The Jets boss was already contracted until the end of 2018/19 and has agreed to terms on a contract upgrade and extension.

Merrick, who arrived in Newcastle at the beginning of the 2017/18 season, has overseen the Jets widely-popular resurgence with his side finishing second on the A-League ladder at the end of the home-and-away season.

The Jets have gone from cellar-dwellers to competition leaders during Merrick’s tenure, in what has been a record-breaking season across the board.

His first regular season in Newcastle began and ended in emphatic fashion – as his chargers delivered two F3 Derby drubbings – amassing 15 wins and 50 points in between.

Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna said the decision to extend Merrick’s stay beyond next season was an easy one.

β€œThis year has been nothing short of tremendous,” said McKinna.

β€œErnie’s leadership, experience and calming influence has been a major part of that – the stability he’s provided to our club both on and off the park has been exceptional.

β€œThe results speak for themselves really, the club has gone from strength-to-strength since Ernie’s arrival and I couldn’t be happier to have him on board until the end of the 2019/20 season.”

Merrick said he was enjoying his time in Newcastle and was looking forward to spending a further two years as an adopted Novocastrian.

β€œNewcastle’s a fantastic city, it’s a wonderful place to live and it’s a community I’m proud to be a part of,” said Merrick.

β€œThe way the community has welcomed myself and my wife, Kerry has been amazing – we love the lifestyle here and everything the Hunter region has to offer.

β€œIt’s been a great year on the park and it’s been enjoyable working with Lawrie, our Football Department and the playing group to bring some success back to the Newcastle Jets.

β€œUnder Lawrie’s guidance and Martin Lee’s ownership, the club is heading in a really positive direction and it’s exciting to be a part of.”