Botic signs with A-League's Western Utd

Linking with Western United coach John Aloisi (pic) encouraged Noah Botic to return to Australia.
Linking with Western United coach John Aloisi (pic) encouraged Noah Botic to return to Australia.

The chance to learn from ex-Socceroos forward John Aloisi and Italian veteran Alessandro Diamanti has lured young Australian striker Noah Botic to the A-League.

The 19-year-old has joined Western United on a two-year deal after spending the past two seasons as part of the youth setup at German Bundesliga club Hoffenheim.

Botic, who made a name for himself with the Joeys at the Under-17 World Cup in Brazil in 2019, said the chance to play under new Western head coach Aloisi played a significant role in his move.

"To be able to continue my footballing career under a legend like John Aloisi was a big drawcard for my move, and to learn from the likes of (Alessandro) Diamanti and (Victor) Sanchez also motivates me," he said.

"I'm ready to work hard this pre-season and hope to make a strong impression."

The Sydney-born Botic scored in each of the first two group stage matches for Australia in the 2019 U17 World Cup before a brace in the final game against Nigeria sealed a place in the knockout stages for the first time since 1999.

"Noah has a strong presence on the park being six-feet tall," Aloisi said.

"He is capable of scoring goals in any number of ways, but it is his intelligence and predatory instincts around the six-yard box that make him incredibly difficult to defend."

Another Australian forward returning to the A-League from Europe is George Blackwood.

The 24-year-old has joined former club Adelaide after a season with English League Two club Oldham.

Blackwood, who has signed a two-year deal with the Reds, was brought to England by Socceroos legend Harry Kewell but struggled with injury and only made 15 appearances for the Latics, scoring three goals.

Australian Associated Press