Jesic & Ontong: Back on track

A look at two hard-working youngsters looking to overcome various setbacks in their careers. We take time-out with Marko Jesic and Shaun Ontong.

Famed inventor Thomas Edison once said: ‘genius is one per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration-.

The same quote is often used as an equation for success, and the notion that giving enough blood, sweat and tears for any cause will ultimately result in greatness.

Two young Jets hoping Edison-s theory reigns true are Marko Jesic and Shaun Ontong.

Between them, the pair have spent almost the entire Hyundai A-League 2009/10 campaign on the injured list, but this doesn-t mean they-ve been sitting idly by waiting for their respective injuries to repair.

On the contrary, they-ve been working tirelessly to ensure they make the 2010/11 season their own.

“Once you-re injured you-ve got to train twice as hard as everyone else just to get the same fitness as them,” Jesic told www.newcastlejets.com.au following a tailored session with team physios recently.

“We [Jesic and Ontong] train twice, three times a day, go do our own stuff at the gym, do bike sessions."

“It-s a pretty hectic schedule for us boys but it-s just something you-ve got to do to help your injury and come back even better."

“The coaches want me coming back to pre season 110 per cent, jumping out of my skin.”

Encouragingly, both Jesic (knee) and Ontong (Achilles) received glowing reports from their respective specialists last week and look set to return to full training - and crucially the playing field - months ahead of first thought.

Ontong is chomping at the bit in anticipation of his full return, and detailed where he-s at in his recovery prior to performing a light ball work drill with Jesic just 20 metres from where an extended Jets squad was partaking in an intense intra-club trial.

Motivation, it seems, is just a glance away.

“By the end of this month I should be completely changing direction and kicking a lot more with my bad foot,” Ontong said.

“Next month, I should be full training with the team. April, I should be completely back playing."

“I-m probably about two months away from being fully back playing."

“I-m buzzing about the news.”

For Jesic, who is recovering from his third knee reconstruction in a still fledgling career, it-s a case of steady as she goes.

Another hiccup could call a premature end to his life as a professional footballer, but in a show of faith from Jets management in the player's obvious talent, he has already been retained on a one year deal for Hyundai A-League season six.

“It-s going better than the first two,” Jesic said of his recuperation.

“I would have been able to return by now but I-ve still got to be cautious because it-s my third one."

“I feel that at this point I-m a lot sharper, fitter, and all round I-ve gotten a lot better since I-ve been injured."

“It-s looking very good.”

So while the rest the squad continue their preparations for the upcoming playoff against Wellington Phoenix on March 7, spare a thought for Jesic and Ontong, two of Newcastle's hardest working professionals.

Both may have been largely absent from a campaign that has rendered yet another finals appearance for the Hunter club, but their intentions are clear and their resolve to make successful returns steeled.