ILLAWARRA PREMIER LEAGUE
Determined to resurrect their status as the Illawarra's powerhouse club, Dapto Dandaloo have pulled off the stunning coup of signing Trinidad international Brad Welch.
However, they will have to wait a few days before seeing their new striker in action, after failing to finalise his clearance in time for Sunday's showdown with South Coast United.
The Fury lured Welch and talented American 24-year-old Joe Crowley to the region, just as the attacking midfielder was about to give up on his A-League ambitions and fly home.
Crowley had been playing in Queensland after his hopes of a trial with one of Australia's elite clubs had turned sour, before being thrown a lifeline by Dapto Dandaloo.
Welch is likely to play in the Fury's mid-week Waratah Cup trip to Auburn, while Crowley is nursing a knee injury and is likely to make his Illawarra Premier League debut in a month.
"We've made no secret of our ambitions and our desire to bring new blood to the club," Dapto Dandaloo club manager Darryl Waller told the Mercury.
"It was a bit of luck as to how they ended up with us, but it's not every day you get a chance to have players with these credentials.
"Brad has five caps with Trinidad and also played in the under-20 and under-23 national teams and played in US leagues.
"He's probably got bigger fish to fry than playing in the IPL, but he had a gap before the US pro leagues started, so it's worked out well.
"Joe has been around the lower leagues in Mexico and Spain, so they are certainly talented guys who will have an impact."
Welch and Crowley are friends from their college days in Florida.
Waller worked overtime to have Welch's clearance finalised for Sunday's clash, however, the time difference with North America proved problematic.
The Fury want him to take the field against Auburn, with a likely clash against NSW National Premier League outfit Marconi waiting if they win.
Waller said the club has every intention of helping the pair enhance any A-League ambitions.
"That was our promise," he said.
"If they settle in well here, [coach] Norm [Boardman] has said he will assist them with any chance they might get for an A-League trial.
"We won't stand in the way of any of that, even if it means they look at playing with the [South Coast] Wolves in future, we understand they're the region's representative team."