The partnership may raise eyebrows in Australian football given the gulf in stature between both clubs’ current standing within their own domestic football tiers. However, while Marconi have not played top-flight football since the collapse of the old National Soccer League in 2004 and are currently competing in the semi-professional National Premier League NSW, they’ve continued to be a strong development club of young players.
‘‘This is a milestone and marks a new chapter in the growth of our international story and most importantly into the history books of our club to have a partnership in Australia. We are pleased and are delighted to welcome Club Marconi into our black and yellow BVB family,’’ Borussia Dortmund chief operating officer Carsten Cramer said.
The deal with Marconi is the latest of Dortmund’s push into Asian youth development. It is their fifth feeder club agreement in the region, having previously established links with clubs in Thailand, Malaysia, China and Singapore.
Dortmund have a history of signing young Australian players, bringing Ned Zelic to the club in 1992, signing goalkeeper Mitch Langerak from Melbourne Victory in 2010 and Socceroo midfielder Mustafa Amini two years later.
‘‘We believe there’s a lot of footballing talent brewing in Australia and we are making a sustainable commitment to working with Club Marconi in using all our technical experiences and know-how and also cultivating a presence within the community,’’ Dortmund’s Asia-Pacific managing director Suresh Letchmanan said.
The partnership will also include a significant emphasis on marketing and promotion of Dortmund in Sydney through their merchandising and academies.
As revealed by the Herald on Friday, Dortmund sought to play a friendly game in Australia at the end of this season but could not find an opponent in Sydney during their window of availability and at short notice. It’s understood there remains a chance Dortmund will look to play a friendly at the end of next season, against Western Sydney Wanderers or Sydney FC.