Newcastle Jets have secured the signature of 23-year-old South Korean left-back Lee Ki-je on a four-month contract through to the conclusion of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season.
Lee joins the Jets having last played for Japanese J-League heavyweights Shimizu S-Pulse.
During his time with the Shizuoka-based Club, Lee made over 70 appearances across Japan’s top flight, Emperor’s Cup and J-League Cup competitions.
Newcastle Jets Head Coach Phil Stubbins said he is pleased to have added to his defensive options following the recent arrival of Daniel Mullen from Western Sydney Wanderers to the men from Hunter Stadium.
“We have been looking for a left back and Ki-je really caught our eye as a dynamic player that we feel can make an impact in the team,” Stubbins said.
“Ki-je is only 23 but has been playing consistently in the J-League, which is of course a very good level. He is strong, works hard, and I am excited to work with him for the rest of the campaign.”
Speaking through an interpreter, the former Korea Republic youth international said that his arrival in Australia is in part down to his ambition to test himself in a new competition.
“My reason for deciding to come to Australia is that I have heard about the Australian league and how football in Australia is growing in terms of quality and size,” Lee said. “So I was very interested to come and try a new challenge out of the Asian market. Australia is of course in the Asian Football Confederation, but it is also different in terms of football and culture.”
A left side specialist, Lee added that he feels that some of his strengths include crossing and free kicks, in addition to his defensive duties.
Lee joins Mullen and Travis Cooper as new recruits at the Jets.