Emile Heskey signs for Newcastle... in Australia


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The Independent Football

Former England striker Emile Heskey has signed for Newcastle Jets of the Australian A League.

Having been released by Aston Villa at the end of last season, the speculation over who the former Liverpool man would sign for was ended with the announcement this morning he had joined the Australian outfit.

Newcastle chief executive Robbie Middleby said: "Emile has played our game at the highest level in England, both internationally and domestically, and he finished last season playing with Aston Villa in the English Premier League.

"We are aware that Emile had other offers but he is genuinely excited to be a part of what we want to achieve at the Jets.

"Emile's relationship with former English Premier League players Michael Bridges and Robbie Fowler assisted him in understanding what the A-League has to offer."

Heskey was capped 62 times by England in an international career that brought seven goals. Although his failure to find the net on a consistent basis often frustrated fans, his overall play was always recognised, particularly by various England managers over an 11-year international career.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond said: "His effectiveness in being able to hold the ball up and invite other players to play off him is going to be a big benefit to us.

"He's someone who can really lead the line and is exactly what we've been missing."

Heskey departs the Premier League after 17-years with 516 games and 110 goals to his name, and it would appear the Leicester born 34-year-old is ready to move on.

"This is an exciting new period in my life and I am looking forward to making a special contribution to the A-League and most importantly to the Jets," he said.

"I hope I can help grow football at the grassroots level and also provide advice to young players at the Jets."