D'Apuzzo re-signs ahead of blockbuster

The Newcastle Jets have this afternoon re-signed Adam D’Apuzzo for a further 12-months.

The Newcastle Jets have this afternoon re-signed Adam D-Apuzzo for a further 12-months. The versatile 23-year-old joined the club in 2006 and has since become a regular fixture in the side.

Equally adept at playing as a left-back or as a defensive midfielder, the in-form D-Apuzzo has developed a reputation as a diligent, technically gifted utility during his 71 Hyundai A-League appearances for Newcastle.

D-Apuzzo recently expressed his desire to develop his game abroad, particularly with a view to a European move, and the former Marconi junior still harbours such ambitions, but today explained that he felt it would be more advantageous to spend at least another year at home.

“What I wanted to do was to see what would be the best for my development, Newcastle was always still part of the picture. I was always just taking time to think about what would be best for my football and I think another year in the A-League would be best,” D-Apuzzo said.

“We-ve got a great bunch of boys here, I-m happy with the staff, the coaching staff, everyone-s very supportive of each other and especially with the facilities here, we pretty much train on a bowling green with the gym around the corner, so I-m happy to be here,” explained the former Olyroo.

Head Coach Branko Culina this afternoon revealed his delight that D-Apuzzo had become the latest player to be added to the retention hit-list after Michael Bridges, Tarek Elrich, Labinot Haliti, Marko Jesic, and Ben Kennedy all put pen to paper on new deals earlier this season.

“I think it was important for Adam to have a clear mind of what he wanted to do and that-s all we were asking Adam to decide. It-s good that there was interest (in him) from other clubs, it shows he-s valued and he-s very much a player in demand, but it-s also terrific for the club that he has decided to stay with us,” said Culina, who will coach in his 300th national league game this weekend.

Indeed, Culina and his side have been busy finalising their preparations for this Sunday-s blockbuster showdown against fierce NSW rivals Sydney FC. The clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium will pit fourth against second, and the Jets boss believes it is an encounter that could determine which sides will finish in the all-important top two on the competition ladder.

“We pulled up fairly well after the three games in six days,” said Culina. “The Sydney game is a vital game for us in many ways. If we get the desired result, it will seal a finals spot for us which first and foremost is important for us. Then we-ll take it from there, but if you do win the game, other than sealing your finals spot, you-re still in the running of possibly making the top two.”

The Jets will show their support for Australia-s FIFA World Cup Bid in 2018 or 2022 this weekend in the first of two ‘Come Play!- days.

The Jets will wear special one-off designed Come Play! shirts for this weekend-s game.

The one off shirts, which reflect the imagery of Australia-s World Cup bid, will be signed by the players and auctioned for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service after the conclusion of Round 24.

In addition, each match this weekend will be played with a Come Play branded match ball. One match ball from each game will be signed by both captains and auctioned for charity, with proceeds donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Match Details: Sunday 24 January 2010 Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Local Kick-Off: 5.00pm Referee: Peter Green

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3, 3 HD and Sky Sport 3. To purchase tickets visit www.proticket.com.au

Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 9. Sasho PETROVSKI, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Michael BRIDGES, 15. Sean ROONEY, 22. Kaz PATAFTA, 25. Labinot HALITI, 26. Ali ABBAS, 30. Dion SHAW (gk) *two to be omitted*

In: Labinot HALITI (promoted), Sasho PETROVSKI

Out: Nil

Unavailable: 13. Shaun ONTONG (Achilles - indefinite), 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI (knee - indefinite), 18. Marko JESIC (knee - indefinite), 20. Neil YOUNG (gk) (face - 2-3 weeks)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 3.Stephan KELLER, 4.Simon COLOSIMO, 6.Karol KISEL, 7.Brendan GAN, 8.Stuart MUSIALIK, 9.John ALOISI, 10.Steve CORICA (c), 12.Shannon COLE, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 15.Terry MCFLYNN, 16.Chris PAYNE, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22.Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26 Hayden FOXE *two to be omitted* In: Brendan GAN (promoted), Alex BROSQUE (returns from injury) Out: Nil

Unavailable: Kofi DANNING (knee - season), Matthew JURMAN (foot - season), Sebastian RYALL (knee - 4 weeks)

Head-to-Head: Played 16: Newcastle Jets wins 3, Sydney FC wins 8 (5 draws)