Great to be back coaching with the Newcastle Jets

After an amazing 16 days in Brazil, watching Australia play in their World cup matches, it was finally  time to come back down to earth and to get back to the day job working with the Newcastle Jets.

I have been in the professional game of football now for 20 years, and during this time I have played under many managers (some great, some not so great) and many clubs. These last two decades have broadened my knowledge of the game, and given me great experiences, and an invaluable chance to witness first hand which managers decisions work, and which definitely don’t!

Sometimes It all comes back to that old saying “if only I knew then what I know now”.

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Coaching and management is always something I have wanted to do after hanging up the boots. While you’re playing, you think that this transition is a million years away and that you have plenty of time before you have to to worry about completing your coaching badges. But in reality,  it comes around so very quickly! Sorry to sound like a pessimist, but you never know when a serious injury may cut short your playing career, (this almost happened to myself twice, but thats for another blog, on another day) or by the more common way, by retiring from the great game when the legs pack in!

They say that coaching is all about knowledge of the game. So, after 20 years playing, 20 different managers and 11 football clubs I think that I have the knowledge, but what I really want to do now is to take the time to assess that knowledge, to look at all the different styles of managers I have worked under over the years and use the best parts of their managerial styles and collaborate that, with my own style to develop as coach as best that I can.

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At youth level coaching/mentoring should also develop the players as people. By talking to them about past experiences you have encountered over the years, wether it be good or bad. By ensuring that they respect the club, represent it in the best way possible, both on and off the field and wear the club badge with pride. But most importantly, by making sure the kids are doing school work alongside their football, and keeping on top of their grades is vital. The reality is that only a few will go on to make a living out of the game, so getting an education is first and foremost, just incase the dream of become a footballer is crushed one way or another.

So since retiring from playing, the Newcastle Jets have offered me a full time coaching/mentoring role at the club which Im obviously delighted with and very grateful for the opportunity. Being able to gain experience coaching at all levels but at the same time, being able to pass on my knowledge to the younger generation of Hunter stars of the future,  and play a part in their development as people and players.

It was great to be back in the Newcastle Jets  Under 18’s coaches seat this weekend after a few weeks away. This weekend we played Charlestown City Blues U23’s and thanks to 2 goals from Callum Bower (header from a set piece) and Jake McGuinness (Touch of class in front of goal before stroking the ball into the left side of the goal)  we got a 2-0 win.

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The Emerging Newcastle Jets U16’s also got a good 2-1 win, but unfortunately the clean sweep wasn’t to be, as the U20’s side lost  5-0.

The U20’s are still top of the League and have been performing very well on previous weeks under the guidence of James Pascoe and myself, but this was a huge loss and it hurt a lot. But we are always learning as coaches and as players and ‘you can’t win them all’ as they say.  The great joy of football is that there is always the next match to put things right. As long as this particular lesson has been learnt and analysis has been done, we plan to put things right before next weeks game.

 

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I’m finishing it up there, because I need to get an early night, as I’m off to watch the World Cup final at the Duke of Wellington Hotel  in New Lambton with the boys, …………….and I can’t wait!

 

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