Jets highlight key areas for recruitment

Gary van Egmond has confirmed the Club is on the lookout for an attacking player, as well as an experienced central defender.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond has confirmed the club is still on the lookout for a player to bolster their options in the attacking third, as well as an experienced central defender.

The Jets confirmed on Wednesday that Socceroos international Harry Kewell would not be joining the Club for the 2013/14 A-League season

However, van Egmond said the Club would still be looking to add another high-quality attacker to their roster, along with a central defender.

“It doesn-t alter who we-re looking at positionally from the fact that we need an attacking player and a left-sided stopper,” van Egmond said.

“They-re the two areas that we-re looking to get and we need both to have a good deal of experience, especially in the backline.

“We-ve got some good young players coming through, but we need someone to give them a little bit of direction, controlling that back four and our defensive shape at times.

“I think that-s something that we really missed last year.”

Van Egmond said that if Kewell was to make a return to the A-League this season, it would be beneficial for the whole competition.

“Of course we would have liked to have someone like Harry come to our Club, but it wasn-t to be,” van Egmond said.

“I read a couple of interesting articles where it was quoted that it was to do with money or what have you, but I don-t think that-s the case. I don-t think Harry would be signing anywhere just for the money.

“I still see it as a real positive for the A-League (if he returns).

“Last year we had Shinji Ono at the Wanderers, Del Piero at Sydney FC and obviously Emile here in Newcastle.

“Now it looks like we-ll have another high profile player at Melbourne Heart, hopefully that might be the impetus for a couple of other teams to get that type of player as well.”

Van Egmond was speaking following Hunter Sports Group-s announcement that nib health funds (nib) had reaffirmed its commitment to the Newcastle Jets and Newcastle Knights by extending its major partnership for an additional 12 months.

Under the agreement, the local health insurer will maintain its coveted sleeve sponsorship with the nib logo appearing on the sleeve of the players- jersey for both clubs.

“It-s fantastic from the perspective that it-s a Newcastle icon as far as a brand is concerned,” van Egmond said.

“Their partnership with the Knights is the longest-running sponsorship as far as rugby league is concerned and hopefully that can in turn happen for the Jets as well.

“It-s fantastic that it-s a local company that is getting behind the Jets and the Knights and in a very competitive market for sponsorship, to have nib renewed is fantastic.”