Koutroumbis puts cancer scare aside to sign new Jets contract

Just three months after a cancer diagnosis threatened his career, inspirational youngster Johnny Koutroumbis has inked a contract extension with the Newcastle Jets.

In wonderful news for the 20-year-old, Koutroumbis has extended his deal with the Hunter club until the end of the Hyundai A-League 2021/22 Season.

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“I’m really happy to be staying in Newcastle for another three seasons,” Koutroumbis said.

“Obviously it’s been a tough few months, but thankfully through the support of my family, the club and the entire football community I’ve been able to make a recovery and get back to playing.

“The way Lawrie [CEO Lawrie McKinna], Ernie [coach Ernie Merrick], the playing group and all our fans got behind me was something I’ll never forget, it was really special.

“That only reinforced the fact that this was a club I wanted to remain a part of, I love living in Newcastle and am excited about what the future holds.”

Koutroumbis had surgery in October to treat thyroid cancer and has made a swift and courageous comeback.

The versatile youngster has played three games since his return, showing great strength to come back so quickly.

“It’s fantastic to have Johnny signed on for the next three seasons, we see him as a big part of our plans moving forward,” Merrick said.

“His reaction to the cancer diagnosis was a credit to him, showing a strength of character well beyond his years.

“Since his return, he looks better than ever, and we’re keen to continue his development over the next few seasons – he’s a player with tremendous potential.”

Since joining the Jets in the 2016/17 Season, Koutroumbis has played 38 games for the Jets and scored twice last season.

He is likely to be in the squad again for this weekend’s clash against Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium on Saturday afternoon.