Finals-chasing Newcastle Jets head into Saturday's crucial F3 derby knowing they have secured former Dutch international Kew Jaliens for another season.
Speculation earlier this month suggested the influential central defender was poised to put pen to paper on a new two-year deal that would see him finish his career with the Hunter outfit.
The Jets have now confirmed the experienced 35-year-old will be marshalling their backline until the end of the 2014/15 season after signing a one-year contract extension.
With 27 goals conceded, the club currently boasts the A-League’s third best defensive record behind ladder leaders Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers.
And Jaliens will be looking to help the Jets to their fourth clean sheet in five games when they travel to Gosford to take on arch rivals Central Coast Mariners.
Jaliens, who represented the Netherlands at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympics, said he was happy to be spending another year in the Hunter.
“My family and I really like it here in Newcastle and it is a very good place for my children to grow up,” Jaliens said.
“The Jets gave me the chance to still show myself as a footballer and continue doing what I love most and for that I feel very blessed.
“I’ve really enjoyed my first season at the Jets. As a team we’ve had some ups and downs so far this season, but I think now everyone really knows what is expected of them and what they have to bring each week in order to get results.
“The focus now is to make the finals this season and from there we’ll take it one match at a time and see where that takes us.”
Jets CEO Robbie Middleby said securing Jaliens’ services for another season was a big positive for the club.
“We’ve been extremely pleased with Kew’s contribution this season and we’re delighted he’s decided to extend his stay in Newcastle,” Middleby said.
“The experience Kew has gained playing at the highest level for club and country, along with his leadership skills, makes him an extremely important part of our squad.
“As well as Kew’s obvious qualities as a footballer, we believe our younger players will continue to benefit greatly from having someone like Kew around to help mentor them for another season.”comments