JETS INSIDER - Robbie Middleby

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

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

Middleby discusses the Jets- performances this season, the future of head coach Gary van Egmond and recruitment options for next season.

Brian Knight asks via email: Do you consider this season a failure after not making the finals?

RM: I wouldn-t consider the season as a whole a failure. Yes, we didn-t achieve what we set out to in terms of results and making the finals, but as far as other aspects of the season go, I think there have been a lot of positives.

The development we-ve seen in some of our younger players, having someone like Emile Heskey in Jets colours, our Membership numbers, our attendances and our commercial return are all positives we can take out of the season.

@fat_lenny Robbie, you've seen the press this week regarding the Jets season, how do you respond to the fan commentary?

RM: Everyone-s got a right to an opinion. We as are club are obviously disappointed not to have made the top six, but there are also a lot of positives to come out of the season that people can look at as well.

We-ve had six players represent the Young Socceroos and one of those players in Adam Taggart represented the Socceroos. We brought a player of the stature of Emile Heskey to Newcastle and he performed superbly for us. We-ve also seen a number of young players get their opportunity in the A-League and they will be better for it next season.

James Thompson asks via email: Do you think having the majority of the squad coming back for next season will help with the stability of the team?

RM: It-s great that we-ve got players now that are committed to the Club, that want to be here for the future and believe in what we-re doing.

To have that consistency through the core of our squad, which we can complement with a few other players this off-season is going to put us in good stead for next season.

@boomshanka1976 does the club concede that extending GVE's contract before the season began was a poor judgment call?

RM: No, not at all. The club wanted to ensure Gary has the opportunity to build these players and this team into what he believes it can be.

The players that he-s brought to the club are some of the best young talents in Australian football and I think it-s important for us to give him the full opportunity to show what he can do with these players.

@thommo477 Did GvE have full control over what players were signed for this season? Including Emile?

RM: We discuss every single signing we make as a football club, but in the end Gary as the head coach has the final say in what players we bring to the Club.

Dane Wallace asks via email: How excited are you to see some of our young players represent the Young Socceroos at the Under 20 World Cup in Turkey later this year?

RM: It-s such a rewarding thing to have players from our Club being recognised with national team selection and to see them compete on the international stage.

It-s a credit to those players that they-ve worked so hard and done so well to be in that position and I know everyone at the Club is looking forward to seeing them compete at the World Cup. I know they-ll do Australia, the Jets, and themselves proud.

Paula Smith asks via email: What are the key positions the Club is looking to recruit in for next season?

RM: We-re definitely looking for an experienced, strong central defender and two or three other players who will predominantly be in attacking positions.

Kelly O-Brien asks via email: Hi Robbie, how is the first season of the Emerging Jets shaping up?

RM: We-re all very, very excited in regards to the Emerging Jets. There are some small teething problems, which there always will be early on, but we really believe that this going to be a foundation for us to build our Club on.

I think we-ll see the rewards in the future when we start producing more local talent for the Jets- A-League and W-League sides.

@boomshanka1976 will the club look at signing a guest stint player next season?

RM: There-s a very extensive criteria from the FFA that a guest player needs to meet for a Club to be able to sign them.

We-ll always look at the possibility of signing someone on a guest stint, especially if the right player comes up. We looked at the possibility of that this season with Harry Kewell and next season it could be someone different.

Gareth Jones asks via email: Do you see Kale Bradbery as potentially the next local product to make the step up from youth team to A-League?

RM: I-d love to see that. Some young players find it easier to make that transition than others, but Kale has had an outstanding season and I think playing in the NBN State League competition during the winter will only help his development further.

@thommo477 Robbie, will there be new kits for next season? And is there any chance of having a gold strip for away games?

RM: We-re in discussions with ISC about our alternative kit for next season and we-re looking at a few different options. We-re definitely keeping the red and blue colours for the home kit.