Champness earns three-year deal
Winger Joe Champness has signed his first long-term deal with Newcastle Jets.
Coach Ernie Merrick has elevated the 20-year-old from the club's youth team squad ahead of the new A-League campaign.
Champness has been rewarded for his excellent form during pre-season, during which he has scored four goals. He scored twice in the win over Canberra Olympic, grabbed the winner against Wellington Phoenix and was also on target against Melbourne City.
The Jets have handed him a three-year deal and expect him to challenge for a regular first-team spot in the new campaign - their first under Merrick.
It's nice to have been able to make a contribution to some of the positive results we've seen on the pitch.Joe Champness
Champness returned to Australia in July after a six-month loan stint with Portuguese second division side Academica de Coimbra where he played for the reserve side.
The former Brisbane Roar youth player said he was thankful for the chance to spend time in Portugal, and had enjoyed his career with Newcastle so far.
Speaking of his time overseas, he said: "It was really helpful for my development, and now working with some of the experienced guys in our group and the coaching staff has been great.
"It's nice to have been able to make a contribution to some of the positive results we've seen on the pitch and I'm really enjoying the chance to develop my game week to week. It's an exciting time for the club and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Meanwhile, Bobo was on target twice as Sydney FC beat Perth Glory in a pre-season friendly at Leichhardt Oval.
Former Sky Blues player Marc Warren gave Perth the lead early on, but Graham Arnold's side overturned that with two goals in the space of three minutes. Jordy Buijs levelled with a deflected strike and Bobo fired his side ahead with a low drive beyond goalkeeper Liam Reddy.
Adam Taggart made it 2-2 eight minutes into the second half with a tap-in but Brazilian Bobo raced through in a one-on-one with Reddy 13 minutes from time to net the winner.
Sydney FC are 8/13 to win the Grand Final and 21/20 to win their first game of the league season against Melbourne Victory, who are 11/4 with the draw 12/5.
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