van Egmond’s Jets revamp gathers pace

John Davidson Roar Guru

By John Davidson, John Davidson is a Roar Guru

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    Gary van Egmond is stamping his mark on the Newcastle Jets with a host of new signings arriving and a few club favourites departing.

    Yesterday, the Jets announced the signings of Scott Neville from Perth Glory and Craig Goodwin from Melbourne Heart, two Australian under-23 internationals.

    They will join the likes of recent buys Olyroos James Brown (Gold Coast) and Mark Birighitti (Adelaide), former Joeys captain Connor Chapman (AIS) and Olyroo Adam Taggart (Perth).

    These will join a core of young Jets already at the club – such as Olyroo Jacob Pepper, Young Socceroo James Virgili, Taylor Regan and Joey Luke Remington.

    At the same time striker Jeremy Brockie, attacking midfielder Ali Abbas and defender Tarek Elrich are all leaving Newcastle.

    The news will surprise and sadden some Jets fans. Brockie was the club’s equal top goalscorer last season, along with Ryan Griffiths, and had a penchant for scoring unbelievable goals.

    Abbas had been with the Jets for several years and is skillful player with an eye for goal but found it hard to break into the first team at the start of the season.

    Elrich is a fan favourite in Newcastle after eight years with the Jets. Dubbed ‘Mr Newcastle’ by some, Elrich was the only survivor of the Jets’ 2008 grand-final win and his departure has been heavily debated on Twitter this afternoon. However all three year were prone to inconsistency on the field.

    van Egmond has shown that he will not tolerate any dissent, as seen last season with his handling of Kasey Wehrman and that he is single-minded in his idea of how the Jets should play football.

    He wants an up-tempo attacking style, dependent on playing out from the back and pressing at all times, and needs the player that can do that. Van Egmond has gone with a series of young signings, fast players that he is able to mould and develop to deliver this philosophy.

    Birhghitti will challenge Ben Kennedy for the goalkeeping spot, while Goodwin and Neville will compete for the left and right back spots respectively. Tiago, Topor-Stanley, Regan and Chapman will be in the mix for the centre of defence.

    The midfield will have a youngish look to it with Ben Kantarovski, Brown, Pepper, Virgili and Ruben Zadkovich. Up front Griffiths will be partnered with the likes of Taggart.

    There remains a number of Jets players who are out of contract and whose future with the club is uncertain. These include Michael Bridges, Byun Sung-hwan, Labinot Haliti and Mario Simic.

    It looks like Bridges will get a new deal, but former English striker Francis Jeffers has already left the club and it appears unlikely that Byun and Haliti will remain.

    Van Egmond will need to boost his centre-forward ranks and marquee signing from overseas could lift the spirits of supporters.

    Which ever way he goes, it’s sure to be a very different looking Newcastle Jets side that takes the field in 2012-2013.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • May 8th 2012 @ 7:29am
      Bondy said | May 8th 2012 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      It appears Gary wants to go with youth and speed .Brockie scored some fantastic headed goals last season and when Abbas took to the pitch he looked sharp and dangerous .

      There are quite a few now at the Jets who have represented Australia prior to the age of twenty that should leed to a solid foundation on the pitch for some years to come .

    • May 8th 2012 @ 10:07am
      Michael said | May 8th 2012 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      Swoosh! That’s the sound of the broom. I am gutted for Tarek, but he had been a bit out of form the last season. Either that, or the quality had risen and he hadn’t upped his game. I hope he finds a squad somewhere.

      I imagine GVE will be looking for more goals from midfield, and also reckon Birighitti will replace Kennedy.

      It’s a gamble by GVE. Will it work out?

    • Roar Guru

      May 8th 2012 @ 10:13am
      John Davidson said | May 8th 2012 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      The reaction to the Elrich departure has been shocking on Twitter. The Jets have released this statement following the backlash:

      STATEMENT: “The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets wish to clarify a variety of enquiries following the Club’s decision not to offer Tarek Elrich a contract for the 2012/13 season.

      The Jets made an original offer to Elrich prior to Christmas (2011), which he and his manager declined, seeking higher payment.

      Since then, the coaching and medical team decided that Elrich no longer fitted into their up-tempo plans and did not revisit the offer.

      The Club again thanks Elrich for his contribution to the Jets.

      The Jets look forward to a number of other announcements, similar to today’s signing of Craig Goodwin and Scott Neville, over the next few months.”

      Elrich responded on Twitter at @elrich11 that he “can’t believe this article”. Elrich went on to say “Just to clear the air @NewcastleJetsFC offer me a contract months ago. It was 20% less then I was already on. I went back with my wage minus $5000 which is still a pay cut. Don’t make me look like I’m asking for more money”.

    • Roar Guru

      May 8th 2012 @ 10:22am
      Philip Coates said | May 8th 2012 @ 10:22am | ! Report

      A very young and energetic squad that might make Topor-Stanley look even slower than he does already.

      It’s interesting the are hanging on to Bridges. He’s 34 this year and I cant see him getting much game time but maybe they are rewarding him for his great loyalty and need someone with experience among the playing group. I imagine him moving into coaching next and maybe this is a transition year.

      • May 8th 2012 @ 3:47pm
        totti said | May 8th 2012 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        theyd do well to show topor-stanley the door as well. for all the good things he does when he’s in form he makes way too many clangers at the back.

      • May 9th 2012 @ 8:30am
        Bondy said | May 9th 2012 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        I agree Phil, I would have thought Bridges (lovely bloke ) I didnt really see much of him last season .

        Whats Haliti doing he seemed to be on the backburner as the season progressed .

    • Roar Guru

      May 9th 2012 @ 9:10am
      John Davidson said | May 9th 2012 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      Today it looks like the Jets are in the race to sign another young gun, Ben Halloran, as well.

      • May 9th 2012 @ 9:28am
        Bondy said | May 9th 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        That story was on the news last night N.B.N. possibly Halloran to the Jets .

        • May 9th 2012 @ 9:37am
          whiskeymac said | May 9th 2012 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          HSG making up for earlier bad press to put together an impressive line up.

    • Roar Guru

      May 9th 2012 @ 9:50am
      AndyRoo said | May 9th 2012 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      Looks a very exciting list of players.

      A couple of good young fullbacks means they should be good to watch.

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