The Goulburn Valley Suns’ roster is set for Saturday’s National Premier Leagues 2 kick-off after the club secured a second visa signing.
Englishman Jordan Barrow has joined the club, making his first appearance at training on Monday night soon after arriving in the country.
And his background can hardly be questioned; Barrow, 24, has played with English powerhouse Everton’s youth set-up where he won the Youth Premier League, and has played in Europa League qualifiers with Welsh club Airbus UK Broughton FC.
Suns coach Craig Carley was ecstatic his team had attracted a high-calibre talent.
‘‘We try to get in players with good backgrounds and that will help around the whole club,’’ he said.
‘‘Jordan ticked all the boxes and we’re very happy to have him on board.
‘‘He’s a defensive player, but he can play in the midfield too — he’s very versatile.
‘‘We find him primarily to be a defender and he’ll shore up our defensive stocks.’’
One of Barrow’s many claims to fame is having formed a strong partnership with former Everton young gun and England international Ross Barkley, who recently moved to Premier League champion Chelsea.
Barrow has since spent time in the Welsh Premier League with Airbus UK, Cefn Druids and Rhyl FC.
The Suns struggled defensively last year, shipping 53 goals to have just the 14th-ranked defence of the 20 NPL2 teams.
Carley said it was an area he was keen to address heading into the new campaign.
‘‘We’ve got some good talents coming through, but they might not quite be ready for that NPL exposure,’’ he said.
‘‘We’d rather they experience the level a little bit at a time, and now they have the opportunity to play alongside someone who has played at the highest levels.’’
The playing coach expected his new signing would be cleared for Saturday’s season opener against Dandenong City.
Carley said he was thrilled to get the season rolling.
‘‘You can play as many pre-seasons friendlies as you want, it’s never quite the same as a competitive game,’’ Carley said.
‘‘We had a practice hit-out last night, just 60 minutes against Shepparton South and hopefully we can take some of that momentum into round one.’’