A-Leagues Life: Former Jets favourite back on the market after an emotional farewell to Korean club

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.

Former Jets star leaves Korean outfit Daegu, A-Leagues fans clamour for his return down under

Daniel Penha has announced that he will be leaving Daegu FC after just over a year at the Korean outfit.

The Brazilian attacking midfielder joined the club after an impressive loan spell in the Isuzu UTE A-League at the Newcastle Jets, where he scored four goals and tallied a season-high 11 assists in the 2021/22 campaign.

Penha made 11 appearances for Daegu, but tore his ACL in September last year which ruled him out for the remainder of the K League season.

With his contract coming to an end, the 24-year-old took to Instagram to announce his departure.

“Hello Daegu, I write this for all athletes, staff, fans. It’s come to the end of our contract, and I’d like to thank everyone for the moments we’ve had,” he said.

“I thank the club for giving me the opportunity to wear this shirt, I thank my teammates for the day-to-day experience and for all their understanding. The moments in Daegu were not easy, I received family news that was difficult to deal with, but I stayed strong to help Daegu.

“In the midst of this process, I still had the misfortune of getting injured and not playing with that shirt anymore.

“I feel like I say goodbye without having done my duty to you, so I hope this goodbye is actually a see you later so I can return the affection of all of you and bring many joys to Daegu Fc. Thank you very much Daegu FC! Forever #wereedaegu

With news filtering through of his departure, A-Leagues fans have already started to issue the rally-cry to bring the Brazilian back down under next season.

Victory announce player movements for both Liberty and Isuzu UTE A-League sides

Kayla Morrison has returned home to the USA, signing for NWSL outfit Portland Thorns as a National Team Replacement Player (NTRP) during the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

After missing the majority of the 2021/22 Liberty A-League season due to a torn ACL, the American defender returned in a big way, putting together a brilliant campaign in the heart of Melbourne Victory’s defence.

The Victory skipper’s performances were recognised with a position on the bench in the PFA Team of the Season.

Morrison is the latest A-League Women’s player to be signed by an NWSL side as an NTRP, with Western United centre-back Sydney Cummings and Brisbane Roar attacker Shea Connors signing for San Diego Wave.

She is set to return to Victory at the conclusion of her short-term deal ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Meanwhile, the club announced defender George Timotheou will depart Victory’s Isuzu UTE A-League side by mutual agreement.

The 25-year-old joined Victory from Adelaide United in the off-season and made seven appearances in all competitions – along with starting against Manchester United in a pre-season friendly.

His last appearance came in Victory’s 1-0 loss to Western United on December 26.

Bos hits the ground running in Belgium

He’s arrived!

Jordan Bos took part in his first session as a KVC Westerlo player overnight in Belgium.

The former Melbourne City full-back linked up with the Belgian outfit a couple of weeks after completing international duty with the Socceroos where he started in their 2-0 loss to Argentina in Beijing.

Westerlo will play five pre-season games throughout July, starting on July 1 (CEST) where they will face STVV in a behind closed doors friendly.

Western gear up for the new season as fresh face arrives at the club

Looking more locally, Western United became the latest Isuzu UTE A-League side to begin their pre-season preparations.

Among the returnees at The Hangar were starters in their 2022 Grand Final success: Ben Garuccio, Josh Risdon, Tomoki Imai and Lachie Wales, while Sebastian Pasquali, Jacob Tratt, Connor O’Toole, Michael Ruhs and Jake Najdovski were also among the returnees – along with new signing Thomas Heward-Belle.

John Aloisi’s side’s Championship defence fell short of the mark last season, missing out on the finals and have since began a major squad rebuild ahead of the 2023/24 season.

The club has already announced 12 departures, including the retirements of Alessandro Diamanti and Nikolai Topor-Stanley, while Leo Lacroix, Jamie Young, Neil Kilkenny and James Troisi were among the players released, and Dylan Pierias joined Western Sydney Wanderers.

Western have since made three signings, welcoming in Heward-Belle, Matthew Sutton and Angus Thurgate.

Wright departs Sunderland, spotted in Singapore

Socceroo Bailey Wright has departed Championship side Sunderland after three-and-a-half years at the Black Cats.

The club announced his departure via mutual consent as he looks to “pursue an opportunity overseas”. He still had another year to run on his contract with the side from England’s north.

Wright joined the club initially on loan from Bristol City, before making the move permanent in 2020 and went on to make over 100 appearances for the club.

The defender helped the club achieve promotion from League One in 2021, along with winning the EFL Trophy in the same season.

He spent the second-half of last season on loan at fellow Championship side Rotherham United, helping them secure their status in England’s tier.

“I’ve loved my time and I’ve had some incredible experiences,” he told the club’s website.

“I look back on what has been an incredible journey – the highs of Wembley wins to the lows that came before – and I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience.

“You want to try and leave an impression and ensure the club is in a better place than when you found it, and I feel like I’ve been part of a group that has done that.”

Rumours on social media have linked Wright with a move to Singapore side Lion City Sailors after he was spotted watching a game with the club’s technical cirector Luka Lalic and head coach Aleksandar Rankovic.