Newcastle Jets are pleased to announce that the club has signed two of its emerging young talents – Nicholas Cowburn and Lachlan Jackson – to fresh Hyundai A-League deals.The versatile Cowburn, 20, has penned a two-season Hyundai A-League contract with his hometown club and is now tied to the Jets through to the completion of the 2017/18 season.
Jackson, also 20, has penned a one-season contract extension, ensuring he will remain with Scott Miller’s side through to the end of the club’s 2016/17 campaign.
Both Cowburn and Jackson have played important roles for the Jets throughout the current Hyundai A-League season, and for the former his new contract with the club – which will take effect later this year – marks his first fully professional deal.
“This is what I have been working towards,” Cowburn said of his first team terms. “Every young player that makes the youth league squad strives to get a first team contract, so now the hard work truly begins.”
“I grew up when the A-League was just starting supporting Newcastle Jets and going to watch their games. When I made the youth league squad it was my ambition to get a pro deal with the first team, so I am happy to represent my hometown club and stay here until 2018.”
Cowburn added that a chat with Newcastle Jets Head Coach Miller during the pre-season had helped hone his concentration, and this had led to improvement in his game and ultimately his contract reward.
“Scotty did have a chat to me about focus and mentality,” Cowburn explained. “He said ‘you can be the best footballer in Newcastle but if you don’t have the right mentality and focus towards the job, then you’re not going to fit within the structure.’”
“I’ve had to really knuckle down and follow the structure that has been put in place by the coaches, and it’s paying off. I have been told that I am doing well, and this contract really highlights that … I am glad that I am going in the right direction with a good football club,” he said.
Jackson joined the Jets in July 2015 and has made eight starts for the club throughout the current campaign.
The adaptable former Brisbane Roar youngster has shown his promise and potential this season with a series of dependable displays.
“To stay another year here and develop my game further with the coaches that we have is exciting,” Jackson said. “I wanted to come here and play as much A-League football as I could, and with a couple of injuries I got my chance.”
“I think I have done alright, but hopefully I can get some more game time this season and next and continue to improve and perform for the Jets.”
“I have an ultimate aim of playing overseas, so if I can develop my game enough that clubs overseas take an interest in me that would be good for me and the club,” he said.
Newcastle Jets Head Coach Scott Miller said Cowburn had earned his senior team contract, and believes that Jackson will continue to develop within the environment that the club can provide.
“Nick Cowburn is a determined young player who has worked diligently to earn his Hyundai A-League deal with the club,” Miller said. “He has the potential to improve and can be flexible within the team structure, so we are pleased to provide him with the opportunity to progress.”
“Lachlan Jackson has improved his tactical and technical awareness since arriving at the club, and possesses physical attributes that make him appealing to us,” Miller added.
“Like Nick, Lachlan can be flexible within our structures, and for his age displays maturity on and off the football pitch.”
Newcastle Jets Interim Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Eland, explained that the retention of Jackson and signing of Cowburn to professional terms demonstrates the club’s new recruitment and retention policy in effect.
“Ensuring that we retain as many of our best young players as possible is key to the long term strategy and success of the football club,” Eland said.