Western academy product and ‘fan favourite’ handed big contract extension: ‘A dream come true’

Western United academy product Matthew Grimaldi has been rewarded for a standout first season in senior football with a three-year contact extension at the Isuzu UTE A-League club.

Grimaldi, 20, has put pen to paper on a contract set to last until 2027, less than a week after scoring in the first Isuzu UTE A-League fixture at Western’s new home base in Tarneit.

Grimaldi has scored three goals in 19 appearances under head coach John Aloisi this season having graduated from Western’s academy ranks.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Grimaldi said. “I was in the academy and now I’m in the first team, so it’s a dream come true and an even better feeling that we’re now in our new home, so I’m even more excited.

“I’m going to work really hard on and off the pitch and want to make Tarneit a fortress.

“We saw that against Macarthur, the crowd was what really got us lifted up. I can’t wait to keep playing in front of the fans.”

Western United general manager of football Mal Impiombato said Grimaldi’s path from the academy to the first team has been “a delight to watch.”

“Matthew has developed remarkably as a player and a person at our Club and we are thrilled to extend his contract for a further three seasons,” Impiombato said.

“His development and progression from academy product to first team footballer has been a delight to watch and he has already become a fan-favourite in such a short period of time.

“Matthew is a humble yet determined athlete who has the commitment and drive to succeed, and we wish him every success in his journey at the Club.

“As we look ahead to an exciting future in the West, we are incredibly excited for Matthew to continue to represent our community with his work ethic and individual flair.”

Grimaldi and Western face Central Coast Mariners on Saturday afternoon in the second Isuzu UTE A-League fixture at the club’s Regional Football Facility in Tarneit.