Newcastle Jets are pleased to announce that two young players have been awarded Hyundai A-League scholarship contracts.
Goalkeeper, Noah James and midfielder, Jack Simmons are both Newcastle juniors and have featured heavily in youth teams over past years.
The pair will tread the path blazed by Angus Thurgate and Pat Langlois, who both signed similar contracts last year.
Noah James is a name familiar to many Jets fans – he’s deputised for both Glen Moss and formerly Jack Duncan on a number of occasions.
The 17-year-old has featured in a number of pre-season clashes, including the 2-2 draw with the Central Coast Mariners back in August.
James has signed a one-year-deal, and will play between the sticks for the Jets’ Foxtel Y-League team this season while training full-time with the Hyundai A-League team.
Jack Simmons has signed a three-year scholarship deal with the Club, which he’s been with every year bar one since he was nine years old.
Just 16 years old, Simmons has already debuted and scored for the first team: back in July’s 2-0 win over Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.
The midfielder has trained with the Hyundai A-League squad on and off throughout the pre-season and will be gunning for some first-team minutes this season.
Both boys have represented Australia at youth level.
Jets boss, Ernie Merrick said they’re two youngsters with a lot of potential.
“Noah and Jack have both been around the first team for a while now, and they’ve got what it takes to play at that level,” Merrick said.
“Noah trains with us every day and really pushes both Lewis [Italiano] and [Glen] Mossy to their limits, while Jack as an option anywhere throughout the midfield and keeps the boys on their toes.
“It’s good to have young blood in the team, the two boys are lucky enough to have plenty of talented individuals to look up to within the squad and they deserve these contracts.”
Jets CEO and youth team coach, Lawrie McKinna was pleased to have the two Australia youth representatives locked in.
“Labi [Haliti] and I have worked closely with both of these boys over the past year, and they’re players with a lot of ability and even more potential,” McKinna said.
“It’s fantastic for the Club that we’re able to lock down some of our best youngsters, and it just shows the high regard the Jets are held in by some of our country’s best young players.”