Jason Culina joins father at Jets

The Newcastle Jets have confirmed the worst kept secret in football by announcing Socceroos midfielder Jason Culina will join father Branko at the Newcastle club for the next three seasons.

The Newcastle Jets have confirmed the worst kept secret in football by announcing Socceroos midfielder Jason Culina will join father Branko at the Newcastle club for the next three seasons.

Rumours have surfaced this week since the Gold Coast United revealed they were happy to let their marquee player talk with other clubs about a transfer despite Culina still having a year to run on his contract.

Jason joined Branko, Jets Executive Chairman Ken Edwards and Jets Football Advisory Board Chairman Ray Baartz at a packed media conference in Newcastle on Wednesday afternoon to confirm that he had signed a three-year Australian marquee deal with the Jets.

"I am absolutely delighted to be here. I believe Newcastle has commenced a unique phase in the club's history, for both players and for supporters and I want to be a part of that," Jason said.

"I am excited and I can't wait for the new season to start."

Jason brushed off any concerns of nepotism and said he never really sat down with his father to discuss how the relationship might evolve should he sign for the club.

"We are both very professional. I don't think there is any need for us to really enter in to a conversation like that," Jason said.

"I think I should be treated like any other player and should have no special treatment nor do I want that. I am here to do a job to the best of my ability and my dad is here to do the same, so we both look forward t the challenge."

"I had a few other options but for the Newcastle Jets were the best. I thought about it and considered it and ended up taking it."

Edwards added that the club had targeted Jason as their No.1 recruit via the advisory board and their talent scout before floating the idea with Branko.

"We obviously spoke to Ray (Baartz) and Ray's recommendation was Jason. We spoke to David Lowe, our head scout, and his No.1 pick without hesitation was Jason, so from a club's point of view it was an easy decision, despite the fact that his father is here," Edwards said.

Branko coached Jason as a teenager in the old NSL at Sydney United and Sydney Olympic back in the mid 1990s and Jason admitted that while the two will occasionally 'butt heads' his 10-year career playing for the top teams in the Dutch league had molded him into a professional player.

"It is always difficult in any job to work with your father," he said. "But we are both professional. I started my professional career under him and we have both come a long way since then. I have grown up a lot and I am excited about playing an exciting brand of football here in Newcastle next season."