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.svg
Full name Newcastle United Jets Football Club
Nickname(s) The Jets
Founded 2000
Ground Hunter Stadium
Ground Capacity 33,000
Owner Football Federation Australia
Head Coach Scott Miller
League A-League
2014–15 A-League, 10th
Website Club home page
Current season

Newcastle United Jets Football Club, 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 (FFA).[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 join in the formation of the A-League. Newcastle Jets have won one A-League championship, after 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. In May 2015, FFA revoked Newcastle's licence after owner Nathan Tinkler placed the club into voluntary administration.[3][4] A new A-League club will be formed for the 2015–16 season, under the same name and colours.[5]

The club plays home games at Hunter Stadium. An affiliated youth team competes in the National Youth League and in the National Premier Leagues Northern NSW competition. A women's team competes in the W-League. The youth and women's matches are played at Wanderers Oval and Adamstown Oval.

History[edit]

Early years (2005–2007)[edit]

Newcastle United was formed in 2000 by Cypriot-Australian businessman Con Constantine from the remnants of the Newcastle Breakers club.[6] 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.[7]

The club renamed and re-bagded themselves the Newcastle United Jets Football Club at the start of the new national league, the A-league. This was done to try and create and project a new image of the club and to avoid confusion with the English Premier League club Newcastle United. 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.

Former England and Australia manager Terry Venables was reported as favourite to become the team's technical director, including reports from the Jets, but this was confirmed by Venables' agent as a 'no-go'.[8] Instead, the club signed Richard Money for the 2005–2006 season. In 2006 Money was replaced with Nick Theodorakopoulos after Money returned to England to take the manager's job at Walsall. In October 2006 after recording no wins during the Pre-Season Cup and during the first seven rounds of A-League matches, Theodorakopoulos became the first coach to be sacked in the club's A-League's history. His assistant Gary Van Egmond was the caretaker coach for the remainder of the 2005–6 season, and later signed a contract to remain as the coach of the Jets for the next three years.

The club surprised many observers in the Australian game by signing Ned Zelic, a player who was seen to have severed connections with Australia after being dropped from the national team.

Reports suggested the Jets were attempting to bring former Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore out of retirement.[9] Director of Football Remo Nogarotto confirmed the club had made a bid to lure Collymore to the A-League for a four-match guest stint; however, the move had broken down within 24 hours of it being made public.[10]

With the leadership of Gary Van Egmond Newcastle has achieved the highest amount of points out of all clubs in their last fourteen games and have also scored the most goals. As a result of their good form under Van Egmond, crowds in Newcastle have reached all time highs for football – culminating in a crowd of over 24,000 for their home final against Sydney FC on 2 February 2007.

Newcastle were eventually eliminated in the preliminary final by Adelaide, the game going to penalties after finishing at 1 all. Vaughan Coveny and Stuart Musialik missed their attempts in a shoot-out that ended up at 4–3 in favour of Adelaide, costing Newcastle their place in the grand final and a berth in the Asian Champions League.

Champions of Australia (2007/08)[edit]

Season 3 of the A-League saw a number of Newcastle's biggest stars of the previous season leave the club. Captain Paul Okon retired, fan favourite Milton Rodriguez returned to Colombia and Johnny Warren Medal winner Nick Carle moved to Turkey to link up with Gençlerbirliği S.K.. New recruits included Joel Griffiths' twin brother Adam and previous European Golden Boot winner Mario Jardel. Although significant excitement surrounded the capture of Jardel, as time went by it was obvious he was well past his prime and received little game time. Throughout the season star striker Joel Griffiths broke the record for most goals in a regular season by scoring 12 in 21 rounds.[11]

The Jets started the season well without losing in their first 5 matches. Following this good start the Jets struggled for consistency until the end of the season, often winning against quality opposition but losing some vital home games. Wins in the last three competition rounds saw the Jets move up the ladder to equal points with the Central Coast Mariners, finishing the season in second place due to inferior goal difference. The Jets went on to play the Mariners in the two legged Major Semi Final. The Jets won the first leg at home 2–0 thanks to a first-half header from Adam Griffiths and a late penalty from his brother Joel. The game had its fair share of controversy as Mariners striker John Aloisi had a seemingly legitimate goal dissallowed and also missed a penalty.[12]

Steeled by the defeat in the first leg, the Mariners overturned the 2–0 deficit and led 2–0 at the end of 90 minutes of the second leg thanks to goals from Sasho Petrovski and Adam Kwasnik. Seven minutes into extra time Petrovski scored again to send the Mariners into their second Grand Final in three years.[13]

Newcastle Jets Squadron Banner before the 2007–08 Grand Final

The Jets qualified for their first A-League Grand Final by beating Queensland Roar 3–2 after extra time in the 2008 Preliminary Final on 17 February 2008.[14] The Jets led 1–0 until deep into injury time when the Roar were awarded a penalty which Reinaldo successfully converted, sending the match into extra time. A few minutes into extra time the Jets were awarded a penalty as well, as Song Jin-Hyung was brought down in the box. Joel Griffiths was successful from the spot to restore the 1-goal advantage and a few moments later Tarek Elrich sealed passage into the Grand Final with a well timed shot to score his first A-League goal. Although the Roar received another late penalty it was too late to stop the Jets' march into the Grand Final.

The Jets defeated the Central Coast Mariners in the 2007–08 A-League Grand Final, becoming A-League Champions for the first time.

The game was sealed with a solitary Mark Bridge strike early in the second half. In his last game of professional football Tony Vidmar made a mistake near the halfway line to gift Bridge with an opportunity which he grasped with both hands. The game was marred by a late penalty appeal for handball. Mariners goal keeper Danny Vukovic had come up for the corner and was so infuriated by Mark Shield's clearly incorrect decision that he slapped his hand away, earning himself a lengthy ban and ruling himself out of the early rounds of next season.[15] Both the Jets and Mariners qualified to take part in the 2009 AFC Champions League.

Asian Champions League[edit]

In order to rebuild the team for the Champions League the Jets, very much in need of several new players, signed Perth defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley in early January 2008.[16] But the signing of Topor-Stanley would prove to be the Jets' sole gain on the transfer market for several weeks, and fans grew even more disgruntled as the Jets were confirmed as the 2009 A-League "Wooden Spooners" with a 2–0 loss to Adelaide United in mid-January. An encouraging 2–1 win over Perth Glory in the Jets' final home game of the A-League 2008-09 season lightened the mood somewhat, but when the Jets crashed in a 4–0 capitulation at the Sydney Football Stadium the following week, things were looking grim. And the picture only grew bleaker as the notorious player exodus continued and the club lost Socceroos defender Mark Milligan to Shanghai Shenhua,[17] along with Jesper Hakansson, who left the club after agreeing to a mutual termination.[18] Talisman and captain Joel Griffiths also agreed to move to Asia, although only on a one-year loan to Beijing Guoan.[19]

The first ten days of February saw the Jets engage in a surprisingly successful flurry of transfer activity to bolster their squad for the impending Champions League before the 11 February date by which clubs are required to submit their squad lists. Acting on an urgent need to improve their attacking stocks, the Jets announced simultaneously the signing of Dutchman Donny de Groot from De Graafschap along with former Sydney FC and Mariners striker Sasho Petrovski.[20] Next, the Jets reinforced their shaky defence by obtaining the signatures of talented former FC Thun and Victory defender Ljubo Miličević,[21] who had been battling depression since being released by the Victory, veteran centre-back Angelo Costanzo from Adelaide United, and young Sydney FC left-back Nikolas Tsattalios.[22] These signings were followed by the surprise announcement that the Jets had secured the services of former S.S. Lazio forward Fabio Vignaroli on a six-month contract.[23] In a further boost for the depth of its squad, the club signed three local footballers on six-month deals with the option for an extension into the A-League 2009-10 season: former Newcastle United midfielder Mitchell Johnson and strikers Peter Haynes and Joel Wood.[24]

After the departure of high performance manager Ian Crook, the Jets signed former Sydney FC boss Branko Culina as their new Technical Director.[25]

The Jets got off to a bad start, losing 2–0 to Beijing Guoan in Beijing. However, they rebounded with a 2–0 defeat of Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i back in Newcastle. After a heroic 1–1 draw in Japan against Nagoya Grampus, they lost 1–0 in the return fixture. Then, on 6 May, the Jets grabbed two goals in the last two minutes to defeat Beijing in Newcastle 2–1. The Jets qualified for the last 16 by defeating Ulsan Hyundai 1–0 away from home with Jason Hoffman scoring his debut goal to seal the win. The Jets faced Pohang Steelers in their round of 16 fixture on 24 June, crashing out of the competition 6–0 to the hands of the South Koreans.

2008–2011[edit]

After the success of the 2007–08 season a number of Jets players left the club including Mark Bridge and Stuart Musialik to Sydney FC and Joe Marston Medal winner Andrew Durante and Troy Hearfield to Wellington Phoenix. Although rumours persisted about captain Jade North and Adam Griffiths wishing to leave the club after being a part of the Socceroos squad that faced Singapore and China, both chose to remain with the Jets for the 2008–09 season.[26][27][28]

Most players who left the Jets suggested wage demands as the major issue with Jets owner Con Constantine refusing to allow players to utilise service agreements which would allow more flexibility under the salary cap.[29][30]

Forward Jason Naidovski was the first new player to sign on for the Jets for season 2008–09, arriving from the Australian Institute of Sport followed by right sided midfielder Shaun Ontong from Adelaide United,[31][32] and exciting under 20's Australian representative Kaz Patafta from Benfica.[33] Defender Antun Kovacic soon followed as well as international recruits Jesper Håkansson and Edmundo Zura, who signed as the marquee player for season 2008–09.

The Jets began the season with the Pre Season Cup where two draws and a loss saw them finish third in their group behind Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United.

The regular season proved to be a disaster for the Jets. The Jets won only four out of twenty one matches and were rooted to the bottom of the ladder, missing the finals for the first time and collecting their first wooden spoon. Adding to this were Gary van Egmond's touchline ban after storming on to the pitch following a 2 – 2 draw with Perth,[34] marquee signing Edmundo Zura leaving the club after visa issues failed to bring his family from Ecuador,[35] suspensions for Joel Griffiths and Mark Milligan[36] and high profile player Adam Griffiths agreeing to terms for season 2009–10 with expansion club Gold Coast United Football Club.[37] The Jets attempted to sign superstar Dwight Yorke to replace Zura as marquee player for the rest of the season but this move was scuppered by his international commitments with Trinidad and Tobago.[38] Jade North had originally agreed to sign for North Queensland Fury for season 2009–10 but instead accepted an offer to play for Korean side Incheon United, meaning that he left at the beginning of the January transfer window,[39] with Joel Griffiths taking over the captaincy.[40] Exciting Youngster James Holland also departed for a lucrative deal at Dutch powerhouse club AZ Alkmaar.[41] In December 2008, the Jets announced they had signed the 37-year old Spencer Prior for the remainder of the 2008–2009 season.

Despite the Jets winning their last home game against Perth Glory a number of fans were involved in an ugly incident with club chairman Con Constantine who took offense to two actions from fans. Firstly, the Squadron fan group hung their banners upside down as a silent protest of the poor season, and secondly, an unaffiliated fan had a banner stating "Newcastle Jets: We've been Conned", insinuating that the club's poor performances on the field are a direct result of the chairman's management of the club. In response Constatine ordered five of the senior members of the Squadron up to his private box and verbally abused them, even threatening to throw Squadron president, Tim Verschelden, off the balcony and banning him and others from future Jets games. The FFA are currently conducting a probe into the incident, although regardless of the outcome it seems that relationships between management and fans was at an all time low by the end of the season.[42][43]

Preparations for the new season were thrown into turmoil when championship winning manager Gary van Egmond left the club for a lucrative job with the AIS. This has subsequently created a public rift between the club and FFA over the possible FFA's involvement in inducing Van Egmond to break his contract to take up the new position. The relationship between owner and FFA fell to the point where the club has threatened legal action against both Van Egmond and the FFA for breach of contract.[44] Former club Technical Director Branko Čulina was named as his replacement on 30 June 2009.

The club began the season with a victory for the first time, downing Wellington Phoenix at home, followed by string of good results including being the first team to defeat A-League newcomers Gold Coast United. Following this victory though a run of poor results followed. The Jets were able to dominate large portions of matches but were unable to translate that dominance to the scoreboard.

In The 2009/10 Season The Newcastle Jets qualified for The Finals Series, coming 6th in the regular season. In the first week of the finals the Jets came up against Gold Coast United at Skilled Stadium. The Jets unexpectedly defeated Gold Coast in a Penalty Shoot Out 6 goals to 5 with the Full Time Score being 0–0. In the second week they were up against Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium. The Full Time Score was 1–1 bringing the match into extra-time. In Extra Time Paul Iffil scored the match winner for Wellington followed by a goal from Eugene Dadi. This put the Jets out of the competition.

The 2010–11 season was the Newcastle Jets' tenth season in the national football competition in Australia. The Jets opened their Season with a 0–0 draw against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on 5 August. It was announced on 22 July 2010 that Michael Bridges would be the Newcastle Jets senior team captain, with Ljubo Miličević as his deputy.[45]

Prior to Newcastle's round 4 game against Brisbane Roar, it was revealed that the club was under significant financial stress and was unable to pay staff and player wages on time. This resulted in the club seeking either a loan or an advance on their quarterly share of the A-League television deal.[46] It was announced by the club and Football Federation Australia that the governing body would give a short term assistance package, making sure the club made it through their next few games and back into financial viability.[47]

After weeks of speculation about the future of the Newcastle Jets it was announced by the FFA on 22 September, before the teams midweek game against Gold Coast United, that mining magnate Nathan Tinkler would be buying a majority share in the Jets, saving the club from ruin. Tinkler had a positive influence at the Jets. A new price for tickets included a free season pass for children younger than 15, a family pass for 11 home games with reserved grandstand for $100 and general admission for $10.

The club gained the Hunter Medical Research Institute as a new sponsor, whose logo appeared on the front of the players shirts. The Institute said it would donate $5000 for every goal scored at home and $2500 for an away goal. The club set up a new administration office, extended the contract of coach Branko Culina until March 2015, and unveiled a $2.5 million blueprint for the football department.[48] It was confirmed that the Jets would host the Los Angeles Galaxy, which included big name players such as David Beckham and Landon Donovan, for a friendly in November 2010 at Energy Australia Stadium.[49] The Jets won the match 2–1.[50]

After the departure of former Assistant Coach Mark Jones, the Jets welcomed new faces David Lowe and Marshall Sopor, while Clint Gosling moved from a part-time to full-time role as goalkeeping coach. Lowe's position involved identifying talent from throughout the local area and around the country in order to improve the club's development of youngsters through their National Youth League side and Soper, a former Qantas Socceroo, takes up a new position of specialist skills coach.[51]

The Jet's announced the signing of Ryan Griffiths, during the January transfer window for the remainder of the season and the 2011–2012 season. Ryan is the brother of Newcastle Jets legend Joel Griffiths. With the North Queensland Fury's future in doubt the Newcastle Jets signed Chris Payne for the 2011–2012 season. 16 December 2010 marked the inaugural meeting of the new Football Advisory Board put in place by new owner Nathan Tinkler, The board included prominent names from Newcastle footballing history, Community members, and the President of Northern NSW Football.[52] The Jets finished the 2010–11 Season in 7th position narrowly missing out on the Finals series on the final matchday of the regular season.

Van Egmond's return (2011–2014)[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".[53] 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." The Newcastle Jets appointed Gary Van Egmond as Culina's replacement.

In April 2012, Nathan Tinkler announced that he would hand back the Newcastle Jets A-league licence to the FFA, due to his mounting financial difficulties.[54] The Federation 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.[55] On 1 May, after face-to-face talks between Tinkler and FFA chairman Frank Lowy, it was announced that Tinkler would remain the owner of the club.[56]

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.[57] The following season, Van Egmond was sacked after 15 matches due to lack of results and understanding within the squad.

Stubbin's regime (2014–2015)[edit]

On 5 May 2014, Phil Stubbins signed a two-year contract at the Jets. The Jets hoped that Stubbins' attacking mentality would bring success to the club, along with a number of new signings such as Argentinians Jeronimo Neumann and Marcos Flores, Australian international David Carney and the club's highest ever goal scorer, Joel Griffiths.[58] A poor start to the season saw CEO Robbie Middleby and Chairman Ray Baartz resign from their positions during a mid-season break.[59] On 10 January 2015, three days after Middleby and Baartz resigned, Newcastle owner Nathan Tinkler took the club off the market and was appointed as Chairman of the club.[60] On the 29 January 2015, Newcastle players Kew Jaliens, Billy Celeski, Adrian Madaschi, David Carney and Joel Griffiths were released by the club.[61] Stubbins started rebuilding the club with bringing in imports Lee Ki-je and Enver Alivodic along with signing defender Nigel Boogaard. Newcastle ended the league season at the bottom of the table with only 3 wins resulting in their worst ever season.[62] On 21 May Football Federation Australia terminated the clubs license after the club failed to settle debts and pay issues.[63]

A new beginning (2015–present)[edit]

On May 21 2015, Football Federation Australia issued a license for a new team in Newcastle. The FFA indicated that this new entity would continue to hold the Newcastle Jets name and colours and would continue to play it's football at Hunter Stadium. All players were issued new contracts with the club along with the admin staff. The coaching staff however underwent a performance review by FFA. Consequently, on 26 May, Phil Stubbins along with fellow coaching staff Mark Jones, James Pascoe and Jess Vanstrattan all had their contracts terminated by FFA who indicated that a fresh start was needed for the club. The FFA began the rebuilding of the club by setting up 3 forums. A business forum, a members forum and a supporters forum. These forums were set up so that fans could voice their opinions about the clubs restructuring. On 18 June 2015, Football Federation Australia appointed former Fulham assistant coach, Scott Miller as the clubs new head coach. Former Melbourne Victory assistant coach, Jean-Paul de Marigny was also announced as Miller's senior assistant. Both signed 2 year deals. Former assistant Mark Jones was also re-signed as the clubs Head of Performance.

Colours and badge[edit]

Newcastle United Strip 2000–04

The club's traditional colours are blue and red; colours also worn by the Newcastle Knights rugby league team in the region. When Newcastle joined the A-League the club changed its colours to a gold jersey with a navy and red trim and navy blue shorts and socks. The kit was markedly different to the jersey worn by the original NSL club which was almost exclusively red and blue. The away jersey was white with gold sleeves, gold shorts and white socks. The club's jersey for the 2009–10 season retained the home kit design, however, the away strip revert to something more historic, in light of the club's tenth-year anniversary. The jersey featured blue and red, with white and blue shorts and socks, in line with the old Newcastle United strips. In early 2011, the new Tinkler Sports Group revealed that Newcastle's colours would revert to the blue and red worn by Newcastle United. The decision was also made to combined colours with the Newcastle Knights who became a cousin club due to the shared ownership.[64] The 2011–12 season away kit was revealed to be a black and white, with the same stripped design of the home kit. The Jets wore the black and white kit until the conclusion of the 2012–13 season. It was after the conclusion of that season when it was announced that Newcastle Jets members would vote for the sides new away kit. 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 former 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 from the club's crest were also added to the back of both the home and away kits, located just underneath the neck.[64]

A simple blue and red logo with the name "Newcastle United" was used during the club's time in the NSL. After joining the A-League, a new logo was designed to incorporate the new name "Newcastle United Jets". The name change was done so to project a new image for the club and to prevent confusion with the English side Newcastle United The name "Jets" is a reference to RAAF Base Williamtown, located just 20 kilometres north of Newcastle. The club's logo also depicts three F/A-18 Hornets, which the Royal Australian Air Force has based at Williamtown.

Stadium[edit]

Western stand of Newcastle International Sports Centre

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.[65] 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.[66] 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.[67] 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 during the 2007-08 A-League.

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.[68] 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.[69] 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.[70] 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.[71] 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.[72][73]

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,[74] 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.[75] 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.

Players[edit]

First team 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 Daniel Mullen
3 Australia DF Jason Hoffman
4 Australia DF Nigel Boogaard (captain)
5 Australia MF Ben Kantarovski
6 Australia MF Cameron Watson
7 Serbia MF Enver Alivodić
8 Croatia MF Mateo Poljak
10 Brazil FW Leonardo
11 Australia FW Labinot Haliti
No. Position Player
12 Australia FW Andy Brennan
13 South Korea DF Lee Ki-je
14 Australia MF Mitch Cooper
15 Australia DF Themba Muata-Marlow
17 Australia FW Radovan Pavicevic
18 Australia MF Josh Barresi
20 Australia GK Ben Kennedy
22 Australia DF Lachlan Jackson
23 Australia MF David Carney
25 Australia FW Brandon Lundy

Former Players[edit]

Club Officials[edit]

Technical Staff[edit]

Position Name
Head Coach Australia Scott Miller
Assistant Coach Australia Jean-Paul de Marigny
Head of Performance Australia Mark Jones
Goalkeeping Coach Australia Jess Vanstrattan
Football Manager Australia James Pascoe
Physiotherapist Australia Justin Dougherty
Club Doctor Australia Neil Halpin
Team Equipment Manager Australia Brent Anderson
Youth Team Coach Australia Peter McGuinness

Administrative staff[edit]

Position Name
Chief Executive Officer Australia David Eland
Commercial Director England Mark Duffield-Thomas
Financial Controller Australia Nicki Brown
Media and Community Relations Manager Australia Ben O'Neill
Administration Manager Australia Carly Nicolls
Marketing and Membership Manager Australia Brooke Cousins
Membership and Merchandise Executive Australia Stacey Woollams
Events Manager Australia Anne-Marie Tynan

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

Emerging Jets[edit]

The Emerging Jets program is underpinned by a tri-party agreement between the National Body (Football Federation Australia), the Member Federation (Northern New South Wales Football Federation) and the local Hyundai A-League club (Newcastle Jets). The integrated talented player pathway by definition provides a succinct and clearly discernible development program for players from as young as eight years to the Foxtel National Youth League, Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League. In January 2015 the Emerging Jets Program moved to the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility. For the first time since its inauguration the Emerging Jets have a home base for their training and fixtures. The Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility has also been the home of Northern NSW Football since late 2014. Selection as an Emerging Jet is a significant achievement. However, selection is only the start of the journey towards the ultimate goal of being a professional footballer. The program is designed to provide players with the opportunity to develop their skills through access to quality coaching, competitive opportunities and support services. The program aims to provide identified players and coaches with the opportunity to reach their full potential. The success of the program will be measured by the number of players and coaches who progress to represent the Newcastle Jets, the junior and senior Australian teams and ultimately the Socceroos and Matildas. The parties also have the aspiration to develop players who have the ability to showcase our region in the world’s biggest leagues and inspire future generations of grassroots players and Emerging Jets. Emerging Jets key values are respect, commitment, discipline, integrity, leadership, courage and humility. All players and staff should strive to meet high standards in all areas to properly embody the Emerging Jets vision.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]