Newcastle Jets have confirmed that the club’s most-capped player, Ben Kantarovski, has extended his stay with his hometown side for a further Hyundai A-League season.
Kantarovski, 25, has made 140 national league appearances for the Jets since making his debut under Gary van Egmond in round 1 of the 2008/09 campaign as a 16-year-old.
Last season Kantarovski demonstrated his versatility in 12 matches, eight of them from the opening whistle, as he was deployed in both midfield and defence.
The former Broadmeadow Magic youth player said that he’s thrilled to be moving into his 10th season as a Newcastle Jet.
“It’s an absolute honour and a blessing at the same time to be able to play for my hometown Club and represent this region for so many years now,” Kantarovski said.
“I had interest from some other Clubs, but when a new coach (Ernie Merrick) comes in and wants you as part of his plans it makes the decision to stay very simple.”
“The boys that remain from last season’s squad have a burning desire to make sure that we improve next season, and with a fair few new players coming in it’s definitely a fresh start.”
“There’s a long way to go until kick-off in October but I am already eager start the season again,” he said.
Incoming Jets Head Coach Merrick believes Kantarovski’s experience and ability will prove to be beneficial for the Club throughout season 13 of the Hyundai A-League.
“Ben has almost been around the Hyundai A-League as long as I have, although he was a wee bit younger when he started,” Merrick said. “I think his experience will be vital in the squad that we are trying to build.”
“As Ben is physically strong and very competent tactically he is versatile and can play in a number of positions.”
“I have a strong belief that he has a lot more footballing ability within him,” he said.
Current Newcastle Jets 2017/18 Squad
Goalkeepers: Jack Duncan, Glen Moss
Defenders: Jason Hoffman, Nigel Boogaard, Ivan Vujica, Nick Cowburn, Daniel Alessi, Lachlan Jackson, Daniel Georgievski
Midfielders: Steven Ugarkovic, Wayne Brown, Andrew Nabbout, John Koutroumbis, Devante Clut, Mario Shabow, Ben Kantarovski
Forwards: Aleksandr Kokko, Roy O’Donovan, Kosta Petratos
Bold indicates new signing.