Jonny jets down under

Jonny Steele has signed for Australian side Newcastle Jets. Photo: Presseye
Jonny Steele has signed for Australian side Newcastle Jets. Photo: Presseye

Northern Ireland international Jonny Steele says he is looking forward to “another adventure” after his switch from New York Red Bulls to Australian side Newcastle Jets, writes John Gillespie.

The midfielder, who started just six games in the MLS this term, told the Times he is going down under in search of regular football.

Jonny Steele. Photo: Presseye

Jonny Steele. Photo: Presseye

“I’m very excited for a new chapter in my career and Newcastle looks like a beautiful place to play football,” Steele said.

“Why did I move? I’m 28 years old and hitting my prime - I’ve got to be playing every week. I had a few MLS teams interested in a trade but I got calls and offers from a few teams in Australia and I thought why not [have] another adventure?”

Asked whether he thought the move down under would enhance his ambition to become a regular with Northern Ireland on the international stage, he added: “I’m not sure, to be honest. I just know I’ve got to be playing regular football and I was made feel very wanted by the Jets.”

The Football Federation of Australia has reported that Steele’s deal runs “until the conclusion of the 2015-16 season”.

The Larne man, who has had spells with Real Salt Lake and Ballymena United, made the switch to the Red Bulls in 2013. There he played alongside stars like Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill.

In total, he made 48 appearances for the Big Apple club, scoring six times.

Steele has played three times for his country. He made his debut for Michael O’Neill’s men in a friendly against Turkey last November.

In June he took part in matches against Uruguay and Chile as they prepared for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.