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severed connections

Newcastle United Jets FC

For the English club, see Newcastle United F.C.

Newcastle United Jets is an association football (soccer) club based in Newcastle, a city about 160km north of Sydney, Australia. The club competes in the A-League and plays its home games at Energy Australia Stadium (EAS). The Jets are the reigning A-League Champions, after winning 1 - 0 against the in the Grand Final in 2007-2008 season. In 2009 Newcastle Jets will play in the AFC Champions League for the first time.

The club was formed in 2000 when it joined the National Soccer League (NSL) as Newcastle United, and is one of only three former NSL clubs to appear in the A-League.

The club is currently owned by Cypriot-Australian businessman Con Constantine and managed by former Socceroo, Gary van Egmond.

History

Newcastle United

Newcastle United was formed in 2000 by Cypriot-Australian businessman Con Constantine from the remnants of the Newcastle Breakers club. 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 EnergyAustralia Stadium.

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

Newcastle United Jets

Newcastle United was renamed as Newcastle United Jets when it joined the A-League in its inaugral 2005-06 season. The club was renamed to project a new image and to prevent confusion with the English 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.

A-League

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'. 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 2006-7 season, but has recently signed a contract establishing him 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 ex Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore out of retirement. 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.

Under 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 February 2nd, 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.

2007-08

Version 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.

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 2nd 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.

Steeled by the defeat in the first leg, the Mariners overturned the 2-0 defecit and lead 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.

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. The Jets lead 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 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 denial that he slapped his hand away, earning himself a lengthy ban and ruling himself out of the early rounds of next season. Both the Jets and Mariners have qualified to take part in the 2009 AFC Champions League.

2008-09

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 of which have chosen to remain with the Jets for the start of the 2008-09 season.

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.

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, and exciting under 20's Australian representative Kaz Patafta from Benfica. 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.

Colours and badge

Newcastle Jets plays in a gold jersey with navy and red trim and navy blue shorts and socks. The emphasis on Gold is evident which is markedly different to the jersey worn by the original NSL club which was almost exclusively red and blue.

The away top, like all A-League teams with the exception of Melbourne Victory, is white. The top has gold sleeves (a common A-League trait is to have the home colours on the sleeves of the away kit), with gold shorts and white socks to complete the change kit.

Stadium

EnergyAustralia Stadium is the home ground of the Newcastle United Jets and the Newcastle Knights. It has a capacity of 26,100.

The record crowd for a football match in Newcastle was set at EnergyAustralia Stadium on February 2, 2007 in the second leg of the A-League 2006-07 minor semi final against Sydney FC, in front of 24,338 people. 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. Prior to that game the football attendance record for a match in Newcastle stood for 52 years, set when Australia played Rapid Vienna.

In the next few years, EAS will be turned into a modern, state-of-the-art 33,000-seat ground. This upgrade is as a result of plans to hold the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup in Australia. Newcastle may be one of the venues for these event, and minimum standards set by FIFA mean EAS is inadequate for this role. The next upgrade will involve 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 will cost around $60 Million dollars, of which $50 million is being provided by the State Government. 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

The club's biggest supporters group is known as the Squadron which was formed in anticipation of the first ever A-League game between Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United. The Squadron begun standing behind the goals on the Southern Hill however because of the layout of the stadium moved to Bay 2 of the Eastern Grandstand at EnergyAustralia Stadium, in a successful attempt to increase group coordination and noise level. As the club's performances improved throughout the 2006-07 season the Squadron's numbers grew rapidly and have continued to grow throughout the 2007-08 season. Plans are now being made to expand the group further left into bay 1 to decrease the severe overcrowding with the goal of ultimately returning to the Southern Hill.

Rivalries

Due to its geographical proximity, Newcastle shares a strong rivalry with both NSW A-League clubs.

  • Central Coast Mariners: Newcastle's biggest rival, the two teams fought out a tough semi-final tie in the inaugural A-League season's Finals competition. Also, star Mariners striker Nik Mrdja broke the leg of Newcastle defender Andrew Durante, earning him a tag as Newcastle's "hate-boy". Newcastle broke their crowd record against the Mariners on 12 January 2008 with 19,238 fans turning up to see a Newcastle triumph 2-1. In the 2007-08 season of the game the 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. The Jets then went on to defeat the Mariners 1-0 in the 2007/08 A-League Grand Final.
  • Sydney FC: Originally only considered rivals due to their locations, the two clubs are now bitter competitors. The Jets set their all-time record attendance of more than 24,000 at the home leg of the semi-final tie between the two in the competition's second season. In the A-League 2007-08 season, Sydney won all three games with close 1-0 victories.

Current Squad

Players in bold have senior international caps.
Name and position No Joined in Former team Birth date Citizenship
Goalkeepers
Ante Covic (Vice-Captain) 1 2007 Hammarby align="center" align="center"|
Ben Kennedy 20 2006 Adamstown Rosebuds align="center" align="center"|
Defenders
Adam Griffiths 2 2007 Brentford align="center" align="center"|
Jade North (Captain) 3 2005 Perth Glory align="center" align="center"|
Tarek Elrich 11 2006 Sydney Olympic align="center" align="center"|
Adam D'Apuzzo (Junior Marquee) 13 2006 Marconi Stallions align="center" align="center"|
Antun Kovacic 17 2008 Richmond SC align="center" align="center"|
Daniel Piorkowski 25 2008 Walsall align="center" align="center"|
Midfielders
James Holland (Youth) 5 2007 Central Coast Mariners
Jesper Håkansson 6 2008 Lyngby BK align="center" align="center"|
Kaz Patafta 7 2008 S.L. Benfica
Matt Thompson 8 2005 Marconi Stallions align="center" align="center"|
Song Jin-Hyung 10 2008 FC Seoul
Jobe Wheelhouse 12 2005 Newcastle United align="center" align="center"|
Shaun Ontong 14 2008 Adelaide United
Ben Kantarovski (Youth) 16 2008 Broadmeadow Magic FC align="center" align="center"|
Noel Spencer 18 2007 Sydney FC align="center" align="center"|
Strikers
Joel Griffiths 9 2006 Leeds United align="center" align="center"|
Jason Hoffman (Youth) 15 2008 Hamilton Olympic Warriors FC align="center" align="center"|
Jason Naidovski (Youth) 19 2008 AIS align="center" align="center"|
Edmundo Zura (Marquee, loan) 23 2008 Imbabura SC align="center" align="center"|
Marko Jesic (Youth squad) 24 2008 AIS align="center" align="center"|

Transfers

In

Players on Trial

Out

National Youth League Team

In 2008 the Newcastle Jets will compete in the National Youth League. Youth League games will generally be held as curtain raisers for the main Jets game at EnergyAustralia Stadium except in the middle of summer when heat is a factor. The team will be coach by former player Craig Deans, the squad was announced on the 16th September however more players are likely to be added by the start of the season.

Deans expects the final squad will have around 12-14 players.

Women's W-League Team

2008 will also see the introduction of the new national women's league (Known as the W-League. Newcastle Jets will have a team in this competition with a primary home ground of Wanderers Oval in Broadmeadow. Gary Phillips has been appointed coach and has identified the following players which he hopes to bring to the club:

Notable former players

Captains

Managers

Staff

Administration

  • Craig Deans: Football Operations Manager
  • Neville Bajzath: Membership and Ticketing Manager
  • Andrew Licata: Commerial Manager
  • Aaron Abela: Chief Financial Officer
  • Rob Brooks: Media and Communications
  • Susie Ninevski: Marketing Manager
  • Rachel Stunell: Administration Manager

Football Department

  • Remo Nogarotto: Director of Football
  • Gary van Egmond: Head Coach
  • Mark Jones: Assistant Coach
  • Clint Gosling: Goalkeeping Coach
  • Brad Funnell: Sports Trainer
  • Paul Nancarrow: Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Chad Ralston: Gear Steward
  • Craig Deans: National Youth League Coach
  • Gary Phillips: Women's W-League Coach

Medical

  • David Goodwin: Physiotherapist
  • Dr. Matthew McDonald: Club Doctor

Honours

Top goal scorers

Last updated 19 September 2008
Name Goals Games Average Years
1 Joel Griffiths 24 50 0.48 2006-present
2 Mark Bridge 12 47 0.26 2005-2008
3 Vaughan Coveny 9 31 0.29 2005-2007
4 Ante Miličić 7 20 0.35 2005-2006
5 Milton Rodriguez 7 21 0.33 2006-2007
6 Nick Carle 7 43 0.16 2005-2007
7 Matt Thompson 7 76 0.08 2005-present

Year by year history

Brackets indicate statistics including A-League finals.
Newcastle United Jets League History'''
Season P W D L F A Teams Pre Season
Cup Position
Minor Ladder
Position
Finals
Position
ACL Qualification ACL Placing
2005-06 21 (23) 9 (9) 4 (5) 8 (9) 27 (28) 29 (31) 8 =7th 4th Minor Semi-Final DNQ n/a
2006-07 21 (24) 8 (9) 6 (6) 7 (9) 32 (36) 30 (33) 8 4th 3rd Preliminary Final DNQ DNQ
2007-08 21 (25) 9 (12) 7 (7) 5 (6) 25 (31) 21 (26) 8 5th 2nd Champions Qualified for 2009 DNQ
2008-09 7 1 4 2 7 13 8 =5th TBA TBA TBA TBA

Newcastle Jets along with Sydney FC are the only A-League clubs to qualify for every final series.

Records

(All records as of Round 6, 2008-09)

Club

Player

References

External links

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