Brisbane Roar has secured another graduate of its youth development program by signing skilful 18-year-old winger Shannon Brady to a four-year Hyundai A-League contract.
Brady has made three first team appearances this season including 44 minutes against Western Sydney Wanderers last week. He also scored in a pre-season trial against Newcastle Jets.
The newly-signed No. 29 is expected to be in contention for squad selection when the Roar takes on Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday (7pm kick off).
Brady said his goal now was to get as many minutes as he could of first-team football over the remainder of this season and next season.
"It's is a dream come true to be a professional footballer," Brady said.
"I've worked hard all my life towards that goal and to sign with my hometown club is even more special."
Brady was a stand-out for the Young Roar who finished runners-up, on goal difference only, in the recently completed Foxtel National Youth League.
Those performances earned him inclusion in the Roar squad that travelled to Japan recently to record its first ever AFC Champions League victory, a 1-0 win over J-League powerhouse Urawa Red Diamonds.
Brisbane Roar Director of Football Ken Stead said Brady was the 10th player to come through the Roar's youth development program and play regularly in the first team.
"While this four-year commitment provides stability for Shannon, it also send a loud and clear message about how Brisbane Roar values the players coming through our youth development system.
"We are a great club for young players who are not only from Queensland but also those interstate who might want to be part of our proven program."
Stead said signing other talented young players would be important for the Roar moving forward.
"This current crop of young players are the new long-term Roar stars," Stead said.
"They are players we believe have the ability and approach to the game to be at the club for many years to come in the same way Matt McKay, Shane Stefanutto, Thomas Broich and others have given so many years service to the Roar."
Brady, who played his junior football with Gold Coast Knights, has commuted regularly from his home at Carrara for 7.30am training in Brisbane with the Roar senior squad, often hitting the road by 5am to beat the M1 traffic.
He is also studying clinical physiology at QUT and has juggled lecturers and exams with his training and playing commitments.
"It's been a lot of hard work but the club has helped me with my study, lectures and time management. Now I hope I can be a big part of the Roar's success in coming years," he said.