RILEY McGree scored one of the best goals in world football – an outrageous Scorpion kick – to help the Newcastle Jets seal a place in just their second A-League grand final last season.
But the talented teenager will next season play with rivals Melbourne City – the team his spectacular strike knocked out of the finals – rather than return to Newcastle.
City announced on Wednesday that the 19-year-old had inked a one-year loan deal from Belgium powerhouse Club Brugge.
The Jets didn’t expect McGree, who scored four goals in 12 games after arriving in January, to extend his loan stint but will be disappointed that he has joined an other A-League club.
“[City coach] Warren Joyce got in contact with me […] I could see that this club is going places, and I want to be here winning more trophies,” McGree said in a statement. “Getting young players in and creating a good, stable base as a club is an important thing to do, and I’m excited to be part of it. I came here for the professionalism of the club, the high-quality facilities and coaching staff and players. Now I want to get a good pre-season under my belt, have a good season and develop myself as a player.”
City director of football Michael Petrillo described McGree as a “bright and ambitious young prospect who will fit well in to this team”.
“He’s a versatile midfielder who has a deft touch and is very capable of both scoring goals and of creating chances for those around him,” Petrillo said. “Pre-season starts in two weeks and I know he is itching to get training with the rest of the squad.”