SUNSHINE Coast product and ex-Gold Coast United goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson has delivered a parting shot at his former A-League club, accusing the failed franchise of unprofessionalism.
It was announced yesterday that Tyson had signed a one-year contract with A-League newcomer the Western Sydney Wanderers, delivering him a career lifeline after the collapse of the Clive Palmer-owned Gold Coast.
Tyson, 22, linked with the club after impressing in a three-week trial and said he was already feeling like a revitalised player since landing in Parramatta.
He had been impressed by the man-management skills of Wanderers coach Tony Popovic and was confident the club could mould him into "the player I always wanted to be".
He said the Wanderers club, despite being in its formative stages, was already leagues ahead of the Gold Coast in terms of set-up and engaging the community.
"The inside of it (the Gold Coast) had a lot of issues and getting out in the community was one of them," he told the Daily just hours after arriving in Sydney.
"I think one of the things that shocked me the most is they had a promotion before the last-ever game against the Roar.
"We went out to meet a local junior team and they thought we were the AFL team (the Gold Coast Suns). They didn't even know that they had a professional team there on the Gold Coast. It really shocked me."
"I played for Western Sydney in a trial during the week and they had 4000 people there who were already passionate about the club," Tyson added.
Tyson has been signed as the fledgling club's No.2 goalkeeper behind former Socceroo Ante Covic - one of his childhood idols.
Tyson, who started life at the Gold Coast as a back-up keeper before making 15 A-League appearances, said he was prepared to bide his time at his new club.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for me - one that I want to take with both hands," he said.
"It's a great opportunity for me to improve as a footballer.
"If I can work my socks off, I know I can get the rewards this year."