Van't Schip, Santilli and returning junior Ferrante sign on for Essendon Royals

The Essendon Royals are delighted to announce the triple signing of Davey Van’t Schip, Luca Santilli and former junior Michael Ferrante.

The trio of players, all signed from National Premier Leagues Victoria outfit Pascoe Vale FC, will inject instant quality into the senior group, bringing a wealth of talent and experience to the first team squad.

Ferrante, a West Ham United youth product and Australia under-17 and under-20 representative, enjoyed an A-League career spanning five years between Melbourne Victory - where he was a member of the inaugural squad - and Wellington Phoenix.

In recent years, he has played in the NPL for Pascoe Vale.

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Of course, Ferrante is no stranger to Ormond Park as a returning junior to the club. Ferrante is one of a handful of former Essendon Royals juniors who have gone on to represent Australia at any level.

Now 38, Ferrante brings a wealth of experience and talent to the club which will serve the first-team well for the remainder of the season.

Ferrante is no stranger to his new coach, Vaughan Coveny, whom he played with at the Phoenix.

Essendon Royals president Richie Di Sauro said the return of a former junior, particularly one who has enjoyed as distinguished a career as Ferrante, was a fantastic moment for the club.

“We have grown a lot as a club over recent years, so be able to welcome back one of our own like Michael is fantastic,” he said.

“Michael left the club at a young age to pursue his professional dreams and comes back to us at the other end of his career having been a part of a brilliant West Ham youth team, having played in Italy and obviously in the A-League with Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix means a lot to us.

“That we have been able to bring two quality players in alongside him is a real statement of intent from us.”

Van’t Schip, son of former Melbourne City manager John Van’t Schip, has been one of the stand-out NPL talents in recent seasons, scoring some wonder goals at Pascoe Vale.

This season alone, he has scored nine goals in 17 matches for Pascoe Vale in Victoria’s top-flight club competition, making his acquisition a real coup for the State League 1 North-West Royals.

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Santilli completes the trio of Pascoe Vale signings, having made 110 NPL appearances for the club since 2014.

The fact that all three come to the Royals having already played with each other for such a long period of time will only help to speed up the process of their integration into the first-team squad.

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Coveny was coy on whether or not one, two or three of the new boys will move straight into the starting line-up against Brimbank tomorrow, but confirmed all three were available for selection.

The trio completes a busy transfer window for the Royals, who have previously added Gaku Matsuda from NPL2 outfit Brunswick City and Box Hill United’s Sammy Logozzo.

The Royals are in action against Brimbank Stallions SC at Club Italia tomorrow, kick-off at 3.00 pm.

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