By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Augsburg opt to retain Gouweleeuw after all

In a surprise about face, FC Augsburg have elected to retain the services of former captain Jeffery Gouweleeuw. The 32-year-old signed a one-year contract extension with a renewal option on Friday morning.  
In spite of the fact that the veteran was stripped of his captaincy this past offseason and former FCA sporting director Stefan Reuter specifically stated that the club had no interest in renewing the 32-year-old's expiring contract, Jeffrey Gouweleeuw will carry on for his long-time club. The FC Augsburg defender signed a one-year contract extension on Friday. Gouweleeuw's new working papers even contain an option to extend for another year.

Gouweleeuw unexpectedly fought his way back into an Augsburg XI that featured stiff competition in central defense this year. In a highly emotional interview following a match-day five victory over FSV Mainz 05, the former squad captain proclaimed his commitment to the club. Gouweleeuw has started every league fixture for the Fuggerstädter since.

"With his consistently quality performances in the first half of the season, Jeff has helped stabilize the team and our squad has taken a step forward," FCA sporting director Marinko Jurendic noted as a means of explaining the club's change-of-mind, "Jeff will continue to be an important cornerstone of our team in the future. With his experience and personality on and off the pitch, he will continue to be a great support for younger players."

"I have never made a secret of the fact that I feel very comfortable at FCA and with my family here in Augsburg," Gouweleeuw himself added, "After open and constructive talks in recent weeks and months, I am delighted that we have been able to agree on a contract extension and that I can continue to be part of the FCA family."

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