Newcastle Jets ready for Van Egmond takeover

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Returning head coach Gary van Egmond will inherit a strong and fighting side today after a textbook chipped goal by New Zealander Jeremy Brockie saw the Newcastle Jets beat F3 rivals Central Coast Mariners 1-0 at Ausgrid Stadium.

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The “F3 Derby” was the last match at the helm for former Jets defender turned-interim coach Craig Deans, with the Jets announcing on Thursday the return of Gary van Egmond. Van Egmond’s appointment will provide a sense of structure for the side after they found themselves without a head coach just days before the Hyundai A-League was due to kick off, following the shock departure of Branko Culina.

Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images

The Jets have won two of their last three matches, and with English striker Francis Jeffers passing his medical clearance at the weekend it gives the incoming coach a good base on which to build.

Van Egmond returns to the side on a two-year contract after vacating the top job in 2009 following the Jets’ victory in the 2007/08 Hyundai A-League Grand Final and being announced the ‘Coach of the Year’.

Interim Jets boss Craig Deans says whilst he enjoyed his time in the charge, he’s looking forward to working as an assistant.

“The whole point of what I am doing, was doing, was to get us off to a decent start if possible. I think six points from three games is a decent start.”

“I think about the players. I don’t think necessarily about me or the coaching staff. We’ve got a job to do and the players are the most important.

“I’ll still be around the club, I’ll still be around the players. I’ll still have input into the future of the club and that suits me fine.”

The win sees the Jets celebrate the most successful start to their season since the Hyundai A-League kicked off in 2005/06, something which Deans says they didn’t go into the game thinking about.

“It’s about getting points. We’ve been reasonably effective. We kept a clean sheet today which was important and I think we’ve got a decent base to build upon” said Craig Deans.

After edging out the Mariners in what was an error-riddled match the Jets take the three points and move into third on the ladder, behind Brisbane and Perth on nine points.

The Mariners on the other hand dwell at the bottom of the ladder, behind Melbourne Heart with only one point from three matches, left to find their rhythm in a performance which had Mariners coach Graham Arnold wondering where his team’s focus was.

“I think we beat ourselves today”

“Our mistakes ended up costing us.”

“I was happy with our performance in the second half, I think we had enough chances to win it. It was a very open game the second half.”

“The boys are disappointed today to lose, but I saw a lot of positives compared to last weeks performance against Gold Coast [United] and a lot of that was down to the hard work we did on the training field this week.”

Round four of the Hyundai A-League series sees the Jets take on 8th place Gold Coast United in Queensland, while the Mariners will attempt to end Perth Glory’s undefeated run at home in Gosford.

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