With the Newcastle Jets' future now secure, striker Michael Bridges is looking forward to building on the progress the Club made in 2011/12.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets striker Michael Bridges says he is looking forward to building on the progress the Jets made on and off the field last season, following the news that the Hunter Sports Group (HSG) will continue to operate the Club moving forward.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Hunter Sports Group (HSG) reaffirmed their commitment to working together for the good of the Newcastle Jets, the Hyundai A-League and football in the Hunter Valley yesterday.
Bridges said the resolution was the perfect outcome for the Newcastle Jets- players, staff and fans.
“I was very happy along with everybody else,” Bridges said.
“With the support there was in the community we were confident that there was going to be a Jets team no matter what, and I was always positive that there would be a team in the Newcastle region.
“But obviously when you find out that it-s gone ahead and the Club is still in HSG-s hands it just adds to it even more.”
Bridges said the support shown for the Club by the Newcastle public was instrumental in demonstrating what the Jets mean to the region.
“It was so quick and so active and that played a massive part,” he said.
“Everybody-s done their part in one way or another and it-s shown solidarity and that-s what makes the Newcastle community and the team even stronger heading into next season.
"We had over 10,000 members last year who were absolutely fantastic and we'd love to see the Hunter region get behind us like that and in an even bigger way for this coming season."
Despite the uncertainty over their futures, Bridges said the Jets- playing group and coaching staff were always hopeful they would be able to remain in Newcastle.
“From the start HSG said they were going to pay the wages of the boys up until a certain date,” he said.
“The boys were quite happy to hang on and give it until two weeks after that to see what happened because everybody wanted the right outcome and it-s fantastic what has happened.”
Bridges said one of the most pleasing aspects of yesterday-s resolution was that the Jets would now have the opportunity to continue the progress they made under head coach Gary van Egmond last season.
“It wasn-t a quick fix and we said that when he arrived, but a long term fix,” Bridges said.
“We-ve got that first season out of the way and now we can continue where we left off.
“It hasn-t been too much of a stumbling block in regards to preparation because we haven-t lost any players and we-ve gained some talented young boys as well which is great.”