Youngster Alex Nunes jets off to train with Benfica

They’re one of the most recognised clubs in world football with 37 Portuguese leagues titles and two UEFA Champions Leagues to their name, and for the next few weeks, a young Jet will get the chance to live and breathe football inside the famous Benfica football academy.

Alex Nunes is a 15-year-old footballer who’s been plying his trade in the Newcastle Jets academy since Under 9’s when he moved to NSW from Darwin, NT, and will soon take off to Portugal to learn from the same academy that created stars like Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, Joao Felix and Ederson.

It’s already been a winding football journey for Alex that has brought him to our 18s team currently, and one that’s seen him already compete overseas in Japan as part of the Coever Asia Pacific International Performance Camp.

In the coming days, he’ll find himself in Benfica, surrounded by football for two weeks with fellow players from around the world for Benfica Elite International Development Program.

“I was nominated by the coaching staff at the 2022 Coerver Asia Pacific International Performance Camp to represent them at the program,” Alex said.

Alex Nunes

“I’ll be living and breathing football, and will live with other participants, and attend training games and language courses.”

“I’m hoping to come out a better player. I will receive a player report at the end of the camp which will help me identify areas for improvement…I’ll then bring this experience back to my team to share what I’ve learnt.”

Alex has already caught the eye of many here in Australia, and he said he’s excited to learn to help build into a more complete footballer.

“I’m excited about training with one of the best academies and comparing myself to the players there,” he said.

“I’m hoping to do well and build on my abilities and would like to progress through to the Youth team and to professional teams after.

“One of my long term goals is to make my professional debut and to make a long-term career in playing the sport I love.”

Newcastle Jets Academy Coach Pete McGuiness spoke of his excitement for Alex, and said it was a deserved achievement.

“Alex is a very talent and technical player who has great game awareness,” McGuiness said.

“I’m excited that he’s off to one of the biggest clubs in Europe, and probably the biggest in Portugal.

“It’s his technical skill, and ‘game smarts’ that will give him every chance of being successful there.”

Alex will leave for Portugal on April 1 and everyone at the Jets wish him all the best!