Jets sign Bridges to complete roster

The Newcastle Jets have signed striker Michael Bridges for the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season.

The Newcastle Jets have signed striker Michael Bridges for the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season. The Englishman has put pen to paper on a deal that will see him fill the final spot on the Jets- playing roster.

Bridges, 31, brings a wealth of experience to Newcastle having played for a host of English clubs including Sunderland and Leeds United. The marksman has also spent significant time with Carlisle United and Hull City, as well as having a stint with Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League back in the 2007/08 season.

“I was excited when I got the phone call a week ago to come out here because I was on my way to Portugal (to sign for Naval),” he explained.

“To team up again with Branko was one of the main issues as well. I still felt like I could offer something and to get up and running again. I knew that I had to come out here and prove myself, I knew I wasn-t going to just walk in here,” the striker said today.

One man particularly happy to have Bridges on board is Head Coach Branko Culina, who spent a short period with the journeyman at Sydney FC two years ago. Culina believes that the leadership qualities and experience that Bridges brings to the club was a critical factor in the decision to sign him after a week-long trial.

“Michael comes with a lot of experience. We-ve taken our time with filling our last spot, as you would know, we-ve had dozens of players come and go and you can never be sure but this is the surest we have been. The fact that I knew Michael from our previous involvement at Sydney helped,” he explained.

“One of the things that really impressed us at this club was, when Michael came, he quickly got to get himself involved with other players, which meant that we were not only getting a player who could do the job on the park,” Culina said of Bridges- off-field qualities.

Bridges could be playing in Jets colours as soon as next Monday, 5 October when the team takes on Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.