Newcastle Jets have received a boost with Venezuelan international Ronald Vargas extending his stay in the Hunter for the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season.
The midfielder will begin his second season with the club at near full-fitness, following the recent removal of a pin from his ankle – the final hurdle in his recovery from an injury suffered against the Brisbane Roar in October, 2017.
Vargas will continue his rehabilitation over the break and return to Newcastle ready for a full pre-season in the red and blue.
Jets CEO, Lawrie McKinna said that re-signing Vargas was a priority for the club following their heart-breaking defeat in this year’s Grand Final.
“Ronald has been absolutely first-class since he arrived in town,” McKinna said.
“His injury was devastating for the entire club, but to see the way he has worked to get himself back on the pitch was unbelievable.
“He’s a professional of the highest order and that’s shone through in everything he’s done both on and off the park.”
Jets Head Coach, Ernie Merrick said that Vargas’ best was yet to come.
“I think Ronnie was only getting started when he first arrived, and he showed us what he was capable of,” Merrick said.
“To be struck down by injury like that was awful, but to come back and play the way he did in the Final Series was exceptional.
“He’ll benefit from a full pre-season here in Australia, it’s an exciting prospect and I think our fans will feel the same way.”
Vargas said he was excited to be spending another season in Newcastle after agreeing to terms with the club.
“I have loved my time in Newcastle, it’s a beautiful city,” Vargas said.
“The club were amazing following my injury (last season) and in a really difficult time for me, the support I received from my teammates was so important in helping me get back on the park.
“The work from our medical team during my rehabilitation is something that I’ll never forget, to come back so quickly from such a serious injury is a credit to them and the quick thinking of Dr. Jeremy Bartlett when I was first injured.
“It was tough to sit on the sidelines during the season, but to return for the finals was something special.
“This team, the club and the entire town have been so welcoming and I’m glad I can call Newcastle home for another season."