Western Sydney Wanderers have promoted youth striker Abraham Majok to their senior squad, while Newcastle Jets have secured Ben Kantarovski for another A-League season.
Majok, 18, made his senior debut for the Wanderers in February when he started against Urawa Red Diamonds in the AFC Champions League (ACL).
The gangly striker, who moved to Australia from Kenya at the age of five, finished the season with to ACL appearances, while he also made his A-League bow in Western Sydney’s Round 27 clash with Adelaide United.
“It means everything to be honest,” Majok said in a statement.
“I’ve wanted this for so long and for it to finally happen is just a dream come true. I couldn’t be any more grateful than I am.”
Majok is a western Sydney local and was part of the Wanderers’ National Youth League/NPL side before signing as a ‘scholarship player’ in Tony Popovic’s squad.
Under the A-League’s salary cap rules, clubs can contract up to six Australians who are under the age of 20 at minimum wage outside the $2.6million limit.
Majok and defender Jackson Bandiera are Western Sydney’s only scholarship players contracted for next season so far, while the centre-forward’s promotion takes Popovic’s senior squad to 19.
Newcastle also made an announcement on Friday, with Kantarovski agreeing to a 10th consecutive campaign with the Jets.
The versatile defender and midfielder is the Jets’ games record holder in the A-League with 140 appearances since his debut in the opening round of 2008-09.
Ben Kantarovski, Newcastle Jets
Kantarovski made 12 appearances this season.
The 25-year-old is Ernie Merrick’s second signing as Newcastle coach after luring Glen Moss to McDonald Jones Stadium earlier this week.
“I had interest from some other clubs, but when a new coach [Merrick] comes in and wants you as part of his plans, it makes the decision to stay very simple,” Kantarovski said in a statement.
Newcastle 19 players signed ahead of next season.