Jelacic completes move to Belgian high-fliers, Gent

Perth Glory can confirm that midfielder Keegan Jelacic has completed a move to Belgian Pro League title contenders K.A.A. Gent for an undisclosed fee.

The 20-year-old travelled to Belgium earlier this month to undergo his medical and complete the additional formalities with his new club.

Jelacic enjoyed a remarkable debut campaign in purple having joined Glory in July 2022 after a series of standout displays for Olympic FC in the NPL Queensland.

He made 20 A-League starts, scored his maiden A-League goal and added four assists, with his stellar performances earning him a call-up to the Australia Under-23s squad.

His new club, Gent, claimed the league title in 2015, finished as runners-up in 2020 and lifted the Belgian Cup last season and Glory Head of Recruitment, Andy Keogh, believes that they represent an ideal destination for Jelacic as he looks to take the next step in his fledgling career.

“Keegan has done exactly what we knew he could,” he said.

“His dedication to hard work and his craft has given him this tremendous opportunity and Perth Glory will also benefit from this immensely.

“A lot of credit must go to [Head Coach] Ruben Zadkovich and the coaching staff for the hard work they put into developing Keegan’s game, especially his defensive work for the team. 

“We are very proud to execute this deal and hope it’s the first of many in this new structure within the club.

“We believe in our young players and that faith has now started to be rewarded.”

Glory CEO Anthony Radich, meanwhile, backed Jelacic to make his mark with his new club.

“Keegan deserves this opportunity and we’re sure he will take it with both hands,” he said.

“His contribution to our club last season was illustrated by him taking out the DT38 Under-23 Player of the Year Award and I’m confident he will rise to the new challenges that he will face in Belgium.

“On behalf of everyone associated with Perth Glory, I would like to thank him for his service and wish him all the very best as he embarks upon the next chapter in his career.”

Further squad announcements will be made shortly.