Newcastle bolster goalkeeping ranks with former Phoenix custodian

Newcastle Jets have announced the signing of goalkeeper Lewis Italiano on a one-year deal following a successful trial period.

The former Wellington Phoenix gloveman joins from NPL WA club Stirling Lions, where the 27-year-old played six games in the middle of the 2018 season.

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Jets boss Ernie Merrick says he expects Italiano to push current Jets number one and former Phoenix teammate Glen Moss all the way during the upcoming Hyundai A-League 2018/19 campaign.

“I know Lewis well from my time at Wellington, and I know what he can bring to the side,” Merrick told Newcastle's official website.

“He’s a tremendous physical presence and has all the attributes you look for in a keeper – he’s dependable, a quality shot stopper and very good in the air.

“He’ll push Glen hard and the competition for a starting position will benefit them both as we embark on a busy year ahead.”

Italiano said he was pleased to be linking up with familiar faces in Newcastle.

“To have the chance to work with Ernie and Glen again is something I’m really looking forward to,” Italiano said.

“My game came a long way under Ernie at Wellington, Mossy and I both pushed each other hard over there and being in a similar environment here in Newcastle will help me reach my best.

“The team plays an aggressive brand of attacking football which I saw plenty of last season, and hopefully I can do my bit for the fans and help the Jets have another successful campaign.”

Lewis Italiano
Italiano in action against the Jets in 2017/18.