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Newcastle Jets to look for experienced A-League coach

By Emma Kemp, Emma Kemp is a Roar Guru

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20 Have your say

    A-League battlers Newcastle will favour experience when hiring a replacement for sacked coach Mark Jones, the latest of the club’s first-year managers to be dumped after a single season.

    Jones was dismissed effective immediately on Sunday, less than 24 hours after the Jets’ 2-0 loss to Sydney FC confirmed them as wooden-spoon recipients following a terrible late-season collapse.

    It cames six weeks after the team were genuine contenders for a first finals berth in seven years, before then going on to concede a record 19 unanswered goals.

    They lost their six last games and went winless in their last 10 to ruin an initially encouraging campaign.

    Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said the decision was made with Chinese owner Martin Lee on Sunday morning, before he made the tough phone call to Jones.

    “He’s my mate and I gave him the job because I thought he was the best one for the job, then you have to tell him,” McKinna told AAP.

    “He was kind of half expecting it after the last six weeks, but it’s still never a nice phone call.

    “It was disappointing, but we had to do it.”

    Jones joins Scott Miller as the second managerial casualty of Lee’s 10-month tenure.

    The 50-year-old is also yet another first-year A-League coach to be axed just one campaign in, just like predecessors Miller (eighth, 2015-16) and Phil Stubbins (wooden spoon, 2014-15).

    McKinna said that factor will be front and centre of the recruitment process.

    “The last three coaches of the club have all been first-year coaches, so maybe we have to start looking for an experienced coach,” McKinna told AAP.

    “Just looking at what happened during the season, is it better maybe going for more experience?”

    CVs have already starting flooding in from local and oversees candidates, but McKinna said the club had no one specific in mind at this early stage.

    A permanent replacement will be appointed before pre-season starts in late June.

    Assistant coach Clayton Zane will oversee training before the players go on leave in early May.

    Jones’ sacking comes after the recent signing of Melbourne Victory defender Daniel Georgievski, and amid rumours Central Coast striker Roy O’Donovan is set to join after Mariners coach Paul Okon confirmed the Irishman is on the way out.

    “We haven’t spoken to him for the last couple of weeks out of respect because we were playing them last week,” McKinna said.

    “But the talks we had a couple of weeks ago were promising, and now the season’s done we’ll (continue).”

    The club have also spoken with off-contract Victory winger Fahid Ben-Khalfallah, but are still working out how best to balance their five visa spots.

    Danish attacker Morten Nordstrand is leaving to return to Europe, however English midfielder Wayne Brown and Finnish striker Aleksandr Kokko are both still on contract, while one import slot must go to a Chinese player.

    O’Donovan’s signature would leave one available space.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • April 16th 2017 @ 8:17pm
      Swanny said | April 16th 2017 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

      GUI amor

      Or mike mulvey


      A experienced coach who knows the A league and has international contacts .

      • April 16th 2017 @ 10:18pm
        Waz said | April 16th 2017 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

        Mulveys not experienced. There’s only one available that is and that’s Merrick?

        • April 17th 2017 @ 9:46am
          Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | April 17th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          Mulvey, won a championship with the Roar that, makes him experienced.

          • April 17th 2017 @ 10:41am
            Waz said | April 17th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

            No it doesn’t. Experience is measured over time not one season. Mullvey coached Roar for 56 games, and since 2014 he’s only been a head coach for 18 games (6 per year) so he’s not even an experienced head coach.

            Compare that to some other coaches in the HAL with Poppa (175) and Muscat (140) and he’s 3-4 years away from being “experienced” which is what the Jets owners say they will hire.

            • April 17th 2017 @ 5:37pm
              Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | April 17th 2017 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

              Mulvey, was head coach of Gold Coast United, where he had the youth team, which was promoted to first team status, where he did an incredible job much to the astonishment of the establishment. Yes two clubs, winning a championship with the Roar.

              • April 18th 2017 @ 7:43am
                Waz said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:43am | ! Report

                Mulvey was caretaker coach at Gold Coast for 7 games, winning just 1 of them.

                Jets say they are looking for an “experienced A league coach”. Mulvey doesn’t tick that box for me, whether Jets should take a chance on him is another question but with that stated criteria Jets are narrowing the field considerably as there’s only Merrick available, then who? Surely they’re not intent on poaching someone?

              • April 18th 2017 @ 9:25am
                Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | April 18th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

                Mulvey, was not a caretaker coach for Gold Coast United, he was appointed when Clive Palmer sacked Miron Bielberg as head coach. There was never a plan to replace Mulvey with another manager. Mulvey, was promoted to take on the GCU job till the end. And we all know what happened there after. Palmer, had faith with Mulvey’s kids to bring them on from the youth team to the first team and they held there own to the end. There is enough full time experience there in Mulvey, to land the Jet’s job—a winning HAL championship coach is good enough for me. What would you advise Mulvey to do; go to England and cut the mustard in the EPL, before he would be considered good enough for a job in the A-League?

              • April 18th 2017 @ 3:46pm
                Waz said | April 18th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

                This is like a monty python sketch !?!

                Jets said they were looking for an experienced A League coach, that’s their criteria (not mine). So mulvey has not been involved in the HAL for 4 years (a fair bits changed) and hardly has enough games under his belt to qualify as “experienced”. Aloisi has more than double his number of games as head coach and he’s hardly considered experienced.

                You and I can argue over the semantics of this but I just think it’s odd that Jets would use that phrase – there aren’t many experienced A League coach’s out there. Let’s say with 3+ seasons experience, there’s only Ernie isn’t there??

                And as fur the “caretaker” expression, that’s how Mulvey himself referred to it – but call it what you will, it’s still only 7 A League games.

          • April 17th 2017 @ 1:18pm
            bobbym said | April 17th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

            Mulvey inherited a bloody good team

            • April 17th 2017 @ 1:32pm
              Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | April 17th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

              The same team that Rado Vidosic, couldn’t make any headway with, It was Mulvey, who brought the Bris Roar success again.

              • April 17th 2017 @ 3:39pm
                Waz said | April 17th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

                Mullvey doesn’t get the credit he deserves for winning that title, whether the team would have turned under Vidosic is a mute point, Mike did turn it and romped to the double ten points ahead of their closest rivals. Where Mike is unproven is in recruitment, and the ability to build a team environment – Jets would be finding out if he can do both of those next season, it’s s risk.

      • April 17th 2017 @ 12:11am
        bobbym said | April 17th 2017 @ 12:11am | ! Report

        what’s the bet they sign Eddie

    • April 17th 2017 @ 12:10am
      bobbym said | April 17th 2017 @ 12:10am | ! Report

      don’t recruit players nearing their used by date –

    • April 17th 2017 @ 10:16am
      FootOverHand said | April 17th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      Why are they signing players before they appoint a coach?

      • April 17th 2017 @ 1:22pm
        bobbym said | April 17th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

        Exactly- they need a strategy look to young Aussies sitting on the bench in Europe – don’t recruit anyone over 29 years of age – Milicic would be a better option if they can get him or a Mori who has had incredible success at State level in SA

      • Roar Guru

        April 17th 2017 @ 1:47pm
        Griffo said | April 17th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

        Good question…makes you wonder who actually was going to be doing the recruiting anyway.

        • April 17th 2017 @ 1:57pm
          FootOverHand said | April 17th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

          I wouldn’t be happy as a Jet’s fan, McKinna seems to be overstepping the mark here, concentrate on the important task at hand first, the coach and go from there.

        • Roar Guru

          April 17th 2017 @ 4:54pm
          Griffo said | April 17th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

          Don’t worry, we’re not happy about it. In some ways McKinna is acting as a glorified coach in a CEO role, and I don’t believe his contacts are that much better than Jones were in recruitment.

          The whole club needs to review and replay what they want to be. If McKinna is it then we’re in serious trouble and the owner could be throwing good money after bad.

          Or another way of looking at it: this is McKinna’s last chance or he should be shown the door, too.

          • April 17th 2017 @ 5:21pm
            FootOverHand said | April 17th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

            Outside looking in, that’s what it looks like.

    • April 18th 2017 @ 10:58pm
      bobbym said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:58pm | ! Report

      Newcastle think like a small club when in fact they should be the biggest

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