Jets sign South Korean defender

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Embattled A-League outfit, Newcastle Jets, have bolstered their defensive stocks with the signing of 23-year-old South Korean left-back Lee Ki-je on a four-month contract.

Lee joins the Jets for the rest of the season, having last played for Japanese J-League heavyweights Shimizu S-Pulse.

During his time with the Shizuoka-based Club, Lee made more than 70 appearances across Japan’s top flight, Emperor’s Cup and J-League Cup competitions.

Lee joins recent arrival and ex-Western Sydney Wanderers player Daniel Mullen in the Jets depleted defence.

The Hunter club recently sacked five senior players including left and defensive options, Kew Jaliens, David Carney and Adrian Madaschi.

“We have been looking for a left back and Ki-je really caught our eye as a dynamic player that we feel can make an impact in the team,” coach Phil Stubbins said.

“Ki-je is only 23 but has been playing consistently in the J-League, which is of course a very good level. He is strong, works hard, and I am excited to work with him for the rest of the campaign.”

Speaking through an interpreter Lee, a former Korea Republic youth international, said he was keen to test himself in a new competition.

“My reason for deciding to come to Australia is that I have heard about the Australian league and how football in Australia is growing in terms of quality and size,” Lee said.

“So I was very interested to come and try a new challenge out of the Asian market. Australia is of course in the Asian Football Confederation, but it is also different in terms of culture.”

A left side specialist, Lee added that he feels that some of his strengths include crossing and free kicks, in addition to his defensive abilities.

PHOTO: Newcastle Jets