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Jets clear A-League decks

NZN 16/04/2016

A massive recruitment spree looms for the Newcastle Jets with the A-League club clearing the decks by releasing six players, including imports Leonardo and Enver Alidovic.

The Jets announced on Saturday they would not renew the contracts of Brazilian midfielder Leonardo, Serbian winger Alidovic, midfielder Cameron Watson, winger Ryan Kitto and youth players Brandon Lundy and Josh Barresi.

It leaves the Hunter club, who finished eighth in the A-League, with 15 senior players contracted for next season and coach Scott Miller with a massive job ahead of him in the off-season to bring quality into his rebuilding squad.

That task will be made much easier if a new owner for the club, who have been run by Football Federation Australia since May 2015, is soon locked in.

Leonardo came to the Jets with a good pedigree after stints with Ajax, Feyenoord and NAC Breda.

But the 33-year-old battled a persistent knee injury and was restricted to just 20 appearances, scoring one goal, never reaching any great heights.

Alidovic joined Newcastle in February last year and scored four goals in his 35 A-League matches for the club.

Kitto, signed in November as an injury replacement for Labinot Haliti, has been linked to a move to his hometown club, Adelaide United, after scoring two goals in 18 appearances for Newcastle.

He finished the season on a high, starring in the Jets' derby win over Central Coast in the final round by laying on three assists.

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