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Jan, 12, 2011

Milicevic officially leaves Newcastle Jets

Ljubo Milicevic has officially left the Newcastle Jets and will depart for Europe as soon as he signs a deal with a new club.

"It's what I wanted, so I'm happy that I'm leaving and that I'll be going to Europe very soon and that it's all worked out for the best," Milicevic told AAP.

"It's exciting, I think every beginning always is.

"I'll always appreciate the memories of my time in Newcastle but I'm elated that I'm starting on a new journey.

"There's going to be fresh challenges and different cultures, new people that I'll meet and the football and everything else will be completely different again.

"That excites me.

"I'm one of those people who can't stay in the one place for too long because I need a challenge, I need to keep being exposed to new things.

"My two years in Newcastle has been great but my time has definitely come to move on."

The defender had fuelled transfer speculation in recent weeks after stating his desire to leave Newcastle and move back to Europe at season's end.

On Wednesday evening, the 29-year-old was granted a release from the remainder of his contract in order to chase a deal during the January transfer window.

The former Socceroo has previously played in Switzerland for FC Thun, where he appeared in the UEFA Champions League.

"That's why I requested from the club that I could get the release immediately, seeing as though there are offers on the table now, I'd rather go now than wait another six months before I play another game.

"Now that clubs know that I'm free and that I'm fully fit it clears up a lot of the innuendo surrounding my scenario."

A unique character and an unashamed extravert, Milicevic developed cult hero status among the club's supporters since moving to Newcastle in 2009.

He thanked the fans for their support during his tenure and said the highlight of his time at the Jets was joining in with the fans, singing songs with The Squadron during Tuesday night's 1-0 win over North Queensland Fury.

A statement on the Jets' website said: "Ljubo leaves the club with our blessing and best wishes.

"He will be missed by the fans as he was a lovable rogue who they embraced."

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