Newcastle Jets 2021/22 Season Preview

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The Newcastle Jets have had it tough the past few seasons, but can an abundance of new signings and coaching staff mean the beginning of a new era for the club?

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Last season…

A-League Men’s: 11th
Finals: Did not qualify

They’ll win the league because…

With plenty of fresh faces, a new golden kit and the prospect of crowds being back at 100 per cent capacity by round three, the Jets have plenty to play for this season. New signings, including former Socceroo’s Eli Babalj and Matthew Jurman, bring some much-needed experience to the team and will be fundamental in giving the Jets a fighting chance this season.

A new and experienced group of coaching staff, headed by manager Arthur Papas, have also joined the club, giving the team a chance at some stability – something that’s been lacking. Arthur Diles, Huss Skenderovic and Riccardo Marchioli bring a range of experiences to the club as they begin a new chapter in restructuring their football department.

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

For the past three seasons, the Jets have failed to crack the top six, with last year’s finishing place of 11th being their worst performance since the 2016/17 season.

Whilst plenty of new signings means plenty of new opportunities, it also means plenty of chances for things to go wrong. The likelihood for butting heads, clashing playing styles and inexperienced versus experienced is high.

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The Jets will really have to band together and play as a team to start their season on the right foot.

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Talk around the water cooler…look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information

After joining the A-League, ‘Newcastle United’ became ‘Newcastle United Jets’ to prevent confusion with the English side Newcastle United. The name ‘Jets’ is a nod to the RAAF Base at Williamtown and the club’s logo also includes three F/A-18 Hornets, of which the RAAF had based at Williamtown.

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The off season brought

Change.

Craig Deans stepping down from the role of head coach left a massive gap in the Jets coaching staff. It did however pave the way for Arthur Diles to step into the role. After a turbulent last couple of seasons, Diles will be looking to help steer the club in the right direction along with club Manager Arthur Papas.

The Jets have also signed a whopping 14 new players, including two former Socceroos, in the hopes that some fresh faces will put them on the right track to grab a finals spot this season.

Key player

Matthew Jurman.

Playing his first A-League game for Sydney FC against Perth Glory at just 17 years old, Matt Jurman has a professional career spanning an impressive 14 years and brings a wealth of experience to his new club. With multiple championships and a premiership under his belt, Matt is a top-level defender and will be looking to help steer the Jets in the right direction for a championship.

Having played with Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers, Matt joins the club with a combined 145 A-League games to his name, spanning across 11 seasons. He’s also played in some of Asia’s strongest leagues, as well as having experience in Europe. He’s already said he’s excited for a new challenge and is keen to be working with Arthur and play the brand of football he is wanting to put into action at the club.

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One to watch

Kosta Grozos.

The 21-year-old joins the club from Western Sydney Wanderers where he played just seven games in the A-League. Despite a small number of games on the big stage, Kosta is an Australian U-20’s representative and was incredibly successful in the youth divisions at his former club, having won the Wanderers’ NPL Player of the Year award and helping the side to victory in the Y-League in 2018.

Jets manager Papas is convinced Grozos hasn’t yet reached his potential, despite already being so successful at such a young age.

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Papas is confident the club’s environment can provide Grozos with an opportunity to develop his game and play a key role at the club moving forward.

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INS:

Mario Arqués (Kelantan FC), Eli Babalj (ATK), Michael Weier (Hume City FC), Kostandinos Grozos (Western Sydney Wanderers), Savvas Siatravanis (Niki Volou), Dylan Murnane (HJK Helsinki), Olivier Boumal (Saburtalo Tbilisi), Jordan Elsey (Adelaide United), Riley Warland (Perth Glory), Mohamed Al-Taay (Western Sydney Wanderers), Dane Ingham (Perth Glory), Matthew Jurman (AO Xanthi), Samuel Silvera (Paços Ferreira), Daniel Penha (Atlético-MG B), Beka Mikeltadze (AO Xanthi)

OUTS:

Johnny Koutroumbis, Connor O’Toole, James Donachie, Lewis Italiano, Joe Champness

Full Squad List

Goalkeepers: Jack Duncan, Noah James, Michael Weier

Defenders: Jordan Elsey, Jason Hoffman, Dane Ingham, Matthew Jurman, Dylan Murnane, Riley Warland

Midfielders: Mohamed Al-Taay, Mario Arqués, Kostandinos Grozos, Benjamin Kantarovski, Jordan O’Doherty, Kosta Petratos, Samuel Silvera, Angus Thurgate

Forwards: Blake Archbold, Eli Babalj, Olivier Boumal, Archie Goodwin, Lucas Mauragis, Beka Mikeltadze, Tommy Semmy, Savvas Siatravanis, Valentino Yuel, Daniel Penha

Feature image credit: Sproule Sports Focus 

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Grace Clegg
Grace Clegg
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2021/22 season. Studying a Bachelor of Communication (News Media and PR) at the University of Newcastle. Coffee addict.

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