Newcastle Jets FC

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This article is about the men's senior team. For the women's team, see Newcastle Jets FC W-League. For the youth team, see Newcastle Jets FC Youth.
Newcastle Jets
Newcastle United Jets logo
Full name Newcastle United Jets FC
Nickname(s) Jets, United, Novocastrians
Founded 2000
Ground Hunter Stadium
Ground Capacity 33,000
Owner Nathan Tinkler
Chairman Ray Baartz
Head Coach Phil Stubbins
League A-League
2013–14 A-League, 7th
Website Club home page
Current season

Newcastle United Jets FC, commonly known as Newcastle Jets, is an Australian professional soccer club based in Newcastle, New South Wales. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under license from Football Federation Australia.[1] The club was formed in 2000 when it joined the National Soccer League (NSL) and was one of only three former NSL clubs to compete in the A-League.

The club plays home games at Hunter Stadium. Newcastle Jets have won one A-League championship, defeating rivals Central Coast Mariners 1–0 in the 2008 A-League Grand Final.[2] In 2009, Newcastle competed in the AFC Champions League for the first time, reaching the Round of 16.

History[edit]

Newcastle United[edit]

Newcastle United Strip 2000–04

Newcastle United was formed in 2000 by Cypriot-Australian businessman Con Constantine from the remnants of the Newcastle Breakers club.[3] The Breakers were dissolved when Soccer Australia revoked its NSL license at the conclusion of the 1999/2000 season. At the formation of Newcastle United the home ground was moved back to where Newcastle KB United played, now known as Hunter Stadium.

The Newcastle United club were reasonably successful, competing in two of the last three Final Series and finishing 2nd in the League behind Perth Glory in the 2001–02 season.[4] The club's colours were Blue and Red, somewhat traditional colours of the region also worn by the Newcastle Knights Rugby League team.

Newcastle United Jets[edit]

Newcastle United was renamed as Newcastle United Jets when it joined the A-League in its inaugural 2005–06 season, which marked the start of the club's 'Gold Era', in reference to the gold jerseys worn by the players from 2005-2011. The club was renamed to project a new image and to prevent confusion with the Premier League club Newcastle United F.C. The name "Jets" is a reference to RAAF Base Williamtown, located just 20 kilometres north of Newcastle. The club's logo depicts three F/A-18 Hornets, which the Royal Australian Air Force has based at Williamtown. During the A-league the Jets continued their successful form from the NSL by making all but one finals series, and winning one Championship (2007–08).

The club found themselves in desperate financial times shortly after the start of the 2010–11 season, resulting in the sale of the club to mining magnate Nathan Tinkler after the license was stripped from former owner Con Constantine. As a result of Tinkler's assumption of ownership, which was supposed to last until at least 2020, a football advisory board was set up in place of Constantine's autocratic system of ownership.

In April 2012 Tinkler, with mounting financial problems, handed back Newcastle Jets' A-league licence to the Football Federation Australia (FFA).[5] The FFA said that Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group could not just hand back its licence, and was breaching a binding contract by walking away from the Jets.[6] A few weeks later, after face-to-face talks between Tinkler and FFA chairman Frank Lowy, it was announced that Tinkler would remain the owner of the club.[7]

The Čulina Saga[edit]

On 4 October 2011 the club terminated the contract of coach Branko Čulina, as well commencing the process of applying to the FFA to have the 3-year 'Marquee' contract of (Branko's son) Jason "set aside".[8] Although no one reason is cited for the decision it is believed that an argument took place between Branko, CEO Robbie Middleby and owner Nathan Tinkler regarding the nepotist nature of Jason's signing as well as "medical advice".

Middleby stated, "The decision to terminate the contracts was made after a long deliberation by the Newcastle Jets’ Advisory Board." While Tinkler stated "Jason’s injury could mean the Jets are without their marquee player for up to three seasons – not a good result for the club, supporters, sponsors and players."

On 23 December it was confirmed that Jason is still a Contracted player to Jets, as Čulina is suing the FFA for insurance payments

Van Egmond's Return[edit]

Newcastle Jets playing against Sydney FC on October 2012.

At the end of the 2011–12 A-League season, Gary Van Egmond started his clean out by getting rid of the majority of Branko Čulina's squad. This including fan favourites Jeremy Brockie, Tarek Elrich, Labinot Haliti and Nikolai Topor-Stanley. Van Egmond implemented his possession based style by signing many young talents such as James Brown, Scott Neville and Craig Goodwin. The Jets went unbeaten throughout the entire 2012–13 pre-season with wins over defending champions Brisbane Roar and rivals Central Coast Mariners. On 21 September 2012, Newcastle Jets signed former England international and Premier League giant Emile Heskey as their marquee for the 2012–13 season. Heskey signed for a one year deal but hopes to extend his stay. He will wear the number 9 jersey throughout his time in Newcastle. The Jets lost their first game of the season against Adelaide but then went on to beat Alessandro Del Piero's Sydney FC, rivals Central Coast and Melbourne Victory to sit second behind Adelaide on goal difference after round 4. During the January transfer window, the Jets released Brazilian international Tiago Calvano due to lack of game time and falling out of favour with head coach Gary Van Egmond. The Jets replaced Tiago with attacking midfielder with Zenon Caravella and signed local talent Andrew Hoole to his first professional contract after impressing in a round 15 match against the Brisbane Roar. On 31 January 2013, Club captain and foundation player Jobe Wheelhouse, terminated his contracted as he felt he needed a break from football. Ruben Zadkovich wore the captains arm band for the rest of the season. The Jets finished 8th missing out on the finals for the third year in a row.[9] The following season, Van Egmond was sacked after 15 matches due to lack of results and understanding within the squad.

Stubbins Era[edit]

On May 5, 2014, Phil Stubbins signed a two year contract at the Jets. The jets stated that Stubbins attacking mentality will hopefully bring success to the club along with a number of signings such as Argentinians Jeronimo Neumann and Marcos Flores, Australian international David Carney and the clubs highest ever goal scorer, Joel Griffiths.

Colours and badge[edit]

Newcastle United's jersey for the 2009–10 season will retain the gold colour jersey, with navy socks and shorts and red trimming. The alternate jersey will, however, revert to something a little more historic, in light of the club's 10th year celebrations in 2010. The clash jersey will feature blue and red, with white and blue shorts and socks, in line with the old Newcastle United strips.

The Tinkler Sports Group revealed in early 2011 that Newcastle Jets colours will revert to the Blue and Red worn by Newcastle United and Breakers. This is also to combined colours with the Newcastle Knights who will become a cousin club in 2011.[10] The clash jersey for the 2011/12 season was revealled to be a black and white, with the same design of the home kit. The Jets wore these kits from October 2011 - March 2013, at the conclusion of the 2012/13 A-League Season. It was after the conclusion of that season in 2013 when it was announced that Newcastle Jets season membership holders would vote for a new away jersey. The first of three options was an emerald jersey with a brown and white stripe going diagonally across the shirt, based on KB United, a team that represented Newcastle in the NSL. The second was a white jersey that featured red down the sides, and blue on the back at the base of the shirt. The final option was a dark grey jersey, with a red and blue diagonal stripe, the same design as the first option. After members chose the emerald green jersey, the club revealed a new home kit. Similar to the home shirt from the previous two seasons, the red and blue stripes became slightly thinner, featuring five stripes on the front of the jersey, opposed to three stripes on the old kit. The stripes were largely replaced on the back of the shirt with a solid blue, yet stripes still featured at the bottom. The three jets that are on the club's crest are now also seen on the back of both the home and away kits, located just underneath the neck.[10]

Stadium[edit]

Western stand of then Ausgrid Stadium

Hunter Stadium, at the Newcastle International Sports Centre, was the home ground of the Newcastle United Jets and is the home of the Newcastle Knights. It has a capacity of 33,000.

The record crowd for a football match in Newcastle was set at Ausgrid Stadium on 2 February 2007 in the second leg of the 2006-07 A-League minor semi final against Sydney FC, in front of 24,338 people.[11] This broke the record set earlier that season on New Years Day, where a crowd of 20,980 turned up to see a 2–0 loss against the same opposition.[12] Prior to that game the football attendance record for a match in Newcastle stood for 52 years, set when Australia played Rapid Vienna.

This upgrade is a result of Australia gaining rights to hold the finals of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia between 4 to 26 January 2015. Newcastle may be one of the venues for this event, and minimum standards set by FIFA mean EAS is inadequate for this role. The newest upgrade involved demolishing the western grandstand and replacing it with one similar to the east, as well as placing seated areas on the hill at either end of the ground. This upgrade cost around $60 million, of which $50 million was provided by the State Government.[13] This upgrade means the Jets attendance figures can grow immensely, and will also qualify the Jets to host any Grand Finals they reach in the future.

Supporters[edit]

Squadron Novocastria at the 2008 A-League Grand Final.
Squadron Novocastria during the 2007-08 A-League.

[citation needed]

The main supporter base of Newcastle Jets is known as the Squadron Novocastria, which was formed in anticipation of the first ever A-League game between Newcastle and Adelaide United.[14] The Squadron began standing behind the goals on the Southern Hill, however because of the layout of the stadium and FFA regulations requiring them to be located in a fully seated area, they moved to Bay 2 of the Eastern Grandstand at Hunter Stadium. Standard songs/chants include, "We go by land and sea", "The Newy Boys go one by one" and "When The Jets Go Flying In". The Squadron have also started a new tradition of singing the chorus to the INXS song "Never Tear Us Apart" before the start of the game and second half. As the club's performances improved throughout the 2006–07 season the Squadron grew rapidly and continued to grow throughout the 2007–08 season.

In the interest of increasing active support participation during the 2013-14 Season, and after months of negotiation with club, stadium and security, the Squadron initiated a move from their Bay 2 location, to the other side of the stadium in Bay 60.[15] This took effect for the first time for the visit of the Western Sydney Wanderers on the 31/1/2014. This move led to misleading and false articles in the local paper which suggested that the move was solely to avoid clashes with opposition fans.[16] The Squadron have remained in Bay 60 ever since.

Before the start of the 2014-15 Season the Squadron threatened to boycott the designated active supporter bay due to measures introduced by the FFA, which meant that the area would be a "members only" area. The Squadron believed this would adversely affect the large demographic of young people regularly joining the Squadron, along with other issues.[17] However through negotiation with the club the Squadron ensured that all fans, members or not were able to join the Squadron on matchday and so the boycott was avoided.[18][19]

Rivalries[edit]

Due to its geographical proximity, Newcastle shares a strong rivalry with Central Coast Mariners. Known as The F3 Derby, the first meeting between the teams resulted in a tough semi-final tie in the 2005 Oceania Club Championship qualification competition (held in May 2005, prior to the start of the inaugural A-League season), when star Mariners striker Nik Mrdja broke the leg of Newcastle defender Andrew Durante,[20] earning him a tag as Newcastle's "hate-boy". In the 2007–08 season, Newcastle Jets beat the Mariners 2–0 in the first leg of the Major Semi-Final, before being beaten 3–0 in extra time in the second leg at Bluetongue Stadium.[21] After beating Queensland Roar 3–2 in the Preliminary Final, the Jets then went on to defeat the Mariners 1–0 in the 2007/08 A-League Grand Final. In round 17 of the 2008/09 season, the Jets and Mariners faced each other at Ausgrid Stadium. The Mariners won the game 2–1 courtesy of a Matt Simon goal in the 80th minute. After the full-time whistle, star Jets striker Joel Griffiths grabbed Mariners midfielder John Hutchinson around the neck causing players from both sides to intervene. Referee Peter O'Leary sent off Mariners' striker Dylan Macallister for abusive language.

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Mark Birighitti
2 Australia DF Scott Neville
3 Australia DF Taylor Regan
4 Netherlands DF Kew Jaliens (captain)
5 Australia MF Ben Kantarovski
6 Australia DF Adrian Madaschi
7 Argentina FW Jerónimo Neumann
8 Australia MF Zenon Caravella
9 Australia FW Joel Griffiths (vice captain)
10 Argentina MF Marcos Flores
11 Australia MF Andrew Hoole
12 Australia DF Sam Gallagher
13 Ecuador FW Edson Montaño (on loan from Barcelona SC)
No. Position Player
14 Australia MF Billy Celeski
15 Australia MF Josh Barresi
16 Australia MF Jacob Pepper
17 Australia FW James Virgili
18 Australia DF Allan Welsh
19 Australia MF Mitch Cooper
20 Australia GK Ben Kennedy
21 Australia DF Sam Gallaway
22 Northern Ireland MF Jonny Steele
23 Australia DF David Carney
25 Australia FW Brandon Lundy
26 Australia DF Nick Cowburn
30 Australia GK John Solari

Youth squad[edit]

Further information: Newcastle Jets FC Youth

Club officials[edit]

[22]

Directors[edit]

  • Australia Ray Baartz : Chairman, Former Socceroo
  • Australia Troy Palmer  : Director, Owners Representative

Administration[edit]

  • Australia Robbie Middleby: Chief Executive Officer
  • England Mark Duffield-Thomas: Commercial Director
  • Australia Brooke Cousins, Membership & Ticketing Manager
  • Australia Dani Potter: Community & Events Manager
  • Australia Gerard Laws: Media Manager

Football Department[edit]

Medical[edit]

  • Australia Dr. Matthew McDonald: Club Doctor
  • Australia Justin Dougherty: Physiotherapist

Head coaches[edit]

Records[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of Newcastle Jets FC records and statistics.

Tarek Elrich presently holds the team record for number of total games played with 134 matches. Joel Griffiths is the all-time highest goalscorer in all competitions for the club with 106 goals. Newcastle Jets highest league home attendance is 22,518.

Honours[edit]

Runners-Up (1): 2007–08
  • A-League Finals Series
Champions (1): 2007–08

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A-League owners to be offered far longer licenses by Football Federation Australia". adelaidenow.com.au. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Ritson, John (24 February 2008). "Jets 1 – Mariners 0: Minute by Minute". AU FourFourTwo. Retrieved 12 April 2008. 
  3. ^ Cockerill, Michael (2 November 2007). "Con's old style autocracy the wind beneath Jets' wings". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2007. 
  4. ^ Thompson, T: "One Fantastic Goal", pages 300–302, ABC Books/Griffin Press Australia, 2006, ISBN 0 7333 1898 3
  5. ^ Rigney, Sam (2012-04-11). "Jets fans feel their hearts 'ripped out'". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  6. ^ "Tinkler cannot hand back licence, says Ben Buckley". Sydney Morning Herald. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  7. ^ Cockerill, Michael (2012-05-01). "Tinkler back as Newcastle Jets owner". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  8. ^ http://www.newcastlejets.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=41234
  9. ^ "A-League 2013-14 season report card: Newcastle Jets fall just short". goal.com. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Newcastle Jets". iscsport.com. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Minor Semi Final – 2nd Leg – 2 February 2007". Football Federation Australia. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2007. 
  12. ^ "Newcastle Jets V Sydney – 1 January 2007". Football Federation Australia. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2007. 
  13. ^ Cronshaw, Damon (27 May 2008). "State's $20m Grandstand". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 27 May 2008. 
  14. ^ "Active support". footballaustralia.com.au. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  15. ^ http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/default.aspx?s=news-display&type=Active-Supporters-relocated-to-Bay-60&id=85203
  16. ^ http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2059425/jets-fans-move-to-avoid-clashes-with-wanderers/
  17. ^ http://www.newcastlefootball.net/home/page/10/
  18. ^ http://www.newcastlefootball.net/home/2014/11/squadron-statement-regarding-active-support-agreement/
  19. ^ http://www.newcastlejets.com.au/article/growing-active-support-in-201415/ojf5eon0kgae1x3s1wnehfequ
  20. ^ "Nick sick over tackle". Fox Sports. 10 May 2005. Retrieved 14 September 2007. [dead link]
  21. ^ SBS The World Game – Griffiths settles fiery derby
  22. ^ Board and Management

External links[edit]