The Newcastle Jets continue to rebuild after their recent player cull, snapping up in-form defender Nigel Boogaard for the next three seasons.
Boogaard, 28, will leave the title-chasing Adelaide United at the end of the season to return to his hometown in the hope of revitalising the embattled Jets.
The former Australian youth international has developed his game under coach Josep Gombau and the Reds made no secret of the fact they wanted to keep him on the roster.
"Nigel has been in career best form this season and we were hoping to retain him beyond this current season,” Club chief Michael Petrillo said.
“However that's football and we understand his reasons and we look forward to him continuing his great form with us until the end of this campaign, in what now is a critical period for us.”
Boogaard joined Adelaide in 2010, making 105 appearances for the club including games in the AFC Champions League and the inaugural FFA Cup.
In the current A-League campaign the ex-Western Workers Bears man has managed 13 appearances from a possible 17 games and scored two goals.
The defender spoke positively about his period in Adelaide but said it was the right time to return home and help the Jets recover some of their early glory.
“I have enjoyed some great times at Adelaide United and with the best part of half a season left I hope to be part of some more great moments at the club before I leave,” Boogaard said.
“These memories include playing in the prestigious AFC Champions League with the club, and recently being able to captain the team in Eugene’s (Galekovic) absence with the Socceroos.
“But it’s also a proud moment for me to be able to say that I am coming home to play for my hometown club.
“Anyone would say that to play for your hometown club is an honour, and for me it will be a privilege to play in the Hyundai A-League in front of my family and friends in Newcastle, for Newcastle.
“I am very happy that I will be part of the club rebuilding, and the recent interest from the Jets really made me excited about being part of a squad and club that makes the region proud.”
New Newcastle Jets chief executive Mitchell Murphy said: “We are determined to assemble a quality playing group for next season and securing Nigel is an ideal start to our recruitment and retention process.”
“Nigel is an experienced, quality defender and will undoubtedly bring superb leadership skills to our playing group, plus he’ll be a fine ambassador for our club off the pitch.”
Jets coach Phil Stubbins was part of the Adelaide United coaching staff when Boogaard first arrived at Coopers Stadium, and has kept close tabs on him since.
Stubbins said the Jets identified Boogaard as an important recruit.
“Nigel coming to the football club will help us play in a certain way,” Stubbins said.
“He is technically adept, possesses a wonderful passing range, and can play on either side of central defence.”
Stubbins added: “As a respected player in the Hyundai A-League, Nigel’s signing shows the supporters that Newcastle is seen as a strong club and one that can compete with rival teams for the services of top players.”
“Of course, it helped our cause that Nigel is a proud Novocastrian and that he genuinely wants to play what could prove to be some of his best years as a professional with his hometown club.”comments