Newcastle Jets FC

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Newcastle Jets
Newcastle United Jets Logo.svg
Full name Newcastle United Jets Football Club
Nickname(s) The Jets
Founded 2000; 17 years ago (2000)
Ground McDonald Jones Stadium
Ground Capacity 33,000
Owner Ledman Group
Chairman Martin Lee
Head coach Ernie Merrick
League A-League
2016–17 A-League, 10th
Website Club website
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 licence 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 McDonald Jones 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 licence 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 McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Newcastle United club were reasonably successful, competing in two of the last three Final Series and finishing second in the League behind Perth Glory in the 2001–02 season.[7]

The club renamed and re-badged 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 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 Central Coast Mariners striker Sasho Petrovski.[20] Next, the Jets reinforced their shaky defence by obtaining the signatures of talented former FC Thun and Melbourne 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][23] 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.[24] 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 2009–10 A-League season: former Newcastle United midfielder Mitchell Johnson and strikers Peter Haynes and Joel Wood.[25]

After the departure of high performance manager Ian Crook, the Jets signed former Sydney FC boss Branko Culina as their new Technical Director.[26]

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.[27][28][29]

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,[30] marquee signing Edmundo Zura leaving the club after visa issues failed to bring his family from Ecuador,[31] suspensions for Joel Griffiths and Mark Milligan[32] and high-profile player Adam Griffiths agreeing to terms for season 2009–10 with expansion club Gold Coast United Football Club.[33] 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.[34] 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,[35] with Joel Griffiths taking over the captaincy.[36] Youngster James Holland also departed for a lucrative deal at Dutch powerhouse club AZ Alkmaar.[37] In December 2008, the Jets announced they had signed the 37-year-old Spencer Prior for the remainder of the 2008–2009 season.

Preparations for the following 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.[38] Former club Technical Director Branko Čulina was named as his replacement on 30 June 2009.

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.

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.[39] 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.[40]

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.[41] 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.[42] The Jets won the match 2–1.[43]

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.[44] The Jets finished the 2010–11 Season in seventh 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".[45][46] 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."[47] The Newcastle Jets appointed Gary van Egmond as Culina's replacement.[48]

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.[49] 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.[50] 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.[51]

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 hoped to extend his stay. He wore 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.[52] The following season, van Egmond was sacked after 15 matches due to lack of results and understanding within the squad.

The Stubbins 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.[53] A poor start to the season saw CEO Robbie Middleby and Chairman Ray Baartz resign from their positions during a mid-season break.[54] 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.[55] On 29 January 2015, Newcastle players Kew Jaliens, Billy Celeski, Adrian Madaschi, David Carney and Joel Griffiths were released by the club.[56] 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 three wins, resulting in their worst ever season.[57] On 21 May Football Federation Australia terminated the clubs licence after the club failed to settle debts and pay issues.[58]

A new beginning (2015–present)[edit]

On May 21, 2015, Football Federation Australia issued a licence 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 its 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 three forums: a business forum, a members' forum and a supporters' forum, set up so that fans could voice their opinions about the club's restructuring. On 18 June 2015, Football Federation Australia appointed former Fulham assistant coach, Scott Miller as the club's new head coach. Former Melbourne Victory assistant coach, Jean-Paul de Marigny was also announced as Miller's senior assistant.

On Tuesday 14 June 2016, it was announced that Football Federation Australia had completed a 100 per cent sale of the club to Ledman Group, a leading high-tech LED signage manufacturer, operator and sports business headquartered in Shenzhen, China. Ledman Group's major shareholder is Martin Lee. Ledman Group is valued at over one billion Australian dollars on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Ledman Group is an official partner of the Chinese Super League and China League (Division Two) and has a strategic partnership with the Chinese Football Association.

In September 2016 Scott Miller was sacked by the club.

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 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.[59] 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.[59]

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

McDonald Jones Stadium, at the Newcastle International Sports Centre, is the home ground of the Newcastle Jets and is the home of the Newcastle Knights. It has a capacity of 33,000. The stadium is located in the suburb of Broadmeadow.

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.[60] 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.[61] 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 and 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.[62] 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 active supporter group of the Newcastle Jets was the Squadron Novocastria, which was formed in anticipation of the first ever A-League game between Newcastle and Adelaide United.[63] 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 McDonald Jones 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.[64] This took effect for the first time for the visit of the Western Sydney Wanderers on 31 January 2014. The Newcastle Herald reported that this was to avoid clashes with opposition fans.[65]

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.[66] 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.[67][68] For the 2016-17 A-League season, the Squadron, with financial support from the Jets, moved to the southern end of McDonald Jones Stadium in a bid to improve active support at home games.

In late 2016, a new supporter group, the Newcastle City Legionaries (NCL) was formed by previous founders of the Squadron. The group sits in Bay 1, a general admission bay of McDonald Jones Stadium, and aims to be a "traditional" supporter group, by engaging in "English style" active support (i.e. no capo, and anybody can start chants).[69] The group has received praise from Lawrie McKinna, who credited the group with engaging with the crowd, and creating a great atmosphere.[70]

On 22 April 2017, the Squadron announced that they would be ceasing active support, due to harsh FFA restrictions regarding active support.[71][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][75] 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.[76] 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 Jack Duncan
3 Australia DF Jason Hoffman
4 Australia DF Nigel Boogaard (Captain)
5 Australia MF Ben Kantarovski
6 Australia MF Steven Ugarkovic
7 Australia MF Dimitri Petratos
9 Republic of Ireland FW Roy O'Donovan
10 England MF Wayne Brown
12 Australia MF Mario Shabow
13 Croatia DF Ivan Vujica
15 Australia FW Andrew Nabbout
No. Position Player
16 Australia DF Nick Cowburn
17 Republic of Macedonia DF Daniel Georgievski
18 Australia DF John Koutroumbis
19 Australia FW Kosta Petratos
20 New Zealand GK Glen Moss
21 Australia DF Daniel Alessi
22 Australia DF Lachlan Jackson
23 Australia MF Devante Clut
44 Australia DF Nikolai Topor-Stanley
Australia DF Jake Adelson

Youth[edit]

Former players[edit]

Club officials[edit]

Technical staff[edit]

Position Name
Head Coach Scotland Ernie Merrick
Assistant Coach Australia Clayton Zane
Assistant coach China Qiang Li
Goalkeeping Coach Australia Vacant
Strength and Conditioning Coach Australia Chris Brown
Performance Analyst Australia Aman Pillay
Football Operations Manager Australia Joel Griffiths
Football Operations Coordinator Australia Brent Anderson
International Football Manager China Rocky Liu
Head Physiotherapist Australia Justin Dougherty
Club Doctor Australia Neil Halpin
Youth Coach Scotland Lawrie McKinna
Youth Assistant Coach Australia Labinot Haliti
Academy Director Australia Michael Cooper

Administrative staff[edit]

Position Name
Owner and Chairman China Martin Lee
Chief Executive Officer Scotland Lawrie McKinna
Finance and HR Manager Australia Nicola Browne
Media Manager Australia Ben O'Neill
Membership and Ticketing Manager Australia Sam Miller
Membership & Merchandise Assistant Australia Luke Blundell
Events Manager Australia Stephanie Miller
Partnership and Sponsorship Executive Australia Craig Williams
Office & Football Administrator Australia Brianna Egan

Managers[edit]

Records[edit]

Season League/Division Tms. Pos. s. Pos. af. FFA Cup AFC CL
2005-06 A-League 8 4 4
2006-07 A-League 8 3 3
2007-08 A-League 8 2 Winner
2008-09 A-League 8 8 8 Round of 16
2009-10 A-League 10 6 5
2010-11 A-League 11 7
2011-12 A-League 10 7
2012-13 A-League 10 8
2013-14 A-League 10 7
2014-15 A-League 10 10 Round of 32
2015-16 A-League 10 8 Round of 32
2016-17 A-League 10 10 Round of 32
Key
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. s. = Position in league during regular season
  • Pos. af. = Position in league during finals series

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 National Youth League, A-League and 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 parties also have the aspiration to develop players who have the ability to showcase the region in the world’s biggest leagues and inspire future generations of grassroots players and Emerging Jets players.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A-League owners to be offered far longer licences by Football Federation Australia". The Advertiser. News Corp. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
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