Haliti back at Newcastle

Midfielder Labinot Haliti has signed a three-month deal with Newcastle Jets as an injury replacement for Marko Jesic.

Midfielder Labinot Haliti has signed a three-month deal with Newcastle Jets as an injury replacement for Marko Jesic.

With 20-year-old striker Jesic ruled out for an indefinite period with a knee injury, Kosovo-born Haliti has returned to EnergyAustralia Stadium after spells in Croatia, Albania and Poland.

The 23-year-old initially joined the Jets for the inaugural Hyundai A-League season in 2005 and made 26 appearances in two years.

Newcastle, the 2008 Hyundai A-League champion, faces unbeaten early pacesetter Gold Coast United on Sunday looking to improve on the four points it has collected in its opening three games of the new season.

"It's wonderful to have a player of Labinot's quality here in Newcastle once more, and it's great to see him return to our club," said Jets chief executive John Tsatsimas.

"Obviously he has gained some valuable experience during his time in Europe and that will no doubt stand him in good stead for the remainder of the A-League season.”

"In general terms, it speaks volumes about the direction that the league is heading in when players are returning to Australia after having played abroad. The amount of players that we have seen return to these shores for this season is a massive boost for the competition.”

"Labinot has certainly joined us at a very pertinent time as we have a huge game up against Gold Coast this weekend and it is an important moment in the context of the season for us to strengthen our squad."

After leaving Newcastle, Haliti joined Croatian club NK Slaven Belupo in the Prva HNL division, but he failed to make an impact and moved on to KS Teuta Durres in the Albanian Superliga, where he enjoyed a successful 12-month spell making 18 appearances.

The playmaker then signed for Polish Ekstraklasa side LKS Lodz in 2008, but the club did not have its licence renewed to compete in Poland's top flight despite securing a mid-table finish last season.