Newcastle Jets have announced the signing of versatile attacker Ryan Kitto as an injury replacement for Labinot Haliti until the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season.
Kitto, 21, trialled with Scott Miller’s men this week and impressed the Newcastle Jets coaching staff with his efforts.
The Australian youth international was a member of the Adelaide United set-up in his home state of South Australia between 2013 and the start of this year, though Kitto was last contracted to National Premier Leagues (NPL) South Australia side West Torrens Birkalla.
With West Torrens Birkalla Kitto scored an impressive 17 goals throughout the 2015 NPL South Australia season, helping the club to a third-placed finish.
Kitto’s displays in the 2015 NPL South Australia saw him rewarded with the Sergio Melta Medal as the competition’s Player of the Year last month.
Jets Head Coach Scott Miller said that positive reports from respected individuals within football plus good trial form from the player himself had equated to the opportunity for Kitto to join the Jets full time.
“Ryan arrived with us highly referenced from senior football figures,” Miller explained. “In the first couple of days he showed commitment, but he’s followed that through with his technical ability.”
“Ryan can play a variety of positions in the front third, which adds to our squad flexibility.”
“We’ve found him to be a very respectful person, and we’re sure will fit into the team culture well,” Miller concluded.
Kitto has been added to the Newcastle Jets preliminary squad for Sunday’s Hyundai A-League 2015/16 round 7 encounter against his former club, Adelaide United, at Coopers Stadium.
“I am very grateful and humbled by the opportunity that I have been given by the Club,” Kitto said.
“I found out that the Club had a bit of interest in me a few weeks ago, and they [Newcastle Jets] were great in allowing me to finish off my University studies before coming over to trial.”
“When I left Adelaide United and joined West Torrens Birkalla it was clear that my football career could go one of two ways – I could chuck the towel in and say ‘that’s it’, or knuckle down.”
“Thankfully West Torrens Birkalla provided me with an environment where I could play in my preferred way and I was successful there, and that has helped lead to this opportunity,” he said.
Kitto added that he’s been made to feel welcome at the Jets, though should he see game time against his old employers Adelaide on Sunday he won’t be treating the game any differently than normal.
“The environment has been fantastic and I sensed straight away that the Jets is a Club on the up both on and off the field,” Kitto said.
“The boys have provided great support for me this week.”
“I’d be excited to get an opportunity this weekend [against Adelaide] but it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, I’ll just take it as any other game and seek to do my best for Newcastle Jets,” he concluded.
Adelaide United vs. Newcastle Jets – Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Round 7
Date: Sunday 22 November 2015
Venue: Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-off: 4:30pm (local), 5:00pm (AEDT)
Tickets: Please click here to purchase match tickets
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Television: Live on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio: Live on ABC Grandstand & 1233 ABC Newcastle
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