In a major boost ahead of their Hyundai A-League semi-final next week, the Newcastle Jets have announced coach Ernie Merrick has extended his contract at the club for a further year.
The extension will keep the experienced Scotsman in the Hunter until the end of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season.
The Jets’ boss was already contracted until the end of next season but has agreed to terms on a contract upgrade and extension after the club's remarkable surge to second on the ladder this campaign.
The Jets have gone from cellar-dwellers to competition leaders during Merrick’s tenure, in what has been a record-breaking season across the board.
His first regular season in Newcastle began and ended in emphatic fashion – as his chargers delivered two F3 Derby drubbings – amassing 15 wins and 50 points in between.
"This year has been nothing short of tremendous,” Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna.
“Ernie’s leadership, experience and calming influence has been a major part of that – the stability he’s provided to our club both on and off the park has been exceptional.
“The results speak for themselves really, the club has gone from strength-to-strength since Ernie’s arrival and I couldn’t be happier to have him on board until the end of the 2019/20 season.”
Merrick said he was enjoying his time in Newcastle and was looking forward to spending a further two years as an adopted Novocastrian.
“Newcastle’s a fantastic city, it’s a wonderful place to live and it’s a community I’m proud to be a part of,” said Merrick.
“The way the community has welcomed myself and my wife, Kerry has been amazing – we love the lifestyle here and everything the Hunter region has to offer.
“It’s been a great year on the park and it’s been enjoyable working with Lawrie, our Football Department and the playing group to bring some success back to the Newcastle Jets.
“Under Lawrie’s guidance and Martin Lee’s ownership, the club is heading in a really positive direction and it’s exciting to be a part of.”
Merrick and the Jets’ record-breaking year:
- Most competition points in a season – 50
- Most wins in a season – 15
- Most goals in a season – 57
- Highest number of individual goal scorers – 14