The Newcastle Jets have further strengthened their squad for the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season, following the re-signing of local products, Nick Cowburn and Jason Hoffman on one-year contracts.
Both players have impressed Ernie Merrick this season and now join the likes of Ben Kantarovski and Glen Moss in re-committing to the club.
Hoffman has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence this season, flourishing under Ernie Merrick’s attacking style of play – regularly shifting from right back to right wing – scoring four goals.
Cowburn recently returned from the 2018 AFC U23 Championships in China, playing two of Australia’s three pool games and scoring against South Korea.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said he was pleased to see both players in his squad for another season.
“Jason and Nick have been fantastic for us this year and these contract extensions are well-deserved,” said Merrick.
“Both are Newcastle boys and to have them here at the Jets for another season is testimony to the work each of them have put in both on and off the pitch.
“Jason has shown his versatility this season in the way that he’s switched between attack and defence and Nick was very impressive during the AFC U23 Championships.”
With 175 Hyundai A-League appearances, Hoffman was part of the club’s only Championship in 2007/08 before spending four seasons with Melbourne Heart.
Hoffman said that he was thoroughly enjoying his football and was excited about committing to another season at his hometown club.
“The success we’ve had so far this season has been fantastic to be a part of,” said Hoffman.
“We’ve got a great bunch of lads here and we’re playing some exciting, entertaining football and it’s been rewarding to contribute to that.
“I’ve been enjoying the chance to get forward and the license that Ernie has given all of us to play an attacking brand of football.
“To be able to continue to represent the Jets is a real honour and I’m excited about the potential of this group – it’s an exciting time right across the club.”
A Toronto-Awaba product, Cowburn has risen through the ranks of the Jets’ Academy system.
The wing-back – who racked up his 50th appearance for the club this season – said that he was looking forward to continuing his development in Newcastle.
“I’ve been learning a lot from Ernie and the coaching staff and got a great deal out of my time at the AFC U23 Championships this year,” said Cowburn.
“We’ve got some really experienced guys around the playing group and I’ve been taking every opportunity to work with them and continue to improve my game.
“It’s been a dream to represent this club and I’m really happy to be here for another season.”