In a major addition to their attacking ranks, Hyderabad FC have signed 27-year-old striker Joe Knowles ahead of the 2023-24 season. Sources close to the club mention that this is a one-year contract, with an option to extend for another year.
The Australian becomes the third signing for new first-team coach Conor Nestor, after left-back Vignesh Dakshinamurthy and centre-forward Jonathan Moya arrived at the club earlier this week.
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Knowles is a versatile player who can operate both as a central attacking midfielder and as a winger. He has been known to do well in the number ten position playing behind a regular centre-forward or as a false nine if Hyderabad choose to play him so.
Knowles will fill in the big boots of Joel Chianese, another Aussie who served the club well but left at the end of the previous season. Having spent his youth career at Perth Glory, Knowles was briefly signed by A-League side Brisbane Roar for the 2022-23 season.
After completing the formalities, Knowles said:
“It is a great honour to sign for this club. Hyderabad FC have done unbelievably well in the four years as a club and I look forward to being a part of the history here, going forward.”
“I am really looking forward to playing in front of all the Hyderabad fans and they can expect a fast direct attacking player that will do anything for his team to be successful.”
Joe Knowles has scored against Premier League side Leeds United
In the one year that he spent at Brisbane Roar, Knowles etched his name in the supporters' hearts after he got on the scoresheet against then-Premier League side Leeds United in a preseason friendly. This goal went a long way in cementing his place in the Brisbane Roar starting lineup. However, he could score just one goal in the A-League last season and was promptly released by them ahead of this season.
Knowles has spent the majority of his career at Oakleigh Cannons FC, who compete in the NPL Victoria competition. He found the back of the net on 24 occasions in the 48 appearances he made for the Cannons. His relative lack of experience at any top-tier league will worry the supporters of Hyderabad FC but the exposure he gained playing for the Brisbane Roar in the A-League will hold him in good stead for the Indian Super League.
Hyderabad FC will welcome his addition to their team, providing support to strikers Bart Ogbeche and Jonathan Moya. Young Indian forward Aaren D'Silva is also expected to play a big role along with Knowles in the upcoming season. What will gladden the supporters of the Yellow and Black Brigade is that they have bolstered their attacking line rather well in this ongoing transfer window.