Former Aston Villa target Josh Risdon has joined newly-formed Australian club Western Melbourne Group, as reported by the Hyundai A-League’s official website.

The 26-year-old defender has put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with the club, who will compete in Australia’s top flight for the first time in 2019.

Risdon also becomes the first Australian to join the Melbourne-based club, something the former Villains target is proud of:

“I’m absolutely stoked to be the first Australian player to join Western Melbourne. With the signing of Panagiotis as the marquee, I can see the club has big ambitions both on the park and off it.

“With their own boutique stadium being built, which I think is a great idea, the club has an exciting future.

“I’m a hard worker who understands that the fans in the West of Melbourne want players who’ll give absolutely 100% for the shirt. I can’t wait to start doing that.”

Birmingham Live reported that Villa had been monitoring Risdon whilst he was plying his trade at Western Sydney Wanderers and were also keen on Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O’Neill.

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However, a deal now seems unlikely to materialise after the highly-rated right-back completed a switch to Western Melbourne Group, who were delighted to secure the services of the Australia international:

“We’re absolutely thrilled to bring Josh into the Western Melbourne family and we look to him being a leader and mentor to some of the younger players that will be joining the squad.”

With the January transfer window closed, Villa will have diverted their attention away from recruitment and focus will solely be on gaining promotion to the top flight. Dean Smith’s side visit Brentford this evening, who trail Villa by seven points.

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