Praise has been heaped onto the Newcastle Jets this season with particular attention on the efforts of Ernie Merrick and the talented squad he possesses.

There’s another Scotsman at the club however who has been equally important in kick-starting the long awaited revival of the Jets and that man is CEO Lawrie McKinna.

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McKinna’s work in the background of the club may at times go unnoticed but is key to the Jets’ recent success with his biggest contribution by far being his efforts in convincing Ledman Group CEO Martin Lee to buy the previously out of luck club.

After a difficult first season for Newcastle under Ledman, the capture of Ernie Merrick as head coach has without a doubt proved to be a master stroke.

What makes the Scotsman so unique however is his understanding of football culture and the fact he isn’t afraid afraid to put himself out there in front of or even amongst the fans for the sake of galvanizing the community around the club.

He gets out there amongst it whether it’s raising awareness of cyber bullying after the tragic suicide of Amy Everett, handing out flags to fans before a Jets W-League clash in the city or singing a “What About Me” a cappella after interviewing Shannon Noll at half time (yes that last one really happened).

There has also been a recent push by the club to reinvigorate active support for the club however McKinna took things to the next level on the weekend when he was spotted sitting with the travelling Jets fans and enjoying a beer at the F3 Derby.

If Merrick is the pilot of the Newcastle Jet, the players are his ammunition and Ledman’s money is the fuel, then McKinna is the complete inner workings of the Jet itself. Without him there’s just an empty shell.

Cheers, boss 🍻

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McKinna has done a job not many could have or wanted to and what’s more he’s carried out his role with experience, class and a passion that has clearly been on show this season thanks to the returning fortune of a proud club that almost ceased to exist in the A-League just a few short years ago.

If the Jets are to go on and make it to the final and potentially even become champions it will be McKinna’s greatest achievement in football and the legacy he is building at the Jets is one to be long cherished by their fans.

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Living and studying in Newcastle. Pretty obsessed with football. Newcastle Jets and Chelsea FC fan