The transformation at Western Sydney continues to take shape with the Wanderers announcing the signing of Scott Neville and Jacob Pepper on two-year deals. Neville, 26, will add further defensive steel to a backline that has already been bolstered this off-season with the recent announcements of Scott Jamieson and Jonathan Aspropotamitis.
Scott Neville is the son of former English Football League pro, Steve Neville. Born in England, Neville moved to Australia as a nine-year-old and was part of the Australian Institute of Sport set-up before joining Perth Glory where he played 63 matches including the 2012 Grand Final. He made his senior debut for Perth Glory as a substitute on 31 December 2008 against Central Coast Mariners.
The former Australia U23 representative has played for the Newcastle Jets for the past three seasons and is delighted to have joined the Red & Black. However, a knee injury curtailed his progress and his spot was taken at the Glory by Josh Risdon. After his move to Newcastle he played a further 43 games.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to the new challenge ahead and can’t wait to meet the boys, get started and improve as a player down at Western Sydney,” said Neville. “The whole club in general is a massive attraction. Wanderers are one of the biggest clubs in Australia and Tony Popovic is one of the best coaches. He is someone I want to work under.”
Pepper’s arrival has not been officially confirmed but it is understood he has agreed terms with the Wanderers. Pepper, 23, will bolster the club’s midfield stocks with the former Olyroo proving himself to be one of the best up-and-coming players over recent Hyundai A-League seasons.
The under-23 Australian international has played 74 matches for the Jets since making his debut in 2010 after coming out of the club’s youth team. This past season marked his most productive, starting in 16 games and coming off the bench seven times.
Having spent two years in the Football NSW development pathway, the box-to-box midfielder was picked-up by the Newcastle Jets and made his debut in 2010 but it was the 2011/2012 season where he really made his mark with a number of barnstorming performances and goals.
Iacopo La Rocca, Ante Covic, Jason Trifiro, TomiJuric, Antony Golec, Nikita Rukavytsya, KeremBulut, Nick Ward, Nick Kalmar and Adrian Madaschi were all moved on by the Wanderers last month, with Japanese duo YojiroTakahagi and defender Yusuke Tanaka surprisingly released.