McGree set for A-League return with Jets

Dec 19, 2017 - 6:30 AM Fringe Socceroos midfielder Riley McGree will return to the A-League with the Newcastle Jets early next year on loan from his Belgian club Brugge.

The 19-year-old left Adelaide United in June to take up a four-year deal in Europe but has not played a game for his club.

McGree, a bolter in the Socceroos squad in March, will arrive in Newcastle after playing in the under-23s Asian Cup in January, Jets administrator Joel Griffiths confirmed to AAP.

"He's a player who's going to be very exciting. He's fit," Griffiths said of McGree on Tuesday, the same day his place in the Olyroos' Asian Cup squad was confirmed.

"We essentially miss him for a month, which is not ideal. But the squad's been doing well."

The second-placed Jets will be without marquee striker Ronald Vargas until the finals due to injury.

But speaking at the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic, retired star striker Griffiths revealed the club is working on bringing in a second player during the January transfer window.

"Although we're second, a lot of people think the job's done. But it never stops," he said.

"You've got to make sure you always bring the best players."

A first finals berth in eight years is growing more likely for the Jets with the halfway stage of the competition ahead.

Having played 11 of 27 games, the Jets have moved four points clear of third-placed Melbourne City and nine ahead of Adelaide, who remain fourth.

Newcastle will be a minimum 10 points ahead of the seventh-placed club going into the last round before Christmas.

Griffiths said the improvement by last season's wooden-spooners under coach Ernie Merrick has helped their recruiting efforts.

"It makes my job a lot easier, where, 'yeah, I like what you're doing up there. Get me involved'," Griffiths said.

"A lot has to do with the style Ernie plays. Players are able to express themselves."

Source: AAP

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