The Newcastle Jets will continue to build their squad as the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League pre-season gets underway.
With 20 players returning from the 2017/18 squad – including 10 of the Grand Final starting XI – the club finds itself in a very different position to that of 12 months ago, when 13 players were signed over the pre-season.
Football Operations Manager, Joel Griffiths said that while the club found itself in a strong position, they would continue to look at options for the 2018/19 season.
“Between Ernie, Lawrie and myself the hard work in building the squad came about this time last year and now we’re reaping the rewards,” Griffiths said.
“We actually had 19 players contracted before the Grand Final kicked-off, so it’s given us an opportunity to take our time and see what players are available throughout the pre-season.
“We’ve got a great balance of youth and experience, Dimi (Petratos) will return from the World Cup and a fully-fit Ronnie Vargas will have a complete pre-season in Newcastle which is an exciting prospect for everyone.
“We’re certainly still active in the player market and you never know what might happen during such a long pre-season, but we’re really confident in the players we currently have contracted.”
The club’s newest recruit, Matthew Ridenton has begun settling into the Hunter and has taken his preferred squad number of 23 for the season ahead.
Following their participation at the Free Trade Port Super Champions Cup in China, the club will also look to finalise scholarship contracts for 2018/19.
“We’ve had some great players coming through our youth system and now they get the chance to prove themselves on tour,” Griffiths added.
“Ernie wants to give local players the opportunity to represent the club and once the pre-season is in full swing and he’s made his assessment we’ll finalise our scholarship players.”
The Jets have three spots available in their 2018/19 Hyundai A-League squad and intend to continuing to look at suitable options for recruitment both here in Australia and overseas.
Player Arrivals: Matthew Ridenton (Wellington Phoenix)
Player departures (as of 5 May, 2018): Riley McGree (Melbourne City), Pato Rodriguez (departed) and Mario Shabow (Central Coast Mariners).
Newcastle Jets 2018/19 Hyundai A-League squad:
1.Jack DUNCAN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Ronald VARGAS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Wayne BROWN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS, 29.Jake ADELSON, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, Patrick LANGOIS (Number TBC)