The Newcastle Jets are delighted to announce that inspirational defender, Johnny Koutroumbis has signed a contract extension.
The new deal, which will see Koutroumbis remain at the Club until at least the end of the Hyundai A-League 2021/22 season, coming off the back of his remarkable return from a recent cancer diagnosis.
A-LEAGUE: Bolfo and the boots
The young defender’s recovery from thyroid cancer is well and truly on track, already playing three games since his diagnosis in early-October 2018.
The discovery of the illness was one that rocked Koutroumbis, his family and the Club to the core. Johnny showed tremendous strength and courage to not only beat cancer, but return to the first team in a matter of months.
Since joining the Club in the 2016/17 season, the versatile youngster has played 38 games for the Jets – scoring twice last campaign.
Newcastle Jets boss, Ernie Merrick said Koutroumbis’ contract extension was a wonderful reward for his work over the last two years.
“It’s fantastic to have Johnny signed on for the next three seasons, we see him as a big part of our plans moving forward,” Merrick said.
“His reaction to the cancer diagnosis was a credit to him, showing a strength of character well beyond his years.
“Since his return he looks better than ever, and we’re keen to continue his development over the next few seasons – he’s a player with tremendous potential.”
Club CEO, Lawrie McKinna said that Koutroumbis’ contract was a great story for all of those who have been affected by serious illness.
“We told Johnny when he received his diagnosis that we’d stick by him, and for him to concentrate on getting healthy,” McKinna said.
“He’s now on the road to a full recovery and is playing some good football, he’s a nice lad that embodies the values of our Club – it was an easy decision to make.”
After a challenging few months, Koutroumbis said he was happy to have his future sorted.
“I’m really happy to be staying in Newcastle for another three seasons,” Koutroumbis said.
“Obviously it’s been a tough few months, but thankfully through the support of my family, the Club and the entire football community I’ve been able to make a recovery and get back to playing.
“The way Lawrie, Ernie, the playing group and all our fans got behind me was something I’ll never forget, it was really special.
“That only reinforced the fact that this was a Club I wanted to remain a part of, I love living in Newcastle and am excited about what the future holds.”