Mitch Cooper commits to Jets
The club has kept faith with the 20-year-old despite some early injury setbacks since joining Jets in 2012 from the now defunct Gold Coast United.
The Australian youth international said that despite receiving interest from rival A-League outfits he wanted to extend his stay with the struggling Hunter club.
“I have been here for a while and I have been through a lot of ups and downs,” Cooper explained. “So the biggest thing for me now is that I want to give back to Newcastle.
“Newcastle is such a good place to live, the support we have is second to none, and while a lot of people have been writing off the Jets I think that’s the wrong way to look at it.
“There’s so much improvement and potential here, and I want to be a big part of it,” he said.
Cooper added that he feels buoyed by the belief that’s been instilled in him from Phil Stubbins and the coaching team.
“The club and coaches have backed me,” he added. “Not only playing but starting regularly recently has done heaps for me and my confidence.
“I have grown so much as a person and I am happy with how supportive everyone has been of me.”
The Jets are bottom of the A-League ladder, equal on points with Western Sydney Wanderers, and without any hope of making the playoffs.
After a chaotic campaign, including a major shake-up of the playing roster and backroom staff, the club is keen to rebuild for next season.
Jets boss Stubbins said Cooper had shown strong signs of fulfilling his undoubted potential and deserved his contract extension - taking him up until the end of 2017.
“Even when Mitch first burst onto the scene a few years ago he showed promise in his play,” Stubbins said. “Obviously he has had setbacks with injuries, but the club is confident that he’s past the worst of that.
“Certainly our medical staff, together with Mitch, have ticked every box in regards to his rehab, and that’s been vindicated in the performances we’ve seen from him of late.
“He’s (Cooper) starting to mature as a player, and he’s only going to benefit from the time that he has in the side.
“We want to play a brand of football that’s possession-based but has a dynamic edge, and Mitch is the type of player that fits our requirements.
“He can beat players one-on-one, he can go past players, he can score goals, he can start off an action and finish it – he’s skillful.
“But most importantly he’s a player that plays for the team.
“He has nothing but a humble attitude and works towards the team’s success.”