Newcastle Jets will nurture more local talent with news that they have signed youngsters Sam Gallaway and James Virgili to new deals.
The pair of 18-year old Hunter juniors have been secured for the next two seasons, joining Taylor Regan as promising local talent being given opportunities by the Jets.
Newcastle’s executive chairman Ken Edwards said it was certainly part of the new ownership manual to hold onto talented players from the local area in a bid to create a team with a nucleus built from the Hunter Valley.
“As part of the ongoing strategy it is exciting not just for our young players to represent the region, but also a great opportunity for them to showcase their skill and talent with other elite and marquee players with whom we are currently in negotiation,” he said.
“Our current NYL list contains just over 37% of local talent which we believe is not acceptable.
“It is fundamental that our NYL side reflects the region and provides a football pathway as a career. This strategy will function as a platform for local talent to demonstrate their wares and provide them an opportunity to graduate to the A-League side and represent their region with pride on a national podium.
“James and Sam are a prime example of our policy and hopefully will form the nucleus of our side in years to come.”
Midfielder Virgili has made six A-League appearances this season for a total of eight with the Jets whilst central defender Gallaway has played three times, all of which have been full starts in the club’s past three outings.