Why the Jets have a worse track record than the Aus Government

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We all remember the shifting back and fourth between Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and current PM Malcolm Turnbull before some calm waters came, right?

To put things into perspective, in the 12 seasons since the founding of the A-League, Australia’s leadership has switched hands a stunning six times.

Compare that though, to the Newcastle Jets. In the same period, the Novocastrians have had 10 coaches, making their track record severely worse – somewhat thankfully but rather surprisingly – than the Australian Government.

Mark Jones was the unfortunate 10th coach to fall at the hands of the Newcastle management on April 16. After taking over the squad in September, only weeks out from the start of 2016/17 season.

He was gifted a full 27-rounds to make his mark on a squad that was handed to him after he signed on the dotted line. Jones did the best with what he was given but in the end he couldn’t rejuvenate the failing side.

The under-performing squad lost their final nine matches and didn’t score a goal in the last five. However, the management didn’t identify a correlation between the results and the players, instead focusing on the head coach.

The Jets had strong contentions of finals football prior to those last nine matches, leaving Newcastle’s Chief Executive Lawrie McKInna and Chairman Martin Lee smelling the roses under Jones. However, as Autumn sprung and the roses began to die their opinion of Jones shifted too.

As players contracts extended past the under-performing 2016/17 season, the management chose Jones to be their get-out-of-gaol free card and identified him as the side’s problem.

The Jets threw Jones under the bus after only one season with the club. A club where he was denied pre-season training and – crucially – the opportunity to choose his own squad.

Newcastle’s management must have forgotten how Jones helped the Jets to their only A-League Grand Final win in 2008 as assistant under Gary Van Egmond in their second season with the club.

Van Egmond himself survived the longest at the club out of any coach but despite producing the championship win he also fell on the sword and coached from 2006-2009 before returning as head coach from 2011-2014.

Whoever signs the dotted line for Newcastle next season is advised to try and avoid becoming the scapegoat as coaches before have, because if the squad fails it won’t be a surprise to see the new gaffer suffer another premature contract termination.

Feature image credit: Newcastle Jets

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Isobel Cootes
A player turned Journalist that's still holding onto the dream by writing about the Newcastle Jets this season!

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