Graham Arnold says the signing of Riley Woodcock is a long-term investment for Sydney FC but has warned the young defender he faces a challenge to break into the Sky Blues' first team.
Woodcock, 20, has agreed a one-year deal with last season's beaten grand finalists after leaving Perth Glory.
The fullback, who has represented Australia at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 level, joins Andrew Hoole and Brandon O'Neill as Sydney's early reinforcements ahead of the 2015-16 campaign.
“Riley is another great prospect and a good addition for us,” head coach Arnold said in a statement.
“He will provide competition for places and it’s a sign that we are building not only for next year but for the future of the club.
“Moving to a club like Sydney FC will be a challenge for him but one I’m more than confident he can succeed in.”
Having notched a respectable 13 appearances for Perth in 2013-14, Woodcock managed just two last term, as Scott Jamieson and Josh Risdon held down regular spots in Kenny Lowe's defence.
Arnold has a track record of handing opportunities to youngsters, particularly during his time in charge of the Central Coast Mariners, offering hope to Woodcock of enjoying more involvement next season.
“I’ve played alongside the likes of George (Blackwood), Christopher Naumoff and Andrew Hoole and they’ve all told me how professional and how well run the club is, so I can’t wait to get started.”
“I’ve seen the opportunities Arnie gives to young players and I hope to show him I’m worthy of being given a chance.”