JETS INSIDER - Robbie Middleby

In this week’s edition of Insider, CEO Robbie Middleby is answering questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Jets Insider, CEO Robbie Middleby is answering questions submitted by the Club-s Members and supporters.

Middleby speaks about player recruitment, the Club-s Young Socceroos and the Jets- expectations for the coming season.

Steph Price asks via email: Where do you expect us to finish on the ladder this season? We don-t want to miss out on the finals again!

Robbie Middleby (RM): With the salary cap in place, every season in the A-League is a tough one, because the competition is so close. In saying that, our expectation this season is definitely to make the top six.

@Lzenzo asks via Twitter: Why haven't we sacked GVE yet?

RM: Gary still has a year remaining on his contract and it-s important that we give him the time and support he requires to get the best out of our squad.

It-s such an important year for not just Gary, but everyone at the Club to step-up and prove our worth by qualifying for that top six.

@MrGlass23 asks via Twitter: Has the club considered Lucas Neill?

RM: We-ve stated before that we-re in the market for an experienced central defender and Lucas certainly fits the criteria.

With a player like Lucas, who is the captain of the Socceroos and wants to go another World Cup, there are a lot of things both parties would have to consider. Things like wage demands, and whether he will fit in the salary cap or be a marquee player are all big factors that you have to weigh up.

As a Club, we-ll continue to look for the right player to fill the centre-back role because it is an important position for us going forward.

Max Klein asks via email: I think it-s fair to say that James Brown wasn-t at his best last season, do you think we can expect to see him return to the form he showed while he was at Gold Coast?

RM: James was definitely below his best last season and having that ankle injury at the start of the year certainly didn-t help him.

From the way he performed during our trip to Singapore and the positive reports I-m getting about the way he-s training, he is showing very good signs and looks keen for a big season.

@Tommyjet262 asks via Twitter: Is it true Jets are considering Daniel de Ridder?

RM: We-re looking at a number of options to fill the attacking midfielder position and strong credentials like those are certainly favourable. It-s important we do our due diligence to find the type of player who is the right fit for the Club.

@MrGlass23 asks via Twitter: Is the club planning any fan forums in the near future?

RM: We-re always interested in engaging with our Members and hearing their thoughts. We-ve had open dialogue in the past with the Men of Football organisation as well as supporter groups such as the Squadron.

In the past two seasons, we-ve also had a fan forum at our exclusive Gold Member event, which has given our Gold Members the opportunity to ask questions of the players and coaching staff. That-s something we-ll certainly look to continue.

@NBUnited_Newy asks via Twitter: What progress/improvements have been made in the off-season to better our chances for the 2013/14 season?

RM: I think the experience the younger guys in our squad gained last year was invaluable and I-m sure it will hold them in good stead for this season.

Along with our young talent, we-ll have good leadership from the likes of Ruben Zadkovich, Emile Heskey, Michael Bridges and Zenon Cararvella and I know that every player in the squad is highly motivated to have a big year.

We-ve also undertaken an extensive end-of-season review and looked at certain areas of our Club where we can improve in both a football and commercial sense. We-re confident that the outcomes of that review will set us up nicely for the 2013/14 season.

@Tommyjet262 asks via Twitter: Can you please splash some coin on Eddy Bosnar? Exactly what we need at the back.

RM: As I said before, when it comes to signing players there are a number of factors involved and it-s about finding the best fit for the team, but a player in that mould is certainly what we-re after.

@IllPrincipe21 asks via Twitter: Why should I renew my membership this season? Coach's stubborn tactics/signings does not help to renew.

RM: I understand the frustration and disappointment of our Members after last season. Believe me, no one was more disappointed about missing out on the finals than the players and the coaching staff.

These are the times that the Club needs the support of its Members more than ever. Novocastrians are very proud and loyal and that-s what sets them apart from the fans of other A-League Clubs. We need our Members and supporters to continue to stand with us for the Club to be successful.

James Thomas asks via email: How crucial will our last couple of signings be to boost the overall quality of the squad?

RM: They-re very important. We-re looking to fill key positions in the attacking third and the centre of defence.

Although I strongly believe that the players we have at the Club have all taken big strides forward since last year, it-s still crucial for us to look to strengthen the squad by bringing in quality players each season.

Brad Fisher asks via email: As the CEO of the Club, how pleasing is it for you to see four of our players go away to an under 20-s World Cup?

RM: As a Club we-re extremely proud to have four of our players compete at an Under 20s World Cup. There-s no bigger accolade in football than being selected to represent your country.

The experience they will gain at the World Cup as well as the confidence they-ll get from playing against the best in the World will make them better players when they come back to the Jets ahead of the A-League season.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview, striker Joey Gibbs 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.