THE Newcastle Jets have added another major block in their rebuild under new coach Arthur Papas with the recruitment of Socceroos defender Matt Jurman.
A day after confirming the signature of young gun Cameron Devlin, the Jets have landed Jurman on a two-year deal.
The 31-year-old has spent the past 12 months at Greek second division club Xanthi, which is owned by Australian Bill Papas.
"I'm excited for the new challenge, Jurman said. "I'm also excited to work with Arthur and play the brand of football he is wanting to implement. I'm looking forward to getting back, working hard and having a big season. I want to help the team have a successful season and challenge for trophies."
Jurman was one of four Australians, including former Jet Josh Brillante, lured to Xanthi by Tony Popovic, who was sacked in February despite the club sitting in fifth spot.
Xanthi went on to finish second. Popovic has since joined the Melbourne Victory.
Jurman made 25 appearances for Xanthi and was off contract.
A two-time A-League championship winner with Sydney (2009-10) and Brisbane (2012-13), he spent a season in Korea at Suwon Bluewings, where he received the K-League Newcomer of the Year Award and also had a year in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad.
Jurman was a member of the 23-man Socceroos squad at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and has eight caps for the national team.
His arrival in Newcastle will cover the loss of retired captain and central defender Nigel Boogaard.
Highly-regarded stopper James Donachie is also contracted and Papas said on Monday that he was a "required player" despite being linked to Victory.
The future of the Jets' player of the year last season. Nikolai Topor-Stanley, remains unclear.
In a further boost, the Jets announced on Wednesday that they had taken up the option on midfielder Jordan O'Doherty for another season.
O'Doherty joined the Jets from Western Sydney in a swap for Steve Ugarkovic in May and played the final five games.
"The back end of the season was good, we started to find a bit of form and personally it was pleasing to get some game time," said O'Doherty, who is in lockdown in his inner west Sydney apartment.
"I am feeling really positive about next season. The club has brought in some quality players to go with a good base of young talent. The young ones have now had experience in the league. If we can can get a blend of experienced players to go with the younger ones it is looking really positive."
O'Doherty, 23, is more comfortable playing in an attacking role in midfield and has welcomed the arrival of Devlin.
"Cameron is great in that defensive midfield role," O'Doherty said. "He has shown how good he is at controlling the field and the tempo of games. He can be that rock there."
O'Doherty made his A-League debut for Adelaide under Spaniard Gui Amor and had a season under Marco Kurz before joining Wanderers, where Carl Robinson is in charge.
He is now looking forward to working under Papas and can see some parallels between the Jets and Adelaide.
"We have a new coach who wants to implement an attacking style of play and always be on the front foot in attack and defence," he said. "That makes for really exciting football. Hopefully we can dominate teams.
"I'm really looking forward to the pre-season so we can gel together as a team, learn the new philosophy and be raring to go for the start of the season."
Meanwhile, Broadmeadow Magic beat Hamilton Olympic 4-0 at Darling Street Oval on Wednesday night to moved four points clear at the top of the Northern NSW Premier League table.
James Virgili was the star, scoring a brace and helping set up the other two on a clinical performance from the visitors in the catch up-game.
Jacob Dowse put Olympic ahead with a header in the 30th minute. Mitch Rooke doubled the advantage on the hour before Virgili iced the win with strikes in the 78th and 84th minutes.
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