JETS INSIDER - Gary van Egmond

In this week’s Jets Insider, Gary van Egmond is in the hot seat answering questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Jets Insider, Jets head coach Gary van Egmond is in the hot seat answering questions submitted by the Club-s Members and supporters.

Van Egmond discusses his thoughts on the season so far, the departure of Ryan Griffiths and the importance of keeping the club-s young talent for the long term.

Chris Darby-Matthews asks via email: Hey Gary, I've been impressed by the amount of young players in the team this season and you've got good performances and results out of the youngest team in the league. But how important is it to you to keep these young players like Birighitti, Chapman and Goodwin at the club for as long as possible to move the club forward?

Gary van Egmond (GvE): It-s very important to keep these players and develop them, but it is also important in regards to the balance of how many we play at certain times.

You can-t underestimate the effect that the likes of Ruben, Emile, Bridgey and now Zenon are also having on the group.

We have to keep that balance, but we want to keep these young ones because they-re developing into good footballers.

Mitch McDonough asks via email: Back in 2008 Daniel McBreen returned to Newcastle after spending some time playing in Britain. He attempted to gain a contract with the Jets but was told by you that he was not wanted. After seeing his consistent form at NQ Fury, Perth, Mariners plus seeing his feats from this season, do you regret not signing the local boy all that time ago?

GvE: I think Daniel would be the first to admit that he wasn-t in the best shape at the time and in fact, he-s probably in better shape now than he was at that time.

Back then I think he trialled not only with us but a number of different clubs who didn-t take him on board either, but I-m glad to see he-s turned his football around since then.

Brad Smith asks via email: Where do you see your coaching career in 5 years time?

GvE: Good question. I enjoy coaching in the A-League and I enjoy coaching seniors, but I also would love at some stage to look at the junior development, especially in the Newcastle area, so we-ll have to wait and see.

@LukeD01_JBaus asks via Twitter: Gary, has the team under-performed this year? And has your performance over the last 2 years deserved your contract extension?

GvE: From the perspective of results, it-s probably debatable, but from the perspective of the players we-ve attracted here and the big turnover we-ve had within the squad, there was always going to be a settling in period.

Hopefully we can finish the season strongly and make a deep run into the finals.

@Chrem93 asks via Twitter: Is there any news on Heskey and Bridgey getting new contracts? Also could we see an Aussie marquee at the Jets next season?

GvE: We would love to secure Emile for next season, but we-re still working through that process with him.

As we-ve said before, we-ll sit down with Bridgey at the end of the season and make a decision with him about his future then.

We-ll have to balance the squad according to our football budget and the salary cap. We have to ensure that we get the best players that we most possibly can for our budget and we-ll just have to wait and see whether that includes and Australian marquee.

I think the boys have done really well in patches this year and we definitely want to build with those players for next season.

@Mikejmccallum asks via Twitter: Who have you got lined up to come in and replace Ryan Griffiths in the squad?

GvE: We won-t be able to get anyone this season, unless they are uncontracted, which makes things very difficult.

The good thing is that some of our current squad will get more of an opportunity to play towards the back end of this season and get more experience.

We-ll look and see what we need to do next year, but at this stage we-ve got two positions available in the form of a number 10 and a wide player now that Ryan has left.

@lquiqer asks via Twitter: Would you consider making an offer to Harry Kewell to play let's say last 2/3 season games + potential finals?

GvE: Harry-s a very good player, but obviously he has had some time away from football in the past year, which makes anything happening this season extremely unlikely.

To have someone like Harry come to your football team would only be a positive, but we all know that marquee players don-t come cheap so again, it is something we-d have to evaluate when we look at the make-up of our squad during the off season.

Nathan Julayne asks via email: Which A-League team do you most look forward to playing against and is there any one team that don-t look forward to playing?

GvE: I think we-ve beaten every single team this season so far except for Adelaide and Perth, so I wouldn-t say there is any particular team that we don-t like to play against.

We certainly want to challenge ourselves against the best teams in the country and keep improving and hopefully we can eventually get to the summit.

Brodie Thompson asks via email: The Jets youth team had their highest ever finish in the NYL this season. How much of that do you put down to playing in the NBN State League during the off-season?

GvE: It-s been a big help. The fact that we-ve been able to have football all year round for these young players where they-re getting the same messages consistently is very important.

It-s great that Northern NSW Football has backed the move to have the Jets youth team in their competition and as you can see now there is also the Emerging Jets program underpinning that as well.

It will only get stronger and better in years to come and I-m very hopeful that we can start producing high quality players from the region on a consistent basis.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview, Josh Brillante will answer YOUR questions. Simply tweet your question using the #JetsInsider hashtag or send your question to communications@huntersportsgroup.com by COB Wednesday. Then check back in Jets Insider next week to see if your question is answered.