Melbourne City swoop for Paartalu

Melbourne City have stolen the march on the Newcastle Jets, signing former Brisbane Roar hero Erik Paartalu to a four-year deal.

The Jets were said to be keen on securing the services of the towering midfielder after the departure of Craig Goodwin to Adelaide United.

But City announced the coup on Monday morning.

Paartalu was widely recognised one of the A-League’s premier defensive midfielders and is famously remembered for the defining moment of Roar's 2011 A-League Grand Final win against Central Coast Mariners, when he scored the equaliser in the 120th minute of extra time sending the game to penalties.

The 28-year-old joins Melbourne City FC from Thai Premier League side Muangthong United after a stint in the Chinese Super League, adding further quality to coach John van’t Schip’s squad for the upcoming campaign.

Van’t Schip said: “It is fantastic that Erik has decided to join us. 

“A player of his calibre coming back to Australia and joining Melbourne City FC is a very positive development for the team and for the club.

“We are well aware of what Erik can produce on the pitch.  He is a really exciting player and his experience, strength and technical skills will add further quality to our squad in advance of the season.”

Paartalu was a crucial figure in two title-winning seasons with Roar, and started all of Brisbane’smatches in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, including the A-League finals series and the AFC Champions League.

He was rewarded for his consistency with selection in the Socceroos in 2013.

The move reunites Paartalu with former Roar teammate, Massimo Murdocca.

Capped two times for the green and gold, the Sydney-born play spent time in the NSL early in his career then made the switch to Scotland, before returning to Australia in 2010.

Paartalu will wear the number 5 jersey for City.