Bos’ Westerlo in the Belgian Pro League.

The 18-year-old midfielder, who made his Isuzu UTE A-League debut last season, will swap Australia for Belgium’s top flight after the two clubs agreed a transfer.

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He will team up with Socceroos sensation Bos, who made the move from Melbourne City at the start of 2023-24.

“Rhys is a very talented player with huge potential,” Bulls chief executive Sam Krslovic said of Youlley, who started in Macarthur’s Australia Cup loss to Campbelltown City.

“He had a huge desire to go to Europe at his young age and the club was happy to support his ambition.

“We wish him all the best and we’ll closely follow his career progression.” 

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Youlley came off the bench to make his A-League Men debut against Newcastle Jets in February. He was also on the bench against Sydney FC in October.

At NPLM NSW level, he scored two goals in 22 matches as Bulls FC Academy were relegated.

Youlley is latest graduate from Sydney FC’s talented Under-14 NPL squad in 2017 to make the move abroad.

He played alongside Cristian Volpato, as well as Adrian Segecic and Jake Girdwood-Reich, Nectar Triantis, Macarthur’s Jed Drew and Aidan Simmons of Western Sydney, who have all gone on to make their professional debuts.

Volpato – in the middle of a tug-of-war between Italy and the Socceroos – is now playing for Sassuolo in Serie A following his arrival from Jose Mourinho’s Roma, Triantis joined Sunderland from A-League Men champions Central Coast Mariners and Segecic just completed a loan move to Dutch Eerste Divisie club Dordrecht from Sydney FC.