Jaliens looking forward to new challenge

Kew Jaliens says a major factor behind his decision to sign with the Jets was the opportunity to take on a new challenge.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Kew Jaliens says a major factor behind his decision to sign with the Jets was the opportunity to take on a new challenge with the Club this season.

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The former Dutch international had his first training run with the Jets at Ray Watt Oval on Wednesday morning.

Jaliens said he received plenty of positive feedback about the Hyundai A-League competition from a number of sources before finally coming to the conclusion that Newcastle was the place for him.

“When I got the opportunity (to come to Newcastle), from the start, it was a serious option for me,” Jaliens said.

“I spoke to Brett Holman and Eli (Babalj) who has just joined AZ Alkmaar and I spoke to Gerald Sibon who is now an assistant coach at AZ.

“I pretty much had some good information about the league and some players and it was all positive.”

Jaliens said he is excited by the prospect of helping a young Jets team fulfill its potential this season.

“It-s also a challenge for me to join a young team that is on the road to wanting to win something and wanting to perform - for me, (coming to Newcastle) was more about the challenge,” Jaliens explained.

“I see that everybody is encouraging each other, there is a positive spirit and that is the basic thing to have success and have good results, so for now, I have a good feeling.”

Jaliens- addition to the Jets- back-line gives Gary van Egmond-s side added depth at the centre-back position as well as leadership and valuable experience.

The Dutchman said he hoped to bring elements of ‘total football- to the Jets- style of play, in particular their ability to play out from the back.

“That-s the way I was brought up with football, as a defender to start the game and build up from the back,” Jaliens said.

“It-s what I-ve been doing since I was a small kid and it-s the way I play.

“In Holland you learn that if you-re strong in possession and you start well, the other team doesn-t have a chance to attack.

“As long as we have the ball, it-s our choice what to do with it.

“In Holland I-ve played in different systems and different styles of play, so for me, it-s a task the coach gives you and it-s up to you do it.”

After arriving on Sunday evening, Jaliens said his initial impression of the city of Newcastle had been overwhelmingly positive.

“I love the weather, I love Newcastle, everything is clean, the people are nice so at this point I have a pretty good impression,” he said.

“In Holland, everyone was really positive and had good experiences (in the A-League), but always you have to see for yourself.

“I came here with a blank and my first impression is very good.”

Since his contract with Polish giants Wisla Krakow ended in June, Jaliens has been keeping fit training with Dutch Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar.

The 34-year-old said he is happy with where he is at physically at this stage of the pre-season.

“I-ve been training since the end of June with AZ and have had a pretty good preparation,” Jaliens said.

“I-ve been training at a good pace with AZ, they-re a team that are playing in the Europa League, so they-ve had a pretty serious preparation and I was able to do everything they did.

“In Poland, the season ended at the beginning of June, so I think I-m at a good level.”

The Newcastle Jets would like to thank Newcastle Hire Cars for kindly meeting Kew at the airport and providing transport back to Newcastle earlier this week.