Heskey re-signs with Newcastle Jets
Former England striker Emile Heskey says he's bent on returning the Newcastle Jets to the finals after signing with the A-League club for another season.
Along with Sydney FC's Alessandro Del Piero and Western Sydney's Shinji Ono, Heskey has helped to significantly boost the A-League's profile in his debut season.
And the 35-year-old on Wednesday joined that duo in committing to play in Australia again next season.
"Everyone has made me feel very welcome here and I've really enjoyed my first season playing for the Jets," said Heskey, who scored nine goals in 23 appearances for Newcastle as they finished eighth and missed the finals for a third successive season.
"I'm looking forward to getting a full pre-season under my belt and helping the team push for a finals place next season."
Jets coach Gary van Egmond welcomed his retention.
"He brings a wealth of experience to our squad with everything he's achieved in his career," van Egmond said.
"His performances in his first season with us were excellent and we're looking forward to seeing more of the same from him next year."
As with Del Piero and Ono, Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby said Heskey's influence had extended well beyond the football field.
"The impact Emile has made at the Jets both on and off the field since he arrived in Newcastle cannot be overstated," Middleby said.
"To have him sign on for another season shows he believes in what we're doing at the Jets and it's a massive compliment to the club.
"It will be great for the development of some of our younger players to be able to learn from a footballer of Emile's stature for another season."