Newcastle Jets have signed 18-year-old attacking prospect Mario Shabow from rival Hyundai A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers for the next two Hyundai A-League campaigns.
Shabow, who primarily plays as a number ten or winger, is currently completing the final months of his contract with the Wanderers.
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An Australian youth international, Shabow has one Hyundai A-League appearance plus one AFC Champions League showing with Tony Popovic’s first team to his credit.
Shabow - who was born in Baghdad but moved to Australia with his family when he was six - said that shifting his life north to Newcastle from his Western Sydney roots represents an opportunity to develop further as a first team footballer.
“It’s always a challenge moving to a new environment but I am looking forward to it,” Shabow said.
“I really want to come in and give it all I can for two years. I want to make an impact right from the off and play as many games as I can.”
“I need to take the next step and that’s playing games at the elite level.”
“I have a very attacking style - I am all about one-touch passing, movement, getting into the pockets and dangerous areas and trying to take shots or make assists,” he said.
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Newcastle Jets boss Mark Jones said that he hopes Shabow will grow into an important player for the club over the next two seasons.
“Mario is an exciting young talent and was one of the best players in the FOXTEL National Youth League last season,” Jones said.
“We have watched him numerous times and he has got good feet and possesses an x-factor.
“We are excited to help Mario develop his game and we hope he will become a regular contributor for us in the Hyundai A-League."