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By ESPN Staff

Abbas signs new one-year deal

Iraq winger Ali Abbas has signed a one-year contract with Newcastle Jets until the end of the 2011 A-League season.

Abbas, 23, joined the Jets in September last year as an injury replacement for midfielder Shaun Ontong and quickly established himself as a permanent fixture at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Last season, Abbas made 17 appearances for the Jets and finished with a sublime 25-yard strike in 2-1 defeat by Adelaide United at the end of the regular season.

"I feel great," he said. "I'm happy because I can stay for one more year. After that, if I have another opportunity, I would like to stay for a long time.

"First time, when I came, I didn't know anyone but then I spent time with the people. I like the supporters, the management, everyone at the Newcastle Jets. I like being close to them because it's like I have another family."

Abbas was part of the Iraq team who won the Asian Cup in 2007 before seeking asylum in Australia after playing in a 2008 Olympic qualifier in Gosford.

"It brings me great delight to announce that Ali has agreed to extend his stay with the Newcastle Jets for another year," chief executive John Tsatsimas said.

"We are ecstatic and very thankful that he has decided to stay and he has proven to be a valuable asset to the team, and he has been a starting player at the back end of the season.

"So another piece of the jigsaw puzzle has fallen into place and we certainly look forward to what next season holds. We're very excited about the potential that we have in the forthcoming season."

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