Image: Mark Avellino
Altona Magic have further strengthened their playing ranks ahead of this weekend’s clash against the North Sunshine Eagles with the prized acquisition of former Hume City midfielder James McGarry.
The 28-year-old Englishman departs ABD Stadium after a half a season with the club, having scored twice in 16 league appearances since joining from the Melbourne Knights.
Originally from Hull, he arrived in Australia in 2011 and joined the Bentleigh Greens, making 15 appearances for the club before making the mid-season move to Bulleen.
He spent the next two years of his career at David Barro Stadium, scoring 14 goals in 45 league appearances as he established himself as one of the best players outside the VPL.
A return to the top-flight followed in mid-2013 as he joined the Knights and immediately played his part in the Knights finishing the campaign in second place behind eventual champions Northcote City.
A Dockerty Cup winner in 2014, he was an instrumental part of Andrew Marth’s side for the better part of three seasons, scoring 11 goals in 67 league appearances for the two-time NSL Champions.
He joined Hume in the off-season alongside former Greens teammate and fellow Englishman Wayne Wallace but reportedly fell out with the club hierarchy following his substitution in last week’s 3-0 win over Kingston City and now joins his compatriot out the exit door at Broadmeadows.
His signing is a massive boost to Goran Lozanovski’s men who, although holding an eight-point buffer at the top of the State League One North-West standings, face a tricky run of fixtures away to the likes of North Sunshine, Preston Lions and fellow promotion contenders Geelong.
The addition of McGarry is a healthy boost to Magic’s midfield stocks with the dressing room already featuring the likes of Joseph Franjic, Marinos Gasparis, Jason Hayne and Jonathan Munoz.
In other news from Paisley Park Soccer Complex, the reigning State League One Champions have announced the departure of Japanese attacking midfielder Takanori Nishimoto, who departs without having played a game due to his persistent injury problems.
The Magic take on fierce rivals North Sunshine Eagles away at Larissa Reserve tomorrow afternoon with the hosts hoping to keep their promotion aspirations alive and reduce the margin from top spot.