JETS INSIDER - Gary van Egmond

In this week’s edition of Jets Insider, Jets coach Gary van Egmond answers questions from the Club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Jets Insider, Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond answers questions from the Club-s Members and supporters.

Van Egmond is quizzed on topics such as player signings, coaching overseas, his targets for the upcoming season and the merits of taking short corners.

@NerdOfConsult asks via Twitter: What do you think is a realistic target in terms of league positions/final spots this season?

Gary van Egmond (GvE): I think we have a definite chance of making it to the Finals. You-re always looking to ensure you do everything you can to keep the squad as healthy as possible, but from what we-ve seen so far, the Finals are a very realistic proposition.

Jason Hay asks via email: How do you rate this Jets squad compared to the one that won the A-League in 2007/08?

GvE: The one that we won it with had more experience, but this squad actually has more potential. The game has also changed quite considerably between 2007 and 2012 so that makes it hard to compare.

We might lack a bit of experience, but we do have a lot more in regards to our mobility and the eagerness and enthusiasm of the players to learn and develop.

Bill Nobbs asks via email: As a coach, do you get more or less nervous before a game than you did as a player?

GvE: You have more to think about as a coach, and it-s not so much just on game day, but more so during the week.

Realistically, I look at game day as being more of a day for the players as they-ll be the ones who will be the difference on the day. As a coach you can give them the information, but unless it is something you-ve worked on during the week or the weeks prior, it-s unlikely the players will be able to instantaneously take it on board.

So in that sense as a coach you do most of your work during the week to get the players right, give the information to them and get the team playing the way you want.

@DaveBriant96 asks via Twitter: Will there still be anymore signings, such as a marquee?

GvE: We are looking to sign another striker and that is the only position in the squad that we have left to fill.

Sally Frost asks via email: Which other A-League teams are you expecting to be contenders this season?

GvE: I think this year the competition will be the closest it has ever been. I think the likes of Brisbane and Central Coast will start to come back to the pack a little bit as other teams start to improve.

I still think that on paper Brisbane has probably the best squad, but I think you-ll find the competition to be a little bit more even.

@almcgoo asks via Twitter: GVE, please explain why the club has decided to utilise the short corner as the primary corner taking option?

GvE: Right at this moment it-s because we haven-t gone through set pieces in any great depth at this stage of the pre-season and we-d rather keep the ball than do something we haven-t practiced.

In the next phase of the pre-season we-ll be looking more and more at the different corners we want to take, but at the moment it-s more a case of taking short corners to get the ball back into play, rather than any real tactic behind it.

William Aguilar asks via email: The Jets youth have finished third in the NBN State League, are you pleased with how that initiative has worked out?

GvE: I-m very pleased. It-s been good not only for those young kids, but the whole of the NBN State League and the whole of the footballing community.

It-s helped us to become more integrated in the Newcastle footballing community and I think you-ll see we-ll become even more involved in the Junior Jets program as well and that for me is a real positive.

@ToporsTroopers asks via Twitter: Which player would GVE like to see us support in season 12/13?

GvE: I would suggest something with Ruben. Maybe Ruben-s Rats or something like that. I-ll leave it up to them to think of a catchy name!

Lucia Gomez asks via email: What do you place more value on, finishing first at the end of the regular season or winning the grand final? Why?

GvE: I-m a bit of a traditionalist and I-d like to finish first after 27 rounds.

Culturally though, the winner of the Grand Final tends to get the most plaudits. We have a leaning towards giving everyone another chance to come out and win with the Finals Series we have in place and those matches, especially the Grand Final, are great events.

For the pure football people though, winning a Championship realistically means being first across the line at the end of the season.

Ian Ralston asks via email: Do you ever think of coaching overseas? Why do you think more Australian coaches haven-t had the opportunity to ply their trade overseas?

GvE: We-re still looked upon as being a bit of a third-world country as far as our football is concerned, but I think that will start to change due to the Asian Champions League and things like that.

The hardest thing for us is that we don-t do as well in those competitions consistently because we don-t have the quality due to the budgetary restraints of the salary cap. You might have a really good coach in the A-League, but for him to show that in Asia, it is fairly results driven.

Going overseas is something down the track that I might eventually look at, but I-m very happy where I am right now.

Mitch Cole asks via email: How long do you think it will be before we see any tangible effects of the implementation of the National Curriculum in the senior Australian national team?

GvE: I think it-s going to take a long time, maybe a period of up to 10 years and hopefully it-s consistent after that.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview CEO Robbie Middleby 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.