A-League: Jets midfielder Wayne Brown heads home in pursuit of regular game time

OUT: Wayne Brown. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
OUT: Wayne Brown. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Industrious midfielder Wayne Brown will return to England after he was granted a release from the final year of his contract with the Newcastle Jets on Tuesday.

Brown, 30, joined the Jets in 2016, from Finland, and made 42 appearances for the club in a variety of roles.

The former Fulham playmaker’s decision to depart was due to family – his eldest son is ready to start school in England in September – and the likelihood of limited opportunities to play this season. 

The Jets have added Matthew Ridenton to their playmaker stocks. Ben Kantarovski and Steven Ugarkovic were the preferred midfield duo last season. 

Brown made 20 appearances last season but only 11 as a starter.

“Wayne has been a terrific player for this club,” Jets coach Ernie Merrick said. “Every time we used him last year he did a really good job, especially with the injuries we had to Ronny Vargas and Ben Kantarovski. But he is really looking for a regular game and the competition here is tough. We have signed Matt Ridenton, Steve Ugarkovic was outstanding last year, Ben Kantarovski, Dimi Petratos, Ronny Vargas and Nick Cowburn – it is a tough midfield to get into. He opted to move on and we have allowed him to do that. He has been a great servant for this club and has been very good with the young players.”

Brown said farewell to his teammates on Tuesday and had nothing but good words to say about his time in Australia.

“The club and the lads have been fantastic but the time’s right to go,” he said.  

The release includes a partial payout of his contract.