Jets search South America for marquee midfielder

The Newcastle Jets are on the search for a South American excitement machine with coach Ernie Merrick revealing the club will sign a marquee player for the first time in three seasons.

Ernie Merrick

Source: Newcastle Jets

Merrick told the Newcastle Herald that the club is looking to recruit an attacking midfielder for the upcoming season and hopes to take advantage of the contacts which helped him sign former star recruits Carlos Hernandez and Fred at Melbourne Victory.

With two visa spots not yet filled on the Jet's roster for the 2017-18 A-League season, the Jets coach hopes this new signing will bring an X-factor and an eye for goal to compliment the other new recruits the club has brought in for the upcoming campaign. 

“We have a short list of who we want” Merrick told the Herald.

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“If we don’t get the first one, we will get the second one, if not, the third. The top three that we have selected are all top quality players.

“It will be someone of quality who we have to pay a little bit more too and it will be outside the cap.

"If you look at who we have recruited, we need a bit of icing on the cake, a little bit of silk. Whoever we sign, although they might be an attacking midfielder, they must be a goal scorer. That is what brings the crowd in.”

If the Jets succeed in bringing in a marque player this season it will be the first time since the departure of Emile Heskey that Newcastle has signed a player outside the salary cap.

The club has had a checkered history with its marquee men after big money signings Mario Jardel, Jason Culina, Edmundo Zura and Fabio Vignaroli failed to live up to expectations.

Merrick has proven he has an eye for bringing Latin stars to the A-League with Brazilian Fred and Costa Rican Hernandez both rated among the competition's greatest Marquee players.

Hernandez played five seasons in the A-League for two clubs and won the 2008-09 championship with Melbourne Victory under Merrick as well as the Johnny Warren medal during 2009-10 season.



While Fred only played one season in the A-League, he was instrumental in helping Merrick's Melbourne Victory win the title in 2006-07.

“I was lucky with Carlos Hernandez and I thought Fred was an outstanding player,” Merrick said.

“I have had some success from South America. We can attract players now that 10 years ago we couldn’t attract.

It has already been a busy off season so far for the Jets with the club making seven signings including Roy O'Donovan, Kosta Petratos, Dimi Petratos, Daniel Georgievski, Mario Shabow, Glenn Moss and Nikolai Topor Stanley. 


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3 min read
Published 5 July 2017 at 11:30am
Source: SBS The World Game