JETS INSIDER - Robbie Middleby

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

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

Middleby is quizzed on topics including the Jets- first round loss to Adelaide, the impact of marquee signing Emile Heskey and the reasons behind not appealing Mark Birighitti-s red card.

Kayla Norton asks via email: What did you make of the Jets- performance against Adelaide?

Robbie Middleby: Conceding in the first couple of minutes is always going to make it difficult. To be honest it showed great character to fight back especially after getting a player sent off. It was disappointing to have over 14,000 there and not get a result.

We are all hurting, the fans, players and everyone from the Club. We will be bigger and better this season. The more games we play the more we will get to know each other and be better for it.

@BraidenOfficial asks via Twitter: Why on earth did you buy Heskey?

RM: Bringing someone with his great character on and off the field will be very valuable to the Club. We have already seen the hype created by his signing and what it has done to our Membership sales.

We did a lot of research and spoke to a lot of people about him and worked out his character and what he stands for. We think he will be a good fit for this Club and have already seen what he brings on the field and to the rest of our young playing group.

Mitch Wallace asks via email: Which Jets player impressed you most in the game against Adelaide?

RM: Craig Goodwin was one of the most impressive, especially his willingness to take players on.

He made a few mistakes but I thought he was very good. We have played with a back four throughout the pre season and I thought our back three were really solid against Adelaide.

Jarrod White asks via email: During your career you played with big name marquees like Dwight Yorke and Robbie Fowler, how does Heskey compare?

RM: It is difficult to compare, I played with those players and they were absolutely fantastic not just as players, but as individuals.

I think that Heskey has that kind of character; he is very humble and down to earth. He is all for the team and playing group. It is great to get these types of players and have them be so humble and down to earth.

Only time will tell whether he can reach the same heights as Dwight Yorke did in his first year at Sydney and I thought Robbie Fowler showed some unbelievable glimpses of what he can do at that age. I am really optimistic about how Heskey is going to compare and compete.

@Thommo477 asks via Twitter: Are there any plans to make replica Goalkeeper Jerseys available to the public to buy?

RM: This is something we have looked into but to do so we would have to order a minimum level of stock. If there is enough interest we will look at stocking the jerseys in the future.

Bobby Russell asks via email: What sort of impact will having a player like Emile Heskey have on the rest of the playing group, especially the youngsters?

Middleby: I have said it before that Emile Heskey has a massive impact on the younger players and you can already see it. It is difficult at the moment because they are trying to figure out how to play him.

We have a situation where he will take time, but he fits in well and I think you can see the younger players have a lot of respect for him and it will lift him during the season. It is great for the younger players.

Brian Walker asks via email: Why did the Club decide against appealing Mark Birighitti-s red card?

RM: I sat down with Mark Birighitti for an hour, spoke to Gary about it as well, got some independent advice and spoke to the head of referees from the FFA.

It was a difficult one, if the player was prepared to potentially miss an extra game we would have appealed it. How these things work is you have a panel of three and it has to be unanimous, because it happened outside the box and his hands weren-t in a normal motion, that was damning.

It was something we wanted to appeal but looking at all the facts and speaking to Mark the decision was to cop the red card.

Thomas Evans asks via email: Big crowd expected for the game against Sydney this weekend. For matches like this, does part of you wish you were still playing?

RM: Of course you could wish that you could, it is going to be a massive crowd this weekend and you always wish you could be part of the big games. In saying that, I am enjoying what I am doing and as long as the players go out there and do Newcastle proud I will be just as happy sitting up in the grand stands watching.

Laura Clifford asks via email: What sort of impact do you think James Brown will have when he makes his return from injury?

RM: James Brown is an outstanding talent, a player we were rapped in getting to the Club. This clean out is important for him and he will come back better than ever and I think he will be a valuable asset to the team and Club when he comes back and hopefully it won-t be too far away.

Ryan Brown asks via email: What were the reasons for re-signing GVE before the start of the season? It shows that you obviously have a lot of confidence in him.

RM: Gary is someone that is passionate about the area, not just about the Newcastle Jets but football in general. I have sat down with him and gone through my dreams with the Emerging Jets and he is a part of that and proud to be a part of that.

We look at the long term here at the Club and the strategic long term goal is to get a lot of the best young players in the country and in a few years time they will be incredible players. Hopefully even this season they will show that form that we brought them to the Club for.

Gary has been a major part of attracting these players and that, along with what he believes in for the area are the major reasons for signing him.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview, Jets striker Emile Heskey 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.