Perth Glory have beaten several big overseas clubs to the signature of teenage prodigy Daniel De Silva.
De Silva, who spent a month training with English Premier League club Everton, signed a two-year deal with Glory this week, tying him to the club until the end of the 2014-15 season.
The move is part of Glory's renewed focus on promoting local talent under Alistair Edwards, who was appointed coach on an interim basis until the end of the season after Ian Ferguson was sacked last week.
De Silva, who turns 16 next month, progressed through the WA National Training Centre program and is already a walk-up start in the Australian under-17 team under Edwards.
"He's a very technically gifted player and, not only that, he's a good kid as well," Edwards said.
"Everyone talks about technique but he's a very skilful player.
"He has the ability to take on players and do the unexpected.
"If he can continue his progress, he'll be an exciting player to watch."
De Silva caught the eye of scouts from Italian giants Inter Milan during the Nike All-Asia Football Camp earlier this month and Everton are keeping tabs on him.
The midfielder was keen on a move to Everton but couldn't get a visa.
De Silva grew up watching Glory from the stands at nib Stadium. He had his first training session with his new teammates yesterday.
He was excited by the prospect of lining up alongside the likes of former Manchester United midfielder Liam Miller and New Zealand international Shane Smeltz.
De Silva said the opportunity to play for Perth Glory was too good to pass up.
"It's a great football club and a great environment and it's definitely going to benefit my football career," De Silva said.
"(Edwards) is a great coach and I'm looking forward to working with him again.
"He's a good role model and a good coach, so you just listen to him and he'll definitely shape you to become a better footballer."
Edwards said De Silva would come into consideration for the first team this season but first had to prove himself at training.
Glory, who take on Western Sydney in Parramatta tomorrow, will look to sign more WA youngsters under a long-term plan.
"We're looking to not only sign players who fit into the way Perth Glory are going to play, but we want to make sure there's a pathway for talented younger players within the State so they can continue their football education within Western Australia," Edwards said.
"It's a great football club and it's definitely going to benefit my football career."" Glory signing *Daniel De Silva *