JETS INSIDER - Michael Bridges

In this week’s edition of Jets Insider, fan favourite Michael Bridges is answering questions from the club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Jets Insider, fan favourite and Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets striker Michael Bridges is answering questions from the club-s Members and supporters.

Bridges talks about the Jets- upcoming game against Adelaide United, his playing future and his ambitions for life after football.

Kristina Toll asks via email: How is morale within the team at the moment after the last two results? Are you all still confident of making the finals?

Michael Bridges (MB): You have to be confident. We-ve put the last two games behind us and are just focusing on Friday night. We know what we-ve got to do and if we weren-t confident we could do it, there-d be no point in turning up.

You-ve got to stay positive. We know that there-s a great opportunity for us to still make the finals and that-s the light at the end of the tunnel.

@newietraveller asks via Twitter: What do you believe is the next stage of development for the Club? Should we have academy setup like top Euro clubs?

MB: Every established club needs to have an academy one way or another and I think the Jets have taken a massive step forward by bringing in the Emerging Jets program.

It-s great for young players because it gives them something to strive for and they can see a clear pathway through to the senior team. Young players in this region aspire to be Newcastle Jets players and it-s important to have those quality youngsters coming through because they help to sustain the club.

Robert Walker asks via email: How do you think the team is responding to losing a number of senior players like Tiago, Jobe and Ryan during the season? Do you feel more responsibility to be a leader since they-ve left?

MB: I have had to become even more of a leader, because there-s obviously a few less senior players about at the moment. It has been a bit difficult not having that added experience around, but as players you have to deal with it. You have to pull together and focus on the job at hand.

@boomshanka1976 asks via Twitter: Would Bridgey like to be offered a contract for next season, or has that boat sailed?

MB: I would definitely like to play again for the Jets next season and the club and I are still working through that negotiation process.

Brian Walsh asks via email: Having played up front with Adam Taggart in a few games recently, how far do you think he can go with his football career?

MB: Tags is a very good talent. He can play with his back to goal, he-s a very strong lad and can shield the ball well. He also makes great runs, which is another thing that stands out about him.

If he keeps going and keeps working hard, he is a bright prospect for Australia and who knows where he can end up. Like any promising young player, it-s important they don-t get carried away with the publicity and the hype and stay focused on improving every day.

@GermallicA asks via Twitter: Would Michael Bridges ever consider becoming head coach of the Jets? He has the perfect football brain for it.

MB: I-d like to keep playing for a couple more seasons, but once I-ve finished my career I would definitely like to one day become the manager of a professional football team. I-m actually in the process of completing my ‘B- coaching license.

Whether it-s coaching in Europe, Australia or anywhere else around the world, it-s certainly a key ambition of mine.

@c_garbutt3 asks via Twitter: How much longer do you plan to play football for? Also do you see yourself staying in Australia once finished? Thanks.

MB: As long as I can keep on top of my body and maintain my fitness, I-d like to keep playing for couple seasons.

For after football, there-s been so much development in Australia and that-s due to the coaching standards going up from a grassroots level through to the top. I think the future is bright in Australian football and I want to play some part in that.

Chris Darby-Matthews asks via email: If you had to pick one player from another A-League club to sign for the Jets, who would it be and why?

MB: Marco Rojas. The kid has been dubbed the New Zealand Lionel Messi and is an unbelievable player. You can-t teach someone to take on players one-on-one and be able to score goals like he does. It-s just a natural ability and raw talent and you just want players like him to express himself all the time.

@Robey_Boucher asks via Twitter: Bridgey - from one Englishman to another, what do you miss most from back home and which EPL players would you like to play here?

MB: The thing I miss most about back home is obviously my family and friends, but also being able to go to a Premier League or Champions League game with a full house of crazy fans. I don-t miss the weather, the beaches or the lifestyle!

At this present time, Gareth Bale for sure and Robin van Persie.

Sian Davies asks via email: Outside of football, who are you favourite athletes of all time and why?

MB: Tiger Woods, purely for what he-s achieved on the golf course. I also used to really, really admire Wayne Gretzky. I was a mad ice hockey fan as a kid and he was definitely someone who I looked up to.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview, Zenon Caravella 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.