North staying put Jets captain to see out contract

SOCCEROOS mainstay Jade North has committed to leading the Newcastle Jets' A-League premiership defence after he failed to secure a move overseas.

North, 26, has a year to run on his contract but was keen to secure a deal in Europe after some impressive performances for the Socceroos in the latest round of World Cup qualifiers.

He had been linked to Belgian side Club Brugge and Scandinavian clubs but nothing has materialised.

"I have another year with the Jets and, to be honest, I have to see that out," North said. "If anything did come up, obviously, I would look at it, but I will be starting the season with the Jets."

North has spent the past two days visiting family in Taree and resting a sore shin after an arduous Socceroos campaign.

Under Pim Verbeek, the athletic defender has progressed from a fringe Socceroo to a regular.

He has started the past eight games and is the frontrunner to partner captain Lucas Neill in the centre of defence in the final stage of World Cup qualifying, which starts in September.

"The next qualifying rounds, they are obviously better opponents and there are going to be more people watching," North said.

"By that time, I will be well and truly into my final year here at the Jets. Hopefully I can play a role [for the Socceroos] and then look to set something up after I have finished with the Jets."

North will resume training with the Jets tomorrow.

"I am grateful that Dutchy [coach Gary van Egmond] gave me a little bit of time off because I really need it," North said. "The travelling and [hot] conditions [in the Middle East] was hard on the body."

Despite the constant speculation, van Egmond is confident North will have the right mindset to lead the Jets.

"He is very much looking forward to captaining the side again and defending the premiership," the coach said. "There is always going to be hearsay and innuendo over Jado after the heights he has scaled, establishing himself in the national team.

"We have seen through history once that happens there is a likelihood of players going overseas.

"All he has to do is concentrate on putting his head down and working hard. The rest he has no control of.

"It either happens for him or he stays here. Either way he is happy."

AAP reports: Melbourne Victory have signed Brazilian Ney Fabiano as a back-up striker.

Melbourne know what they are getting with 29-year-old Fabiano, who scored against them twice during the Asian Champions League for Thai club Chonburi.

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