If you have not heard the news, Newcastle Jets’ owner Martin Lee and Chief Executive of the Jets Lawrie McKinna have announced they have cemented a partnership with La Florida based side Audax Italiano.
This is huge news!
Am I the only person who’s jumping up and down? well…probably.
I mean, the Chilean Primera Division is not widely known around the world however, one thing is certain; they have produced a number of stars that have done the country proud and continue to do so. *cough Alexis Sanchez, Vidal, Bravo*
The partnership that is on offer for a club like the Newcastle Jets who, over the past few years, have seen their fair share of turmoil, could not come at a better time as the club today are fighting for a finals spot. One they deserve.
We have to give it to Newcastle Jets owner Martin Lee and club Chairman Lawrie McKinna for going ahead and accepting this offer from Audax Italiano.
According to Goal the partnership will use Newcastle Jets used as a bridge for Audax Italiano to the Chinese Super League.
That can be read as a negative because for me, it hurts seeing the A-League used as a bridge in a player’s career. But then again we can only hope our league grows quick in all aspects for players to settle.
The Chilean Primera Division has for more than a century been disputed by two teams; Santiago based Colo-Colo and another Santiago based side Universidad de Chile (imagine the derbies!)
Who is Audax Italiano?
Audax Italiano is a very proud club who can say have won the Campionato Nacional four times. But more than their success is where they are located. Its beautiful.
The home stadium sits in the middle of a suburb called ‘La Florida’ which is equivalent to our Cecil Hills, Bossley Park, Wetherill Park in Sydney’s west. Yes, La Florida is the size of roughly THREE suburbs in Sydney! (I’m just rounding off)
It’s really an amazing stadium and I was lucky enough to attend a game their last January and the atmosphere of just walking through a suburb with the fans, the families, the ultras was special. A memory I will never forget. (Though I go for arch rivals Colo-Colo).
Let’s get down to business
What is great to read about this partnership is that both sides have been very vocal in what they expect to come out of this deal:
Chilean players –> sell to Newcastle Jets –> on sell to China = $
Chile football –> sign CSL player –> open market –> $
It’s a win win.
So let’s see what players Audax Italiano have to offer:
- Bryan Carrasco
- 156 apps
- 29 goals
- Diego Vallejos
- 92 apps
- 17 goals
- Joe Abrigo
- 4 apps
Those are just three outstanding individual players who are at the peak of their careers. Have a look at The Under 17s are talents for the future as well.
This partnership is really special and it hits home. Being a proud Chilean woman living in Australia, I have lived in densely populated suburbs of Chileans who felt unidentified in the football world in Australia. I have complained a lot of the need for the A-League to pursue talent in South America sadly they have only come from Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
I really hope this move breaks the football wall and builds a bridge with football in Chile. Talent is out there, believe me. This league needs flare, passion to thrive and a move like this is a huge stepping stone.
The friendly in July will be played in Newcastle and will undoubtedly draw thousands of Chilean fans who WILL make the drive up to Newcastle. We follow anything Chilean. We are proud of our products.
So, thank you Newcastle Jets, Martin Lee and Lawrie McKinna for seeing through this opportunity.