Lolley’s signing follows that of 73-time Slovakian international Robert Mak, fresh from winning the Hungarian title with Ferencváros, ex-Western Sydney Wanderers star Jack Rodwell, who has crossed town and will likely be refashioned into a centre-back, and Spanish left- back Diego Caballo.
They should all give the Sky Blues hope for a swift return to title contention, having missed the A-League finals last season for the first time since 2015-16 after their worst campaign in a decade.
The five-time champions missed out on their primary transfer targets, with ex-Liverpool reject Lazar Markovic deciding to move to Turkey instead of taking up a lucrative designated player contract with Sydney, while fringe Socceroos attackers Brandon Borrello (Wanderers) and Ben Halloran ( Adelaide) both rejected the club’s advances to sign on less money elsewhere, according to well-placed sources.
The defection of Milos Ninkovic to Western Sydney was another sour point during the off-season but coach Steve Corica, who defied growing fan discontent to sign a two-year contract extension earlier this year, is happy with the way his squad has come together, and particularly pleased with the recruitment of Lolley.
“Joe’s got proven quality at a high level in England. He is the type of player we were targeting and we had to be patient to secure him,” he said.
“He brings a goal threat with his ability to cut inside and can also pick a pass. He’s got great energy, an amazing ability to carry the ball and works hard for the team.
“Fans love him because he gives his all and I know he was hugely popular at Nottingham Forest so I’m sure he will be here.”