Foxtel National Youth League (NYL) players Angus Thurgate and Pat Langlois have graduated to scholarship contracts for the remainder of the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season.
The young guns have been standouts in the club’s youth side, guided by the experienced pairing of Labinot Haliti and Lawrie McKinna.
The pair has also been signed on for scholarships for the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season.
Both Thurgate and Laglois had been training intermittently with the Hyundai A-League squad this year and after making an impression on Ernie Merrick the pair have received a permanent call up.
This next step in Thurgate and Langlois’ development – as they graduate into the senior team – has been built off work that started in the junior ranks of the club’s Academy.
Jets’ CEO, Lawrie McKinna said that the club’s newest scholarship players demonstrated a tangible development pathway for other young players.
“It’s fantastic for Gus and Pat, who have been tremendous this season,” said McKinna.
“It’s a well deserved promotion for the both of them, and that’s what we want young players in Newcastle to see, a pathway from our Academy program to our Hyundai A-League or Westfield W-League squads.”
A versatile midfielder with an eye for goal, Thurgate has already had a taste of top-flight football, making two appearances off the bench for the Jets this season.
The Port Macquarie product said he was excited at the opportunity to begin training full time.
“It’s been great to be able to train with the (Hyundai) A-League squad this season, I’ve really enjoyed working with Ernie and the entire playing group,” said Thurgate.
“To come off the bench and get some game time was something that I never expected this season, hopefully if I can continue to work hard there will be more opportunities down the track.”
Langlois, a centre back who starred in some of this years’ pre-season trials, continued to impress during the club’s Foxtel NYL campaign.
The young defender said he was keen to continue to learn off some of the competition’s most experienced players.
“To get the opportunity to learn from Nigel (Boogaard) and Nikolai (Topor-Stanley) and watch how they go about their business has been fantastic,” said Langlois.
“Having gone through the Academy for a couple of years to now get the chance to train with the first team full time is an exciting opportunity that I won’t be taking for granted.”
Newcastle Jets Academy Director, Mike Cooper said that the promotion of Thurgate and Langlois would provide opportunities across his junior teams.
“With the boys moving up to the first team, that allows an opportunity for some of our age group players to step up,” said Cooper.
“It means selected under-16 players may step up into the under-18 side and so on, with an impact across a number of our teams.
“This is a positive though, as it presents a new challenge to our developing players and reinforces the opportunities that hard work and dedication can bring.”