Valentine working to build on successful US relations

GUN RECRUIT: American Jalon Brown has been a revelation this season.

GUN RECRUIT: American Jalon Brown has been a revelation this season.

VALENTINE hope to continue their American connection even if star striker Jalon Brown and defender Alec Faulkner cannot extend their stay in Australia.

Brown’s stellar first season came to an end last Saturday with a hamstring tear late in the 5-0 loss to Edgeworth, which ended Valentine’s finals hopes. The injury and Hamilton striker Kane Goodchild’s double on Sunday to go to 13 goals means Brown (12) will not top the scorers. 

Coach Darren Sills was disappointed Brown couldn’t finish the year against Weston on Sunday, especially since the striker’s parents will arrive on Friday for a visit. Sills hoped to retain the Americans but said visa issues had them in limbo.

Sills has his eye on a replacement if one or both Americans don’t stay and he hoped to continue a link with former Christopher Newport University players.

“We are talking to another American from their school who is supposed to be a pretty good footballer,” Sills said. “He’s an attacking player and they reckon he would absolutely kill it here.”

Sills hoped to have two US imports again next year after they helped his side rise from eighth last year to just outside the top four.

He said the pair were on a tourist visa, which requires three months of work to secure a 12-months extension.

The club was looking to instead help them secure a sponsored visa through gaining full-time, specific work.

Either way, Sills was hoping to continue their US success.

“We’ve got a relationship with their college and it might be a situation where we take one in every year, which would be a great deal,” he said.

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