April 01, 2015 12:56:40 UK
Newcastle Jets are confident left-back Lee Ki-je will keep on improving, after re-signing him on a new two-year contract.
The South Korean left-back has scored twice in eight appearances since joining the club in February and has established himself early on as a crowd favourite.
One of his goals proved the winner on last month’s trip to Western Sydney Wanderers where the Jets picked up just their second victory of the season, beating the Asian Champions League winners to boost their chances of avoiding the wooden spoon this season.
Newcastle are 4.00 to win their next game against Perth Glory, who are 1.90 with the draw 3.40.
Jets coach Phil Stubbins said: “We have already witnessed Lee Ki-je’s quality in the Hyundai A-League, but I believe that there is plenty of improvement left in him.
“We must remember that when Ki-je arrived at the Club he had had no pre-season, and no previous interaction with Australia. The longer Lee Ki-je is with us, the better footballer I believe fans will see.”
The 23-year-old, who earned caps for South Korea at youth level, signed for Newcastle after having played 57 games for Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan.
After signing a deal that keeps him at the Jets until the end of the 2016-17 season, Lee said: “It’s a very good place, and I have enjoyed my time at the club and with my teammates. But the main reason I have extended my contract is because the club showed that they really wanted me to stay, the coach wanted me to stay.”
Jets CEO Mitchell Murphy said re-signing the defender was a big part of their plans to build a squad for next season that would bring finals football to the club.
Newcastle have also signed Nigel Boogaard on a three-year deal, and he will move over from Adelaide United at the end of this season.
The Jets are 5.50 to beat Perth Glory by a one-goal margin.
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