The 28-year-old Aussie has also attracted interest from A-League new boys Macarthur FC. However, it is understood that the Tata Steel-owned ISL franchise lead the race and are in a better position to land the signature.
Fitzgerald, a dynamic attacker who primarily plays down the right flank, still has one year left on his contract with the Jets, having joined from Western Sydney Wanderers in 2019 on a two-year deal. And yet, he won’t be the first A-League player to depart for ISL, either breaking his contract or coming out on loan, given the current financial scenario Down Under.
In turmoil ever since Covid-19 broke out, A-League outfits are set to be given a significant cut in the salary cap which has seen a host of stars departing for the ISL. Gary Hooper, Scott Neville, Steven Taylor, Joel Chianese are just a few on that list which could see Fitzgerald as the latest addition. Interestingly, one of Fitzgerald’s teammate at the Jets, James Donachie, also moved to India this summer, joining FC Goa on a loan deal.
A former U-20 and U-23 international, Fitzgerald has a vast experience of playing in the Australian top division. The attacker debuted in the A-League in 2010 with Central Coast Mariners. He won back-to-back championships with Brisbane Roar in 2012 and the Mariners (having rejoined) again in 2013.
He then left Central Coast three years later to sign for Melbourne City where he won the FFA Cup in 2016. He then spent a season with the Wanderers, before his move to the Hunter.
Fitzgerald’s addition will undoubtedly strengthen Jamshedpur FC, who have given quite a good account of themselves in this transfer window. After convincing ex-Chennaiyin FC boss Owen Coyle to take over the reigns, they quickly completed their foreign signings.
Last season’s top scorer in the ISL, Nerijus Valskis, was the first to arrive and he was quickly followed by Peter Hartley, Stephen Eze and Alex Lima. With Aitor Monroy and David Grande already in the squad, they needed just one more signing, the mandatory Asian player, before the start of the new season.
For weeks, the Red Minders have been scouting carefully for a winger and finally, they identified Fitzgerald. The Australian winger’s skillset and experience will certainly bolster Coyle’s squad if the signing indeed goes through, but for now, we have to wait and watch.