From grassroots to the A-Leagues: Jayden Necovski makes history for Melbourne City

Melbourne City FC is delighted to announce the signing of talented 16-year-old defender and Australian U17s Joeys captain, Jayden Necovski, to a scholarship contract until the end of the 2026/27 A-League Men’s season. 

Necovski’s journey has come full circle, becoming the first player in Club history to progress through the entire Melbourne City FC Player Development Pathway; from the City Football School, to the Youth Academy, and now to the Men’s senior squad. 

The 16-year-old’s introduction to Melbourne City came in early 2019 when he attended the first-ever City Football School session under the guidance of current Senior Manager of the Academy, Simon Zappia. 

It didn’t take long for City Football School coaches to identify Necovski as a player of considerable talent with the potential to develop into a top prospect. An invitation to join the City Academy soon followed, with the youngster officially joining Melbourne City FC as an eleven-year-old just six months later. 

As he progressed through the Academy, his physical, technical, and tactical dominance within his own age group led to him moving from the U14s to the U16s to further challenge the then 13-year-old and face a higher standard of competition. 

Standing at 195cm tall, Necovski is a ball-playing central defender who can dominate duels both in the air and on the ground, and at only 16 years old, shapes up as a hugely exciting prospect for City fans. 

“I love to go forward and I love to express myself on the ball.” Necovski said. 

“Physically I think I am just very fearless off the ball, and I’m always willing to dive into challenges and put my body on the line for the team. 

“I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity and I can’t wait to play in front of our amazing fans.” 

Melbourne City Academy Senior Manager, Simon Zappia, has witnessed Necovski’s journey through the Club’s Player Development Pathway first-hand, and couldn’t be prouder to see him sign his first professional contract. 

“I first met Jayden in 2019 and it was clear then that he had both the talent and work ethic to realise his potential,” Zappia said. 

“Seeing Jayden become the first player to start with our Football School program, play at every level in the junior Academy and earn himself a professional contract is a proud moment for all involved. 

“Having worked with Jayden since he was 10 years old, I am ecstatic that he is being offered this wonderful opportunity.” 

Melbourne City FC Director of Football, Michael Petrillo, spoke about Necovski’s signing and the importance of investing in youth. 

“Jayden is a very talented player,” Petrillo said. 

“He’s a great defender that is comfortable with the ball at his feet that allows him to create opportunities for his teammates, which is something we look for in a City centre back. 

“The fans love to see a local boy or local girl coming through the ranks who they can get behind and support. I think it makes for a much deeper relationship between the player, the fans, and the Club. 

“Jayden is the latest in a series of City Academy prospects earning professional contracts, and it’s really encouraging to see more and more juniors breakthrough.” 

Petrillo also acknowledged the importance of investing in the future of Australian football. 

“We’re privileged to have a partner in McDonald’s who proudly supports our grassroots and youth development programs, such as the City Clubs program, the Melbourne City Football School, and Youth Academy. 

“It’s with this support that we’re now seeing the next generation of talented players emerge, and Jayden is a great example of that.” 

Think you have what it takes to follow in Jayden’s footsteps? Registrations are now open for our City Football School Term 2 programs. Click here to find out more and sign up now!