The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets are pleased to announce the re-signing of Young Socceroo Connor Chapman to a one-year contract extension, keeping him at the Club until the end of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season.
Since making his debut against Perth Glory in Round 20 of the 2011/12 season, Chapman has gone on to make 25 Hyundai A-League appearances for the Jets.
Chapman has established himself as a key member of the Newcastle squad in the early part of the 2013/14 season, starting the Jets’ opening six matches of the campaign.
The 19-year-old said he was extremely pleased to have extended his stay in the Hunter.
“I am really enjoying my time in Newcastle and everyone at the Club, the fans and the whole town has been great to me,” Chapman said.
“We’ve had our ups and downs over the past couple of seasons but I really feel like we’re headed in the right direction and there are exciting times ahead and I want to be part of that.
“The Club has shown a lot of faith in some of the younger players like myself and I think you can see with a quite a few of us re-signing that we want to repay that.
“The results this season have been really positive so far and I think we can keep growing and improving as players and as a team.”
Jets CEO Robbie Middleby said the Club was delighted to have secured Chapman’s services for a further 12 months.
“Connor is one of the most promising young central defenders in the country and we’re very happy that he has committed to the Jets for another season,” Middleby said.
“We’ve seen his development during his first two seasons and we believe he has a very bright future.
“The fact that Connor and a number of our other talented young players have chosen to re-sign with the Jets shows they believe in the direction we are headed.”
A product of the Australian Institute of Sport, Chapman has represented Australia at both U-17 and U-20 level, including captaining the Joeys at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico where he was identified by the FIFA Technical Study Group as one of Australia’s two outstanding players at the tournament.
Chapman’s re-signing caps off a stellar six-month period that has seen the 19-year-old further excel at both Club and international level.
The central defender was selected to represent Australia at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey in June and played 90 minutes in all three of the Young Socceroos’ group matches.
Upon returning to Australia, Chapman was included in the inaugural Foxtel A-League All Stars squad for their blockbuster clash with Manchester United at ANZ Stadium, where came on as a late substitute in front of the 83,127 strong crowd.
Chapman said the experience he gained with the Young Socceroos and Foxtel A-League All Stars during the off-season had held him in good stead for the current Hyundai A-League campaign.
“Having the opportunity to play in teams like that helps your confidence and definitely makes you stronger mentally,” Chapman said.
“I think my performances in the A-League this season have been an improvement on last year and I still think I can continue to get better.
“The main thing is that the team is doing well at the moment and hopefully we can keep that going.”
After being sidelined for the past fortnight with an ankle sprain sustained against Brisbane Roar in Round 6, Chapman has been included in the Jets’ 18-man squad to take on Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday.