Signing news: Jets lock in young star

On the back of some outstanding form during the Hyundai A-League pre-season, Newcastle Jets have tied down young winger Joe Champness to a long-term deal.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

►Champness has signed a three-year deal in the Hunter.

►The young winger has scored against Melbourne City, grabbed a brace against Canberra Olympic and scored the winner against Wellington Phoenix in pre-season.

►Champness spent six months on loan at Portuguese second-division side recently, playing with the club’s reserve team.

►He is a product of Moreton Bay United and also played with Brisbane Roar's NYL team in the past.

CHAMPNESS EXCITED BY NEXT CHAPTER

“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Newcastle so far, and was thankful for the time I spent in Portugal,” he said.

“It was really helpful for my development, and now working with some of the experienced guys in our group and the coaching staff has been great.

“It’s nice to have been able to make a contribution to some of the positive results we’ve seen on the pitch and I’m really enjoying the chance to develop my game week to week.

“It’s an exciting time for the club and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

MERRICK IMPRESSED BY PROGRESSION

“The deal with Academia was set up by our owner, Martin Lee, who is really keen to develop our younger players,” said Merrick.

“In Joe’s case, it has certainly had the desired effect and I’ve been really impressed with him as a player and a young man since joining the club.

“As a player, he’s got fantastic attacking ability, speed, creativity and a knack for finding himself in goal scoring opportunities.”