When New Zealand’s Jesse Randall returns to the United States after Sunday’s age group international with China, he’ll go back to his first professional contract.
After weeks of conjecture, South Carolina club Charleston Battery have confirmed they’ve signed the Wellington winger for their USL Championship, though the deal is pending league and federation approval.
After an outstanding season last year for Wellington Olympic, Randall (20) went to Europe and the United States in search of a pro’ contract.
He’ll now play for the Battery in the country’s second-tier men’s competition, and his teammates include All White defender Deklan Wynne.
“Having Deklan there too will be awesome. Knowing I have a fellow Kiwi to talk with will make a big difference,” Randall says.
Main photo: Jesse Randall in action for New Zealand U-22 against China at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Both players spent the international window in New Zealand for the two-match series against China.
Wynne has been part of the senior squad while Randall has been a member of the national U-22 squad playing curtain-raiser games against China’s U-24 side.
Randall told the USL Championship website:
“I was looking to make the next step in my career, and Charleston presented me with a great opportunity.
“It’s a dynamic club in a great location and I’m looking forward to learning more about my new teammates and the city.
“I’m excited about the attacking, modern style of football that Charleston are looking to play and working with like-minded players. Playing at Patriots Point in the USL Championship will be a new and exciting experience, I’m hoping to develop my game by learning alongside a talented group of players.”
A New Zealand U-17 international, Randall’s club career has included spells with Wellington Olympic, North Wellington, Hawke’s Bay United and Tasman United.
He also spent a year at Northern Kentucky University where he was named the Horizon League’s Freshman of the Year with 10 goals and five assists in 17 appearances.
Describing Randall as quick and crafty, Battery head coach Ben Pirmann said:
“Jesse is a striker that we have tracked for some time now
“He has shown his ability in the US, in New Zealand’s professional league and with the national team that he can be a stand-out goalscorer.
“Jesse is a player with pace; he wants to be direct in his actions and can impact the final third by creating and finishing chances. He will provide a unique skill set for our attacking group with his ability to get in behind defenders, take players on with the dribble and through in his goal involvements.”