Duo sign 2-year extension

Young forward James Virgili and goalkeeper Ben Kennedy have both re-signed with the Newcastle Jets.

The Newcastle Jets are pleased to announce the re-signing of two local products; young forward James Virgili and goalkeeper Ben Kennedy, both to two-year deals.

Newcastle born Virgili made his debut for the Jets in 2009 at age of 16, at the time making him the youngest player to ever play in the A-League. The 20-year-old has since made 20 first team appearances for his hometown Club.

After impressing many with his performances for the Jets- youth team during the NBN State League season, Virgili has enjoyed a breakout season at A-League level so far in 2012/13 and has been a big part of Newcastle-s encouraging early-season form.

“There is nothing better than playing for your home team so I am happy to be re-signing with the Jets,” Virgili said.

“I have been here for a few years now and I hope I can cement my spot in what is a competitive team.

“It is exciting what the Hunter Sports Group are doing with the Club and what we are building at the Jets; and I look forward to being apart of it.”

Kennedy, another local product, has been with the Jets since 2006. The goalkeeper has played 87 A-League matches for Newcastle and was named the Club-s Player of the Year in season 2011/12.

Kennedy has been absent from the Jets- playing squad in recent weeks as a result of knee surgery, but he is eager to return bigger and better in the near future.

“I am pleased to re-sign with my hometown Club,” Kennedy said.

“It is great the Club has shown faith in me given my recent injury.

“I am looking forward to getting back into training and playing and being a part of not just the season ahead, but at least the next two seasons after that.”

The Club is delighted to secure the services of the duo for the next two seasons.

“James has obviously had an exciting start to the season and it is great we can reward him with a new contract,” coach Gary van Egmond said.

“He is a great young player with a bright future and he deserves the recognition and this contract extension.

“For Ben, it has been a frustrating start to the season but we know he will return to the form that won him our Player of the Year last season once he recovers from knee surgery.”