FORMER Jets scholarship player Antonee Burke-Gilroy has a signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Sounders in the second tier competition in the United States.
The 20-year-old midfielder departs next week and will play under former Mariners captain and now Sounders coach John Hutchinson in the United Soccer League.
The Sounders also have a team in the US Major League Soccer and both teams often work together.
Burke-Gilroy impressed during a two-week trial in Seattle in early March and has been awaiting a visa.
“They have a great set up over there and the standard is strong,” Burke-Gilroy said. “It is in between the National Youth League and A-League. Didier Drogba plays for Pheonix and there are a lot of other good players in the league. We have another Aussie, Jesse Daley, and three Cameroon boys in our side. When I was there in March we trained twice with the MLS team and hopefully if I do well I can get a call up.”
Burke-Gilroy has a two-year scholarship with the Jets, which included a stint in Portugal alongside Joe Champness, but was unable to break into the A-League squad.
“It was good at the Jets but I just couldn’t get a foot into the first team. I had ankle surgery and missed most of last pre-season. In the positions I play it’s hard to get an opportunity in the A-League. Most of the import or high-profile players fill the No.10 and No.6 roles. Hopefully I can work hard in the US and start afresh. ”
Seattle are in 14th place in the western conference with two win and a draw from nine games.
“It is a long season and there is still 20 odd games to play,” Burke-Gilroy said. I just can’t wait to get over there and give it a crack.”