Newcastle Jets to discuss Audax Italiano link

Martin Lee Lawrie McKinna Newcastle Jets A-LeagueGetty

Newcastle Jets will explore an invitation to form a partnership with a club from Chile's Primera Division that sees the A-League outfit as a bridge to the Chinese Super League (CSL). 

This partnership could potentially see players exchanged between Newcastle and Audax Italiano and the link used as a gateway into the booming CSL due to the Jets' Chinese owner Martin Lee. 

The Jets are in talks with Audax Italiano, who sit third in the 2016-17 Clausura championship in Chile, over hosting a pre-season clash at McDonald Jones Stadium in July as part of a wider relationship between the clubs.

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Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna told the Newcastle Herald that he is excited by the opportunity to play against the Santiago-based side and potentially signing Chileans for Mark Jones' squad.

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"Audax Italiano approached us through a match-agent based in Australia and are flying us over for discussions. It would be great to play against a top Chilean side," McKinna said.

"We will also talk about the potential for their players to come here to play for the Jets in the A-League and on-selling them to China. They want to talk about that and also getting a Chinese player to play in Chile to open up the market for them."

McKinna added that organising a friendly against Audax Italiano won't cost Newcastle any money with the aforementioned agent set to cover costs.

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"There is a big Chile population in Sydney. Obviously it will attract Jets fans," he said.

"When you bring out an English Premier League club you are talking about seven figures to underwrite it. This is not like that.

"It is an opportunity for us to play a top Chilean team."