Photo: Fox Sports
Here we go again. Another A-League finals series without a team to support!
It’s been seven years since we last saw the Newcastle Jets playing a knockout finals match.
It seems to be, when the pressure is on, or the club has the ability to take control of their finals chances… the players can’t quite deliver.
Two months ago coach Mark Jones led us to believe fourth place was a genuine possibility.
Fast forward to a fortnight’s time, and we’ll play the Mariners in a battle for another wooden spoon.
It’s clear the loyalty of Newcastle fans is reaching breaking point.
The Jets haven’t pulled a crowd over 10 thousand since November.
The sad thing is, off the field. The Jets aren’t in dire straits.
They’ve got a cashed up owner.
They’re building links in Asia and South America.
The club’s involvement in the community has stepped up.
The F3 reciprocal rights deal for fans to visit derby games for free.
All of these are great steps forward.
But on the field – the same problems remain.
I guess the simple solution is investment. Martin Lee will need to open the cheque book next season and buy some quality players (even maybe a marquee!) to see his dream of Newcastle playing Asian Champions League within three years.
As for the coach… well, they sacked one before the season started. Will they fire the gun again? And if they do, who makes the call on the 11 players off contract at the end of the season?
For me, the CEO is the key. Lawrie McKinna has plenty of experience. He was director of football when the Mariners won the 2013 title. He knows what it’s like to be in a winning club.
Like Lawrie, the Newcastle Jets need to have people in the camp who know what it’s like to foster a winning culture. Because seven seasons without success is just too much to bear.
JR The Sports Guy