Jets announce Bridges extension

The Newcastle Jets have today re-signed striker Michael Bridges for a further 2-years.

The Newcastle Jets have today re-signed striker Michael Bridges for a further 2-years. This new deal will see the former Leeds United and Sunderland marksman stay in the Hunter until the conclusion of the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season.

Bridges, 31, played a starring role in the Jets- 3-1 victory over rivals Sydney FC last Sunday, scoring two goals and setting up the other in a fine individual display. Indeed, since returning to the Hyundai A-League in October this year, after spending a loan period with Sydney in 2007, the Englishman has shown class, touch and leadership that will no doubt see him become a key member of the squad in coming seasons.

Club CEO John Tsatsimas this afternoon explained that Bridges- off-field guidance of the club-s younger players, as well as his on-field exploits made him the perfect retention target.

“From the time that Michael has landed in Newcastle he has been nothing but the consummate professional. He obviously has adapted to the Newcastle culture, the city and the club, he has been a revelation and a success with our club and we are very excited to have him here.”

“He is an experienced professional and he will be able to convey his knowledge, his thoughts and his experience to our younger players,” Mr. Tsatsimas said.

The former English Premier League star has netted four times and created four assists in his seven starts thus far this season and is thrilled to have extended his stay in Newcastle to continue on in his rich vein of form.

“I-m absolutely delighted,” Bridges said. “It-s been fantastic since I-ve come here, on and off the field I-ve loved it. The boys have been fantastic, the people in the area have been great, and to sit down and extend the contract it was an easy process.”

“Not just for the off the field antics, the way we performed against Sydney, the young boys that are coming through, I want to try and be part of that and pass some of my knowledge on to them so that I can help them in the future,” he said at this afternoon-s press conference.

Once touted as the next big thing in English football before a horror run of injuries halted his progress in the national team set-up, Bridges will now have the opportunity to fulfil his Hyundai A-League ambitions, with the gifted front-man aspiring to further success with the Jets.

“I knew I had to perform to earn a contract,” he said. “I wanted that since I-ve been here, I always wanted to come back and have a go in the A-League again. Obviously the Jets gave me the chance and after being here a few weeks I wanted to go on and earn a longer contract. That-s what-s happened and I-m delighted because that was my aim.”

Bridges becomes the fifth player to recently re-sign with the Newcastle Jets after Tarek Elrich, Labinot Haliti, Ben Kennedy and Marko Jesic put pen to paper on new deals.

The Jets will travel to South Australia tomorrow to prepare for this Friday night-s important Hyundai A-League round 17 clash against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.