Neville and Pepper leave Jets for Wanderers

Newcastle Jets have announced that 13 players have re-committed their playing futures to the side from Hunter Stadium and confirmed the departures of Jacob Pepper and Scott Neville.

Nigel Boogaard, Lee Ki-je, Enver Alivodic, Ben Kennedy, Ben Kantarovski, David Carney, Mitch Cooper, Daniel Mullen, Andy Brennan, Josh Barresi, Radovan Pavicevic, and Themba Muata-Marlow have each committed to playing their part in the development and success of the new Newcastle Jets.

Moreover, Brandon Lundy (Foxtel National Youth League contracted player) has informed club management that he will be staying with the Jets. Lundy's arrangements are close to being finalised.

Incoming Newcastle defender and respected senior player Boogaard believes the players plainly understand the potential of the club and want to play a key role in helping it reach its on and off field goals.

“Obviously news that so many players have recommitted says a lot about the faith they have in the area and how they can see the club going forward,” Boogaard said from Adelaide where he is enjoying his final few days living in the city of churches before moving back to the Hunter.

“It’s obviously pleasing that the boys that have been in and around the club over the last year, or however long they have been at the Jets, have seen the potential that the place has got.”

“It’s certainly encouraging to see that so many boys have committed given they had the opportunity to go elsewhere if they wanted to. To see them stick around gives me confidence that the group that is already there is committed to the cause and really wants to turn things around,” he said.

Boogaard added that he never had any thoughts not to sign his deal with his hometown Hyundai A-League side in the wake of the club’s recent ownership shift.

“When I made a commitment to the club I knew I would fulfil it,” Boogaard said. “For me it doesn’t matter who is in charge, I just want to be involved and do my part to turn things around back there and hopefully have a few successful seasons.”

Newcastle also confirmed that 26-year-old defender Neville and 23-year-old midfielder Pepper have opted to take up offers from a rival Hyundai A-League club.

Neville has officially joined Western Sydney Wanderers on a two-year deal, while Pepper has done likewise.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to the new challenge ahead and can’t wait to meet the boys, get started and improve as a player down at Western Sydney,” Neville said.

“The whole club in general is a massive attraction. Wanderers are one of the biggest clubs in Australia and Tony Popovic is one of the best coaches. He is someone I want to work under.

“I love to defend but also love to get forward and create chances. I’m an all-action type of player and every game I’m going to put my heart on my sleeve and give everything I’ve got for the Western Sydney Wanderers.”

The Jets provided no current update regarding the playing future of goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.