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Labinot Haliti (born 26 October 1985 in Pristina) is a former Australian footballer who last played for the Newcastle Jets in the A-League. He holds Albanian and Australian passports, making him eligible to represent Albania and Australia.

Labinot Haliti
Labinot Haliti WSW.jpg
Labi Haliti in Wanderers away strip
Personal information
Date of birth (1985-10-26) 26 October 1985 (age 33)
Place of birth Pristina, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Second Striker / Winger
Club information
Current team
Western Sydney Wanderers (assistant)
Youth career
KF 2 Korriku
Sydney Olympic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Sydney Olympic 2 (0)
2003–2005 Sydney United 22 (7)
2005–2007 Newcastle Jets 27 (3)
2007 Slaven Belupo 0 (0)
2007–2008 Teuta 18 (3)
2008–2009 ŁKS Łódź 22 (7)
2009–2012 Newcastle Jets 65 (12)
2012–2015 Western Sydney Wanderers 81 (11)
2015–2017 Newcastle Jets 8 (0)
National team
2006 Australia U-23 6 (0)
Teams managed
2017–2018 Newcastle Jets Youth (assistant)
2018–2019 Newcastle Jets Youth
2019– Western Sydney Wanderers (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 December 2018

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Haliti’s was born in Pristina,[1] and fled his home country at the age of 14 with his family, arriving in Australia in 1999, where they settled in Sydney.[2]

Club careerEdit

Since arriving in Sydney, Haliti stamped himself as a potential superstar of the game with impressive stints at Sydney Olympic and Sydney United in the defunct NSL. Haliti’s talent was spotted by the legendary Frank Arok, a former Yugoslav player and coach.[1] It was at Sydney Olympic where Haliti played alongside former Socceroos striker and close friend Ante Milicic, who proved influential in bringing the attacking midfielder to the Newcastle Jets in the newly formed A-League.[2]

Newcastle JetsEdit

Haliti's impressive first season with the Jets led to much speculation about his international future, with the Albanian national team and Australian Olyroos Under 23 team courting his services. A change in manager in his second season at Newcastle saw his opportunities decrease, and Haliti returned to Sydney United in the NSW Premier League. In June 2007, he signed for Croatian Prva HNL team NK Slaven Belupo, however, he failed to make an appearance for the club after signing for KS Teuta Durrës in the Albanian first division a month later. After a string of appearances and 3 goals, he signed for Polish Orange Ekstraklasa team Łódzki KS, where he established himself as a first team squad member.

On 26 August 2009, he was signed to a short-term deal for the Newcastle Jets as an injury replacement for Marko Jesic.[3] On 2 October 2009, Haliti extended his contract with the Jets to a two-year deal. On 3 September 2009, Haliti was included in the squad against Melbourne Victory after a late clearance from his Polish side ŁKS Łódź and the Polish Football Association. He scored with a header in the 87th minute to secure a 1-1 draw for the Jets.[4] During the 2011–12 A-League season, Labinot continued to be an integral part of the Newcastle Jets team and was a fans favourite.[citation needed]

Western Sydney WanderersEdit

On 2 July 2012, Haliti joined A-League expansion club Western Sydney Wanderers FC on a free transfer.[5]

Haliti played his first game for the new club on 6 October 2012 and it was Western Sydney Wanderers first competitive match of any kind against reigning A-League Premiers Central Coast Mariners in the first round of the league. On 2 February, Haliti scored a historic goal against Central Coast Mariners in a top of the table clash in front of a packed house at Central Coast Stadium. Wanderers went on to claim the Premiership Plate.[6]

During the AFC Champions League campaign, Haliti was a key member of the squad playing all 14 games to the Final and ultimately winning the 2014 AFC Champions League trophy against Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia. They became the first Australian team to be crowned Asian Champions, an achievement they reached in only their first attempt in the Asian tournament. Haliti is also the first Albanian to ever win the ACL.[7]

In the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco, Haliti captained his side Wanderers for the first time against ES Sétif.

Return to Newcastle JetsEdit

On 22 July 2015, Haliti signed a two-year deal with Newcastle Jets, back to the club where he started his A-League career.[8] On the 21st of October 2015 It was confirmed that Haliti would miss the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL injury in the defeat to Sydney FC.[9]

Coaching CareerEdit

While still recovering Haliti announced that he had begun studying for his coaching badges. [10] Haliti retired at the end of the 2017–18 A-League season, [11] having already taken up a position as Assistant Coach of the Newcastle Jets FC Reserves, serving under Jets CEO and head youth coach Lawrie McKinna.[12]

On 8 May 2019, it was announced that Haliti signed with the Western Sydney Wanderers as an assistant coach ahead of the 2019–20 A-League season.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "From the ashes of war, a star is born". sportsaustralia. 16 February 2006. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Jet happy to land on his feet". The Age. 22 January 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  3. ^ Jets swoop to recapture Haliti
  4. ^ Haliti makes his point with late strike Archived 19 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ "Jets swoop for former Wanderers duo". Football Federation Australia. 22 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Jets lose loveable Labi to ACL injury". Newcastle Jets. 21 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Labinot Haliti Embarks on Advanced Coaching Pathway". Football NSW. 8 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Long-serving retirees to be honoured at Hyundai A-League Grand Final". Hyundai A-League. 8 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna club's new youth head coach". Newcastle Herald. 27 June 2017.
  13. ^ Gardiner, James (7 May 2019). "Newcastle Jets: Haliti takes next step in coaching career". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 8 May 2019.

External linksEdit