Newcastle Jets have signed Australian youth international goalkeeper Jack Duncan until the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season.
Duncan, 23, joins the Jets having last been contracted to Randers FC in the Danish Superliga - a club he joined from one of Newcastle’s Hyundai A-League rivals, Perth Glory, in May of 2015.
Indeed, Duncan is no stranger to the Jets or life in Newcastle given he enjoyed a three-year spell with the men from Hunter Stadium between 2010 and 2013 before shifting west to link with Glory.
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In fact, it was with the Jets that Duncan made his Hyundai A-League bow in round 7 of the 2011/12 campaign, coming on for Ben Kennedy in the 51st minute of the game against Brisbane Roar.
Duncan will battle with the experienced and long-serving Kennedy for a place in goal for the Jets throughout season 12 of the Hyundai A-League, and says he is excited by the “healthy competition” that awaits.
“I feel like I am definitely ready to become the number one [goalkeeper] and that’s definitely what I have come here to do,” Duncan said.
“I don’t want to be sitting on the bench.”
“It will be healthy competition between us going through pre-season and battling for the number one spot. It’s exciting, it’s good, it will challenge both of us and hopefully make us both better.”
When Duncan was back in Australia from Denmark on holidays last year he caught up with Mark Birighitti, the former Jets custodian who enjoyed arguably the best season of his professional career under the tutelage of Scott Miller and the club’s goalkeeper coach, Jess Vanstrattan, last campaign.
Birighitti gave the club’s mentors rave reviews, and Duncan feels he will be able to take his game to a whole new level during his second spell at the club.
“I spoke to ‘Birraz’ [Mark Birighitti] half way through the season last year when I was back and he said working with the guys here was really good,” Duncan explained.
“From the conversations I’ve had with Jess [Vanstrattan] on the phone I am really excited and really looking forward to getting into training to improve and develop.”
Newcastle Jets Head Coach Miller believes Duncan will prove to be a strong addition to his squad, and said his recruitment is in line with the club’s philosophy of giving bright young talents the chance to progress and prosper.
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“Jack is another player we have added to our squad who fits our requirements in terms of age and attributes,” Miller said.
“From our discussions with Jack it is very clear that he has returned determined to establish himself as a number one in the Hyundai A-League, and this is fantastic for us because we also have another very capable goalkeeper at the club in Ben Kennedy.”
“Across our squad we are building competition for places,” Miller concluded.
Duncan will join the majority of the Newcastle Jets 2016/17 squad at Ray Watt Oval at the University of Newcastle on Monday morning for the commencement of the club’s 2016 pre-season.