Bradley Cross: Newcastle United sign ex-Bidvest Wits defender

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Mogamat Bull and Bradley Cross of South Africa - December 2017Backpagepix

Newcastle United have signed South Africa youth international Bradley Cross on a two-year contract.

Cross, who was in the books of German side Schalke 04 last season, completed a successful trial at Newcastle and will be sent to the Magpies Under-23 side after the club signed him as a free agent.

“I'm very excited to be joining Newcastle United," Cross told the Newcastle United website.

“I know it's one of the biggest clubs in England with its history and it's always been a dream of mine to play in the UK. It is an amazing achievement for me.

“I've spoken to the [Under-23] coach [Chris Hogg] and he's spoken of the ideas he has for me. I feel like I bring something different to the team and the coach encourages me to play to my strengths, which is something that has been very helpful. There is also a pathway to try and get into the first-team.

“I'm a left-footed centre-back that loves playing football. I like when the ball is at my feet and love playing out from the back, looking for those window passes to break the lines. I want to help the team out as much as possible and just leave all I have out there on the pitch, giving 100 percent for every game and training session.”

Coach Hogg has expressed admiration for the defender and says he is keen to nurture him for first-team football with the Magpies senior side.

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"It's an option where we looked at to bring in a left-footed defender and add some quality to the group but also to try and enhance the environment on a personal level too,” Hogg said.

“He's a well-rounded character who made a good impression with everyone in terms of how he has behaved and how he conducts himself. We want people here who want to work hard and do things right so, from our point of view, we're delighted to have him and look forward to developing his game and seeing how far we can take him.”

Cross is a South Africa national Under-20 player and flourishing at Newcastle could earn him a Bafana Bafana jersey.