Lam and van der Venne farewell City and return to Europe

Melbourne City FC international duo, Thomas Lam and Richard van der Venne, are set to depart the Club and return home to Europe for personal reasons.

Ahead of the 2022/23 season, both players joined City on two-year deals, however, differing circumstances has seen the Club agree to allow the duo to return home a year early.

A lynchpin in the heart of defence, Lam made 27 appearances across the 2022/23 season, starting all but two of those matches, and scored a maiden goal for City in the 3-3 draw against Adelaide in Round 14.

Meanwhile, van der Venne made 22 appearances in an injury-interrupted season but still finished the campaign as City’s fourth-highest scorer. The midfielder found the back of the net seven times, including a memorable hattrick against Macarthur, and added a further five assists.

Melbourne City FC Director of Football, Michael Petrillo, said:

“Despite our best efforts to find a way to keep both players here, it was clear that their family issues could not be resolved. Therefore, we have agreed to let them return to Holland to be with their families.

“Both Thomas and Richard have been integral parts of our historic third consecutive Premiership, and are incredibly popular with the squad, club and our fans.

“We will miss them but understand their reasons for departing and wish them all the best.”

Speaking about his decision to return home, Richard van der Venne said:

“It’s been a tough decision to leave Melbourne City, but I have to put my family first. I thank the Club for understanding and I’ll always remember this special season in Melbourne.

“I am very grateful that I’ve been part of this special squad and I am happy to be a little part of history.

“The City fans have been amazing and welcomed me in with open arms straight away. I appreciate all of their support throughout the season and will miss playing in front of them at AAMI Park.”

Thomas Lam said:

“We are expecting our second child in September and because of this, have had to make the very tough decision to be closer to our family so we can have that extra support from them.

“It was such a difficult decision to make because we loved every minute of our time in Melbourne and on the pitch, it was amazing to be part of a history-making season. I’m going to miss the city, the Club, my teammates and all of our fans.

“I want to thank everyone at the Club for my time here and I hope to one day return in the future.”

We thank Richard and Thomas for a memorable season in Melbourne and wish both them and their families all the best for the future.