THE exodus at the Newcastle Jets has continued after football-operations manager Joel Griffiths was shown the door and and three more players were released.
The Jets confirmed on Friday the mutual termination of the contracts of Johnny Koutroumbis, James Donachie and Connor O'Toole.
New Jets coach Arthur Papas is intent on kicking off his tenure with a revamped roster and Koutroumbis, O'Toole and Donachie will follow former skipper Nigel Boogaard, Roy O'Donovan, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Matthew Millar, Lachlan Jackson, Lewis Italiano, Ramy Najjarine, Luke Prso and Liridon Krasniqi out the back door.
SPORTING DECLARATION: How Arthur Papas plans to rebuild the Jets
Koutroumbis, 23, has been a regular since joining the Jets in 2016, playing in 90 A-League games, including the 2017-18 grand final.
He signed a three-year contract with Newcastle that was supposed to take him through until the end of the coming season. Instead it is understood he sought a release and is expected to join Western Sydney.
O'Toole, 24, was under contract for even longer, having signed a new two-year deal with Newcastle just four months ago.
Donachie signed a two-season with the Jets more than 12 months ago but has never actually pulled on a Newcastle jersey.
He was initially loaned out to Indian Super League club Goa, but since completing that stint indicated a reluctance to honour his deal with the Jets.
Within hours of Newcastle confirming his release, Sydney FC announced they had signed Donachie.
In addition, new recruit Cameron Devlin has attracted interest in Europe and might not be joining Newcastle.
Griffiths, the crowd-pleasing hero of Newcastle's 2007-08 championship-winning season, joined the club's administration ranks under former owner Martin Lee.
Along with chief executive Lawrie McKinna, who also parted company with the Jets recently, Griffiths was largely responsible for recruitment and helped assemble the club's 2017-18 squad that finished runners-up in the grand final.
It is understood he was bitterly disappointed when the club advised him this week that his contract would not be renewed.
"Joel has been a really valued, respected member of our staff for a long time and he will always be a legend of the club," Jets executive chairman Shane Mattiske said.
"But the fact of the matter is we needed to make changes, off the field as well as on it. We'll continue to support Joel and wish him well in his future endeavours."
While Griffiths was surplus to requirements, a new general-manager-of-football position has been created for Craig Deans, who stood down after a season as Newcastle's head coach.
Deans will be overseeing Newcastle's W-League team and academy as well as the A-League outfit.
Meanwhile, A-League expansion club Western United have signed John Aloisi as coach.
IN THE NEWS:
- Daniel and Jacob Saifiti re-sign with Newcastle Knights
- 97 cases in Sydney outbreak include 29 people infectious in the community
- Bureau of Meteorology storm warning for Newcastle, Hunter coast
- Musician Daniel "Jimmy" Hanson jailed for sexually assaulting 14 girls
- Toohey's News Podcast: Mark O'Meley
- Virus test puts de Minaur out of Olympics
- Mitchell Street seawall dropping and falling forward as beach undermined by surf
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: