Jair signing boosts Jets

12 September 2018 06:24:33 EST

Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick feels new Brazilian signing Jair will be a player who gets fans excited.

Merrick has signed the 30-year-old attacker on a one-year deal.

The Jets are looking to build on last season's surprise success, when they reached the Grand Final.

Merrick guided the side that had finished bottom of the table in the previous season into second spot on the final ladder.

His only off-season signing until bringing in Jair had been former Wellington Phoenix midfielder Matthew Ridenton.

The arrival of the Brazilian, who has just completed a short stint with Yanbian Funde FC in China League One, will give the Jets more of a cutting edge.

His record in the K-League is impressive, with 46 goals in 110 games.

He netted 26 goals in 55 appearances with Jeonnam Dragons in 2016-17, having previously scored 20 goals in 55 games during a one-year stint with Jeju United.

Merrick says the Brazilian has great experience and attacking flair, which will benefit the club.

The coach added: "He's been successful in a high quality league over an extended period, to have scored so many goals in a league as competitive and technical as the K-League is certainly impressive.

"I've watched the way Jair goes about his business and I think he's the sort of attacking player our fans can be excited about."

Newcastle are 11/1 to win the Grand Final.

Meanwhile, Melbourne City have signed keeper Mark Birighitti on a three-year contract.

The 27-year-old replaces former No.1 Dean Bouzanis, who left after last season to sign for PEC Zwolle in the Netherlands.

Former Newcastle keeper Birighitti spent last season with Dutch side NAC Breda, who have a partnership agreement with Melbourne City's parent club Manchester City.

Melbourne City are 21/10 to win their first game of the season against Melbourne Victory, who are 6/5 with the draw 13/5.

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