NYCFC’s Villa to join Melbourne for the start of A-League season

David Villa Melbourne City

He may not have participated in preseason training with Melbourne City, but David Villa is ready to fulfill his loan obligations.

Australia’s A-League kicks-off next week, with a launch party scheduled on the 7th where Villa will make his first appearance under the league umbrella.  New York City FC’s Designated Player is already ‘Down Under,’ preparing to make his debut when City take on Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on October 11th.

“It’s great that David will be arriving in Australia in advance of the season commencing, ” Head Coach of Melbourne City FC John van’t Schip said. “We are looking forward to welcoming him to the Melbourne City FC squad and having him train with the group at the earliest opportunity.”

Villa, 32, signed on loan with Melbourne from sister club, NYCFC as a “guest player;” an enticement tool used within Australia’s first division to attract world football stars with the condition of a short term stay.  Already, his arrival has garnered interest from the local footballing community — something not lost on the Spanish great.

“From what I have heard, my arrival has generated a lot of high expectations for the club and I hope that I can meet them and that I can help the players, the coach and the entire team to perform well this season,” Villa said in a club statement.  “Hopefully, I’ll be able to play at my best level in order to help the team.”

“David Villa’s arrival in Australia to play for Melbourne City is another exciting chapter in the growth of the Hyundai A-League,” David Gallop, CEO of Football Federation Australia said. “Football fans all over Australia look forward to seeing a true global star play a part in the continuing development of the A-League.”

As a guest player, Villa is limited to 10 matches in the A-League, which will likely see him in Melbourne through December.  He is expected back in New York for preseason training which will commence in the third week of January.

  • Andrew Bissonette

    The guest player rule in the A-League is absolutely horrible. Its really a gimmick and teases the fans. They did a good job with Marquee player rule(Their version of a DP). They should simply expand upon that. The A-League is growing. It won’t be long until that’s a viable option.

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