‘Cinderella Moment’ as exciting teen talent pens first pro deal with club he joined at 13

Sydney FC have handed academy graduate Lachie Middleton his first professional contract, signing the talented midfielder on a deal until the end of the 2026-27 season.


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Having joined the Sky Blues’ academy aged 13, Middleton has now put pen to paper on a three-year contract with the club.

“It’s like a Cinderella moment,” said Middleton upon signing the contract.

“An amazing step up for me to be able to train with players I’ve looked up to for so long, such as Brattan, Caceres, Burgess, Redmayne and Rhyan Grant.

“I’ve been going to Sydney FC games since I was a young boy so to be a part of it is incredible.

He added: “I am a hard worker, I like to be calm on the ball and play a simple pass, but can also take a shot or two and enjoy playing like a true eight. I’m ambitious to help continue the success of this club.”

The 18-year-old will add depth to Sydney FC’s midfield next season and gives head coach Ufuk Talay plenty of options given his ability to operate in both a defensive and offensive capacity in the middle of the park

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“He has played very well with the Academy,” said Talay. “And when he joins in our first team training he gives us a bit of versatility with his talent and presence, because he’s not a small boy.

“This is a great opportunity for him and he’s one we believe will be good for the future if he keeps working hard.”

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Sydney FC’s Technical Director – Youth, Kelly Cross, was also glowing in his praise of the young midfielder, believing Middleton has what it take to establish himself as a regular in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

“He has been at a consistently high level technically throughout his time with the Sydney FC Academy and is one of our best two footed players.

“His range of passing off both feet is exceptional and he has an innate ability to find space and get shots on goal, as well as great vision and a tremendous work rate.

He added: “His height and long legs means he has the ability to win the ball and be competitive but he is also one of the most intelligent players we have.”

A self-confessed Arsenal supporter who studies the likes of Gunners captain Martin Odegaard as well as England midfielders Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, Middleton also has a twin brother, Jared, currently playing in the Sydney FC academy.

Middleton has represented the Australian Under 17s and Australian schoolboys sides alongside his brother whilst he was also part of the Sydney FC Under-16 side which won the Championship two seasons ago.