Troisi completes Belgium move

Socceroos attacker James Troisi officially transferred to Zulte Waregem on Friday, signing a one-year deal with the Belgian Pro League club.

Troisi was surplus to requirements at former club Juventus and had been linked to three A-League clubs before Zulte Waregem came into the picture earlier this week, and the 26-year-old claimed he was “immediately convinced” that it was the right place for him.

Having spoken to fellow Australia international Mat Ryan – who is on the books at Club Brugge – Troisi agreed to end his two-year stint in Italy and join one of Belgium’s up-and-coming clubs, as he looks to add to his 13 caps for the Socceroos.

“I’m knowledgeable about Belgian football and Zulte Waregem and I was immediately convinced,” the Australian told Zulte Waregem’s website early on Saturday morning (AEST).

“Zulte Waregem is a club with healthy ambitions.

“Also my countryman Mathew Ryan of Club Brugge told me many positive things about the Belgian league. I want my experience to live up to the ambitions of Zulte Waregem.”

Troisi’s two years in Italy never really took off with the versatile forward spending his first campaign with Atalanta as part of a joint-rights deal with Juventus before moving to Melbourne Victory on loan last season.

While Troisi’s 15 goals in 35 games in all competitions last term for Victory saw him play in the World Cup for Australia, the Adelaide-born attacker was unlikely to ever break into the first-team of the three-times defending Serie A champions.

Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United had all reportedly been chasing Troisi – mostly on a loan deal – but the chance to sign a permanent deal and stay in Europe seemingly held the most clout.

Troisi’s move to Belgium continues a long tradition of Australians playing in the Belgian top tier including Archie Thompson, Paul Okon and Frank Farina.

While Zulte-Waregem aren’t one of Belgium’s traditional powerhouses, the club from the north west have become more prominent in the past decade, winning the Belgian Cup in 2006, while they finished fourth in the league last season, following on from their second-placed finish in 2012-13.

Troisi’s European adventure started with Newcastle United in 2005 where he never made a senior appearance before moving to Genclerbirligi in Turkey three years later.

He spent one season at Genclerbirligi before joining their Super Lig rivals Kayserispor – where he stayed for three years until Juventus came calling.