BRISBANE Roar has continued its investment in local talent by signing former NPL Queensland Young Player of the Year Jez Lofthouse.
The 21-year-old winger links up with Warren Moon's A-League outfit after starring at state level for Olympic FC.
"I'm pretty stoked about it," Lofthouse said. "Growing up in Brisbane, coming to games as a young kid, it's pretty surreal to be in and around this environment.
"To play professionally is always something I've wanted to do and to do it in my hometown is pretty awesome.
"I feel in the past I might not have been ready to come into this environment, but now I'm feeling better than ever and I'm really prepared to get into it. I'm just keen to get started."
Lofthouse has been training with the Roar for several weeks and was involved in the team's Fraser Coast camp, scoring twice in the exhibition win over the Wide Bay Select side.
"It's been so good," he said. "It's a really good standard and all the boys have been really welcoming. I've enjoyed it a lot and I'm really enjoying this professional environment.
"I think it's good having a bunch of people from Queensland.
"A lot of us already know each other from around the state, so it's a bit easier to get on. Coming in, I was a lot more comfortable because I knew some people already.
"I've played with or against a lot of them so we sort of know how each other play already.
"It's helping on the training park and in games for us to be able to work together. It's a really good bunch of boys and it's good to be here."
He added: "I'm very grateful to Olympic FC and mainly Ben [Cahn] my coach there who gave me the opportunity to play for Olympic and had full faith in me the last four or so years."
Lofthouse becomes the Roar's sixth off-season signing following the arrivals of Matti Steinmann, Nikola Mileusnic, Luke Ivanovic, Juan Lescano and Jordan Holmes.
Head Coach Warren Moon said: "Our support as a club for young Queensland footballers is well known and Jez fits that profile.
"He's a skillful, exciting player who has fitted in nicely with the group during his time with us this pre-season.
"Jez has done very well at NPL level for a few years now and we look forward to helping him take this next step in his career."
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