Newcastle Jets has signed midfielder Mitch Cooper, whose promotion to the captaincy at Gold Coast United last season sparked a series of catastrophic events at the defunct club.
Cooper joins the Jets on a two-year deal after playing six games for Gold Coast in what would become its final season as an A-League club.
The 17 year old became the youngest person ever to captain an A-League club when he was chosen to lead Gold Coast in its Round 20 match against Melbourne Heart.
The incident led to the controversial departure of coach Miron Bleiberg amid an escalating spat between owner Clive Palmer and Football Federation Australia (FFA). Eventually, the club's licence was revoked.
Cooper represented Australia at the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Mexico and said he is excited to play for the Jets next season.
"The opportunity to come and play at the Jets is great," Cooper said.
“I am excited with Gary van Egmond as coach. I’ve been with him in the (Australia) Under-17’s and thought very highly of him.”
Van Egmond spoke of his delight at securing the services of Cooper.
“Mitch is another one of the excellent young players coming into the A-League,” he said.
“Last season Mitch showed he is capable of playing at A-League level when given the opportunity.
“We are really excited to have attracted him to Newcastle and think he has a bright future with the Jets.”
In a further boost for the club, veteran striker Michael Bridges has signed a one-year contract extension.
The former English Premier League player said he is pleased to have secured his future in Newcastle for another year.
“I’m delighted to be back on board and it’s obviously great timing with the first week of pre-season,” Bridges said. “I can concentrate on the rest of the season.
“I wouldn’t have gone around again and I don’t think the coaching staff would have given me the opportunity if they didn’t feel it was the right decision as well.
“I’ve looked after myself and it was great being back this week.”
Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho has confirmed he wants to join Manchester City.