Johnny Warren Medal winner Jake Brimmer joins A-League newcomers

Melbourne Victory midfielder Jake Brimmer has signed to join A-League expansion club Auckland FC.

An Australian U-17 and U-20 international, Brimmer (26) won the prestigious Johnny Warren Medal in 2021-22 after being judged to be Australia’s Men’s Player of the Year.

“He possesses immense talent that will take him beyond the A-League,” Auckland FC head coach Steve Corica said.

“Auckland FC has the pathways to help him achieve that, and we anticipate he will step up to his role within the club as a key contributor to the team’s success both on and off the field.”

Melbourne-born Brimmer (26) spent three years as a youth player with English Premier League club Liverpool, before returning to Australia in 2017.

He played for Perth Glory before moving to Melbourne Victory in 2020, for whom he’s played about 100 games.

Brimmer is a set-piece specialist with an impressive record from the penalty spot.

“He has superb passing range and the ability to score from anywhere within 35 yards of goal,” Corica said.

“Combined with his tenure in Victory’s leadership group, Jake has demonstrated dedicated progression from player to a key role model for his teammates.”

Brimmer said: “It’s never easy leaving the club you’ve grown up supporting, but Auckland FC will provide an exciting new challenge for the next phase of my career.

“Having played alongside many of the team, I know how strong the squad is and I can’t wait to be part of this group’s drive to win.”

Auckland FC chief executive Nick Becker said: “Jake is an example of a player who will get fans out of their seats and we are proud to be onboarding this pedigree of talent.”

Brimmer’s signing boosts the size of the Auckland FC squad to 17 players.

Previously-announced signings are:

  • Cam Howieson (29), midfielder, long-time captain of OFC Champions League winners Auckland City, and 20 caps for the All Whites.
  • Francis De Vries (29), left back, joins from Eastern Suburbs and six appearances for New Zealand.
  • Michael Woud (25), goalkeeper, most recently with Japanese club Kyoto Sanga, and six caps for the national team.
  • Jesse Randall (21), left wing, joins from national champions Wellington Olympic, and has six caps for New Zealand.
  • Tommy Smith (34), defender, pro career with clubs in the UK and United States, and 55 caps for New Zealand.
  • Max Mata (23), striker, overseas experience in Switzerland, Estonia, Ireland and UK, with 14 appearances for the All Whites.
  • Dan Hall (25), centre back, joins from treble-winning Central Coast Mariners.
  • Callan Elliot (24), full back, former Wellington Phoenix player whose last club was Scotland’s Motherwell, and has played three full internationals for New Zealand.
  • Joey Champness (27), winger, joins from Turkish club Adnaspor, and has nine caps for New Zealand.
  • Scott Galloway (29), full back, an Australian U-23 international and former Wellington Phoenix player who joins from Melbourne City.
From left, Luis Toomey, Jonty Bidois, Finn McKenlay, Adama Coulibaly, Liam Gillion and Oliver Middleton.

The club has also signed six players on scholarship contracts:

  • Luis Toomey (22), attacking midfielder, signed from Eastern Suburbs. Formerly with the Wellington Phoenix youth set-up, he spent six months with Finnish club Pallo-Iirot.
  • Liam Gillion (21), winger, signed from Auckland City. Gillion joined Auckland City after playing junior football for Manurewa and youth football for Wellington’s Western Suburbs.
  • Finn McKenlay (18), midfielder, signed from Eastern Suburbs. Previous clubs include Birkenhead United, East Coast Bays and Onehunga Sports. Selected for the national team for July’s OFC Men’s U-19 Championship.
  • Adama Coulibaly (19), midfielder/defender, signed from Western Springs. He’s been included in the New Zealand team for the OFC Men’s U-19 Championship in July.
  • Oliver Middleton (18), midfielder, signed from Auckland United, where he has come through the club’s academy. Another selected for the national team for the OFC Men’s U-19 Championship.
  • Jonty Bidois (19), forward, signed from Tauranga City. One of the leading goalscorers in this season’s Northern League, he played for Christchurch United in last year’s Men’s National League.

About Auckland FC

Auckland FC is majority owned by Texas billionaire Bill Foley, with former All Black Ali Williams and businesswoman Anna Mowbray as local co-owners.

Known as the Black Knights, Auckland FC will play their home games at Mt. Smart’s Go Media Stadium when the 2024-25 season starts in October 2024.

The 2024-25 Isuzu-UTE A-League season kicks off in October and Auckland FC inaugural season memberships are now on sale at the club’s website.

Auckland FC is the latest club in Foley’s growing sports portfolio, which also includes AFC Bournemouth in the English Premier League, a significant investment in FC Lorient of France’s Ligue 1, and Hibernian FC in the Scottish Premier League.

The club will enter the Liberty A-League women for the 2025-26 season.

This story was first published on July 2, 2024.

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