Bridges delighted to extend stay in Newcastle

Newcastle Jets forward Michael Bridges says he is delighted to have re-signed with the Club for another season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets forward Michael Bridges says he is delighted to have extended his stay in Newcastle for another season.

It was announced on Thursday that the former English Premier League star re-signed to a one-year playing contract. Bridges' agreement includes involvement with the Emerging Jets program in the off-season.

“If I looked back six months ago, I never would have seen this coming. I just stuck in with hard work and carried on waiting for my opportunity,” Bridges said.

“Thankfully both parties came to an agreement and got something sorted and I-m delighted.”

After featuring only as a substitute earlier this season, Bridges has started in his last four outings for the Jets.

“Hopefully I-ve set an example to the young boys and they-ve seen if you-re not getting a game, you work hard, you don-t become a bad egg off the park and you stick at it,” Bridges said.

“The thing is here you have small squads compared to Europe, so you-re always going to get an opportunity through injuries and suspensions and things like that.

“One man-s pain is another man-s gain and you-ve just got to be ready for that opportunity.

“If you let yourself become unfit and you let yourself fall by the wayside when that chance comes, you-re not going to be any good to anybody.

“(The opportunity has) come up and I-ve taken it on board and it-s just great to have a run out there and play some good football.”

Bridges revealed that he is working with the Club to get his full Australian citizenship, which would mean he no longer occupies one of the five visa spots on the Jets roster.

“We-re looking to see if we can push the citizenship through quicker like the club was able to do with Ali Abbas,” Bridges explained.

“We still need to speak to the government about that, but if we can get everything in place I-m hoping to get it by the end of September, which is perfect timing.”

Bridges said he is looking forward to being involved in the Club-s Emerging Jets program during the off-season.

“Part of the re-signing is to help out with the Emerging Jets in the off-season, which I-m delighted to do,” he said.

“I-ll be looking at the kids and seeing what-s coming through and hopefully helping out in that respect as well.

“It-s something that I-ve always wanted to do, to get involved with the juniors in the region, and I-ve said that since day one when I came here.

“I think Newcastle has a lot to offer, it-s a big football community, which is why I fell in love with the place.”

Bridges also thanked the Jets- Members and supporters for their ongoing commitment to the Club.

“I want to personally thank the fans for what they-ve done. Ever since I arrived here they-ve got behind us and supported us,” Bridges said.

“There was one game this season when I came on in the last 30 minutes of the game and the reception I got was almost like going back to the Champions League days at Leeds United. I was just so humbled by it.”