North heads to K-League

Newcastle Jets skipper Jade North has signed a lucrative deal with Korean side Incheon United FC and will transfer to the K-League club in January 2009 pending a medical test.

Newcastle Jets skipper Jade North has signed a lucrative deal with Korean side Incheon United FC and will transfer to the K-League club in January 2009 pending a medical test.

It may be a fantastic reward for the current Qantas Socceroo but is bittersweet news for Hyundai A-League newcomers North Queensland Fury, who had secured North-s services for the next three seasons.

However a clause in North's contract allowed the defender to get an immediate release if an overseas offer should arise.

The transfer means North-s last game for the Jets will be the Boxing Day clash with local rivals the Central Coast Mariners at EnergyAustralia Stadium. He will also miss out on the 2009 Asian Champions League with the Australian club.

Jets chief executive John Tsatsimas said it was sad to see North leave but the signing was the fulfillment of a dream for the defender.

"It is, of course, with some sadness that we will see our club captain depart," Tsatsimas said.

"However, this is an agreement that is of great benefit not only to our club, but most importantly to Jade himself."

"Jade is not only a wonderful player, as evidenced in his many caps for the national team, but he has represented the region of northern New South Wales with distinction in his time here at the Jets."

"He has led the team by example as captain over the past two seasons, and we wish him all the best when he moves on in his career. It has been a dream of Jade to pursue a career overseas for some time, and we are happy to see him fulfill this dream."

"We have no doubt that Jade will maintain the same level of commitment and professionalism that he has shown over the past four seasons for the remainder of his time in Newcastle, and we look forward to him leading the team onto the pitch for the rest of this year ,"

North is a Newcastle Jets foundation player, having been with the club since the 2005/06 Hyundai A-League season. He was made captain last season and etched his name into Australian sporting history when he became the first indigenous Australian to captain a football team, in any code, to a Grand Final victory when he led the Jets to victory last season.