EXCLUSIVE: Ljubo Milicevic is set to make his Asian Champions League debut after signing a one-year deal with Newcastle Jets.
Speaking from his hotel room in Newcastle, the defender told au.fourfourtwo.com that he is delighted to be back with an A-League club that has such a rich history.
"I wasn't ready before but now I feel I'm ready and can't wait to play for the club," he said. "The club has signed some very good players and I feel really fit."
Now that Mark Milligan has moved to China's Shanghai Shenuah, it's expected that Milicevic, 27, will slot into a central defensive role for the Jets alongside Angelo Costanzo or Adam Griffiths.
"It's good to be back," added the former Melbourne Victory and Socceroo star.
The Jets kick off their ACL campaign in early March. This gives coach Gary Van Egmond a chance to bed down some of his new signings before the opening round.
The Jets also announced the signing of Central Coast striker Sasho Petrovski this week and today added Dutch striker Donny de Groot on a one 1 year contract.
The 29-year-old will join last year's champions at training tomorrow to prepare for the start of the AFC Champions League 2009 competition.
De Groot has spent the majority of his career in his homeland, having played for Dutch Eredivisie mainstays FC Utrecht and more recently Eerste Divisie club RBC Roosendaal.
He is, however, perhaps best known for his time at Doetinchem side, De Graafschap, where De Groot enjoyed two spells, firstly on loan in the Eerste Divisie in 2005/06, and again when the team gained promotion to the Eredivisie in 2007/08.
The striker concluded his time at De Graafschap with a game against Dutch powerhouse Feyenoord in December 2008.
A striker with natural goalscoring instincts, De Groot first made a name for himself in the 2002/03 season when he scored an astounding 30 goals in 31 games for FC Emmen, making him the Eerste Divisie's top marksman.
His career then skyrocketed domestically, until he made the move overseas and joined Cypriot side AEK Larnaca in 2006/07.
"It's great to have Donny as part of our club and we welcome him wholeheartedly to Newcastle. He is a player of real pedigree, and someone who can certainly add a significant amount to our football club. He has considerable experience both on and off the field, which can only be of benefit to our team," Jets CEO John Tsatsimas said today.
"We are very pleased to have Donny join our squad; we believe he can be an asset not only in the A-League but in our first Champions League tilt also.
"Coming from smaller, working class cities in Holland he should adapt quite well to life here and I have no doubt that if he performs to expectations that he will become something of a fan favourite at EnergyAustralia Stadium."