HOT SHOT: Braedyn Crowley cools off while training with Melbourne City. Crowley has returned to Newcastle, where he played 10 games for the Jets over three seasons. Picture: Melbourne City FC
LAMBTON Jaffas will look to former Jets and Melbourne City striker Braedyn Crowley to give them a new dimension in attack after signing the 21-year-old for the rest of the Northern NSW NPL season.
Jaffas coach James Pascoe confirmed the signing on Tuesday of Crowley from Victorian NPL clubBulleen Lions.
Crowley joined Bulleen, where he played seven games,in February following a mutualtermination ofhis contract with City after 18 months with the A-League club. He had signed a two-year scholarship with City in September 2016 and was elevated to their senior squad for this A-League season.He made four appearances, three this season, off the bench for City in the A-League after 10 across three campaigns with Newcastle.
Crowley isa former teammate and housemate of Jaffas defender Marcus Duncan while at Northcote City in the Victorian NPL.
Pascoe said Crowley reached out to the Jaffas through Duncan and the club “jumped at the chance” to recruit the Townsville junior. The defending champions already boast an attackfeaturing Joel and Ryan Griffiths, Luke Remington and Pat Brown but they have drawn 1-1 with Adamstown and 0-0 with Valentine in the past fortnight to sit fifth onnine points fromsix games.
“He offers us something a bit different so that’s why I was keen to get it done,” Pascoe said of Crowley.
“Pat Brown is a target man and withJoel and Ryan at their stage of their careers …they are fantastic footballers and contribute wonderfully well, but those three are similar players.They like the ball at their feet and it’s easy for defences to sit deep.
“Braedyn will allow us to get some penetration in behind defences.Luke Remington is another and he had his first start on the weekend. Add those two into the top four and you’re a different proposition than what we’ve been.”
Crowley, who lives with Broadmeadow assistant coach Anthony Richards,trained with the Jaffas for the first time on Tuesday night.
Pascoe hopedCrowley would become a long-term player at the Jaffas.
“I see it as a signing for the next few years for the group,” he said.“We’re going to help Braedyn try to settle in Newcastle, find some employment and help him out with those day-to-day things that help youfeel at home.
“Hopefully it turns into something that lasts for a few years and as Ryan and Joel finish up in the next couple of years, we’ve still got some good quality there.”
Crowley will replace defender Liam O’Dell (work commitments) on the Jaffas roster when the window for changes opens next week.
Pascoe said he was still on the lookout for a “defensive leader” to add to his squad.