JETS INSIDER - Ruben Zadkovich

In this week’s Jets Insider, Ruben Zadkovich is answering questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

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

Zadkovich is asked about his reasons for re-signing with the Jets, his best experiences as a footballer and his beloved Kombi van.

Ricki Taylor asks via email: What were the major factors in you resigning with the Jets?

Ruben Zadkovich (RZ): Probably the fact that I-ve enjoyed my football here for the last three years. I-ve been to a few different places and played football overseas, but right now at this point in time I-m really enjoying my football and I-m really enjoying living in Newcastle because it-s a beautiful place.

I-ve also got a great bunch of teammates and I really enjoy my role in this team. The young guys that we-ve signed have great attitudes and it-s really nice to be a leader and set a good example for them.

Kevin van Gool asks via email: Zadkovich, how do you train yourself to get so fit? You never stop running and just never give up. What is the secret?

RZ: It would be fair to say that genetics probably have a big part to play in that, but I think it also has something to do with the way I was brought up. My family had working class morals and attitudes and my dad always told me to give my best, so it-s just in my blood.

@DeeRose_9 What advice do you give younger players coming through and which youngster has impressed you the most?

RZ: Connor Chapman has a very wise head on young shoulders and has the potential to go as far as he wants to go. He has the world at his feet and I really think he could be a future Socceroo.

I want to make special note of a couple of our other young players as well. Adam Taggart has a bundle of ability, Josh Brillante has had a massive season and we also have the likes of Craig Goodwin, Mitch Oxborrow and Mitch Cooper who are very talented.

We also have some great local talent coming through like James Virgili, Taylor Regan and Jacob Pepper, so I think the future is bright at the Jets.

Lachlan Ma asks via email: What do you like best about Newcastle and the Jets fans?

RZ: They-re working class, they-re blue collar and that-s similar to what I am. I guess I can connect with them on that level. They-ve got a lot of passion for the Club and for each game and that-s exactly how I try and look at it.

Sarah Preston asks via email: What has been the best experience you've had throughout your football career and what has been the worst?

RZ: Playing for Australia and getting a Socceroos cap is certainly one of the highlights. The others would be winning the Championship in the first year of the A-League with Sydney FC and scoring at the Beijing Olympics.

The worst experiences are always the injuries. It was tough times being overseas in England and having three groin operations and a double hernia operation which stopped me playing football for 18 months. It really halted my career at a time when I felt it was progressing and I could-ve really pushed on. In saying that, those times really give you the scope and the perspective to enjoy your football at the current time. It-s makes you a stronger person and that-s why I don-t take anything for granted these days.

@Robey_Boucher asks via Twitter: G'day Zads! If you could choose any team in any league to play for (apart from the Jets!), who would that be and why?

RZ: Probably Bulli Football Club in the Illawarra Premier League. They-re just a great bunch of people.

Chris Darby-Matthews asks via email: Hey Ruben, at the Gold Member Event I complimented you on your current form and how much you have improved since becoming captain. You've added intensity to our midfield, score a few crackers and motivated the team along the way. Do you have any secrets to your current form since becoming captain and any advice to younger players on how to lead a team?

RZ: There-s no real secret. I think it-s just been a result of turning up to training and really putting in and working hard. I-ve been pretty happy with my form this whole season and for that I-ve got to thank my teammates because they-re the ones helping me out. Sure I-ve been leading the team around, but they-re the ones who have been following my lead, which is great. Because they-re willing to listen and work hard, all I have to do is set a good example and give them good instructions.

My advice to any young players who want to be leaders is to listen to your players, communicate, lead by example, back your teammates, be inspirational and be tough. There are a lot of things that go into making a good leader and it is a tough job, but it-s also a privilege and something that can be really enjoyable.

Brad Smith asks via email: Earlier on in the season a lot of your long range shots were sailing way over the bar. Recently you have been getting a lot more on target and have actually scored a few. Have you been working on your technique or just been trying to go for less power during games?

RZ: They just seem to be going in the goals. I hit the crossbar six times in the first season I was here, so maybe my luck has turned around a bit. I just stick by what I know and the techniques I-ve been taught and sometimes they go in and sometimes they don-t. When you shoot from long range, that-s just the way it is.

I also think it-s a confidence thing. Once you get a couple, I think your confidence goes up a bit and you start to find the back of the net. Even the best strikers in the world can go for years where they don-t score goals and then all of a sudden they go on a big scoring spree. Look at someone like Daniel McBreen. I-m sure he hasn-t changed his technique at 35, but his confidence is sky high and he just keeps scoring.

@0jev asks via Twitter: Zads, how often do you shave your head?

RZ: Once a week.

@mkillen1986 asks via Twitter: Where did you get your Kombi? And can I have your Kombi?

RZ: I bought it off a guy called Rob from Windsor who is a Kombi fanatic. I was looking for the last of the Low Lights from 1972 and I saw one on Car Sales that was well-priced and looked in good nick, so I made Rob an offer and he sold it to me.

In answer to the second question, no you definitely can-t have it!

James Wiley asks via email: Hey Ruben! What music have you been listening to lately? What would your favourite album be?

RZ: I-ve been listening to Matt McCue in my car at the moment, he-s the lead singer of The Beautiful Girls and he rips. There is also an Aboriginal band from Arnhem Land that I listen to and they-re sick.

My favourite album would have to be Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits.

Helen Harvie asks via email: Hi Ruben, do you have any specific routine or eating plan on "game day"?

RZ: I like to watch a bit of horse racing and relax. My uncle was a horse trainer in Toowoomba and I just enjoy watching the racing because I find it really methodical and relaxing.

As for pre-game meals, I-m living with my girlfriend-s family and her mum is Italian and she cooks the best pasta. It-s the best pre-match meal ever and as Sasho Petrovski once told me, pasta makes you run faster!

For next week-s Jets Insider interview, head coach Gary van Egmond, 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.