Newcastle Jets cement link with Chile powerhouse

Newcastle Jets hope to bring a Chile flavour to the Hyundai A-League with a view to on-selling Chilean players to the Chinese Super League.

The Jets are close to confirming a game against Chilean Premier Division club Audax Italiano at McDonald Jones Stadium in early July.

They hope it will be the first step in a long-term partnership between the two clubs, which may include young Chilean players joining Newcastle on loan.


Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna and owner Martin Lee had recent meetings in Chile with members of the Audax management. 

McKinna told the Newcastle Herald young players would come to the Jets on loan in a potential stepping stone to a contract in China.

“We are not going to get one of their strongest players, more so players 12-16 in that first-team squad,” McKinna said.

Newcastle Jets are exploring an option to form a partnership with a Chilean club.

“We would look to get them on loan and then try to sell them on to China.

“If they don’t get into China, they go home to Audax.”

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Audax are currently eighth in the Chile premier division and are well-known for their impressive academy system, with big money invested recently in a new training centre.

Academy members frequently feature in the first team and the club has a strategy of developing and selling its best young players.

“Next January, we will look at the potential to get a player from there,” McKinna added. 

Meanwhile, the Jets are in a huge fight to make the Finals Series. 

The eighth-placed side are six points off sixth and face seventh placed Phoenix this weekend.