The Newcastle Jets have signed their first Japanese import to the side, ever.
Highly credentialed winger Manabu Saitō has joined the Jets for the remainder of the season from K League 1 side Suwon Samsung Bluewings in South Korea, where he played 19 matches in 2022.
The 32-year-old is a veteran of the sport having played over 400 games for Japanese heavyweights Kawasaki Frontale, Yokohama F. Marinos, and Nagoya Grampus. In 2016, Saitō was voted in the J-League’s Best XI whilst playing for Yokohama F. Marinos.
Saitō has six International caps with Japan to his name and was part of the Japanese squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
He’s also had success on the International stage, where we won the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup, scoring against the Socceroos, winning the 2008 AFC U17 Championships in 2006 and playing in the 2007 U-17 World Cup in South Korea.
Manabu Saitō is eager to link up with his new teammates in Newcastle.
“It’s an honour to join the Newcastle Jets. I’m looking forward to working with the boss and joining a team that plays attacking football, and I will do my best to bring success to the club.”
Funnily enough, Jets coach Arthur Papas served as assistant coach to Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama where Saitō had played.