Armadale aiming high, new
contracts and new signings
for 2023 season.
Armadale’s preparations for the new NPLWA Men’s season are well on track, and this week the club presented their first ever professional player contracts, with long-serving defender Nathan Costello and exciting youngster Peter Jacobsz putting pen to paper.
Costello has spent 14 seasons at the Skeet, with only short stints away at Perth Glory Youth and Bayswater City. His leadership and work rate on and off the pitch is invaluable to the team. Meanwhile, Jacobsz stellar season saw him voted the Dylan Tombides Young Player of the Year in the NPL. His pace and guile down the flank or up top was a highlight for many at the club.
“We’ve shown faith in the pair, who have both been outstanding for the club.” Head coach John O’Reilly said. “After chatting to new President Chris Bates, the decision to give them a professional contract showed loyalty and with it being the first players to do so, shows the club is progressing in the right direction."
The club also announced the first two signings of the season, with former striker Chris Jackson returning after stints at Inglewood United and Sorrento, while winger Amir Ajan has joined from Stirling Lions. Jackson said he’s happy to be back playing in front of the Armadale supporters, and in his last stint, he bagged 24 goals and led the club to their first State League Cup Final win.
“It’s great to be back at the club and it’s good to see the familiar faces again, and it certainly will be good to have the Army supporters behind me, they are always excellent, the 12th man,” Jackson explained. “My main aim will be to bring Armadale trophies again, if I can reach their goal figures again while doing that, it would be a bonus.”
Armadale coach John O’Reilly is delighted to have Jackson back at the Skeet. “Chris brings goals to the team, he’s an old-school striker that thrives on opportunities and half chances to punish the opposition. It also highlights the ambitious direction that the club now wants to go".
“The committee is focused on bringing in a talent to the team this year and Jackson is just the sort of player to kick off our recruitment drive, and after speaking to Chris, his determination to win trophies is high on his agenda and my goal is to help him, and the team, finish top of the league and claim back his Golden boot from 2018."
Ajan, 27, played for Bosnia and Herzegovina club NK Čelik Zenica in 2016, before joining Austrian side SC Kalsdorf in 2018, before heading down under, and playing for Sorrento, Balcatta, and Stirling Macedonia in the NPL. Ajan said he is delighted to join the Reds and is looking forward to working with O’Reilly and his new teammates. “After a lot of thought and after some feedback from my loved ones, I believed that joining Armadale was the right thing to do for the coming season,” he explained.
“John is a respected coach, and some people know what I’m like and some don’t, but the guys at the club know that they will always have my honesty on and off the pitch. Football is a big part of my life and I give respect to the game by training and playing to the best of my ability. I’m looking to be a role model to some of the younger players and also be pushing some of those older than me to do the same. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Armadale supporters who are the best in the league.”
O’Reilly said he is a player that has been on his radar for a couple of seasons. “Amir is a player I’ve been keen to get him to the club for a while and I’m delighted we’ve managed to secure his signature for 2023. He brings a wealth of experience from Europe and has been successful in the NPL,” he explained. “Ajan is a high-energy player with the ability to upset defenses with his high press and no-nonsense tackling. He joins us with high expectations and a strong desire to win, his enthusiasm will lift the team and entertain the fans."