A-League star given leave to pursue rap career
Joe Champness is determined to prove a football pitch isn't the only place where he's on-song.
The Newcastle Jets winger and aspiring hip-hop artist has been granted indefinite leave to fulfil his musical ambitions in the United States.
Although Champness has a three-year deal with the A-League club, the 22-year-old will instead spend an extended period in Los Angeles. Champness had already missed the Jets' preseason for the 2019-20 campaign so he could meet with producers.
He signed a distribution deal with industry label Creative Music Group last month.
"We allowed Joey to head to the United States to pursue a dream in music at the start of last month," Newcastle chief executive Lawrie McKinna said.
"He's made inroads in the business and the opportunity to remain in L.A. to chase those dreams is one that's too big for him to pass up.
"That being said, Joey's value as a footballer is clear for all to see and we've come to a formal agreement that should he return to football in the next three years, he will return to the Jets."
By prioritising music, Champness, a member of the national under-23 side, has scuppered his chances of representing Australia at next year's Tokyo Olympics.