Newcastle Jets can today confirm that Mark Jones, an assistant coach at the Club between 2006 and 2010, has returned to the Hunter outfit in an official capacity through to the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season.In addition to assisting Phil Stubbins (Head Coach) with the first team, Jones will take on the role of Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Club.
As a player Jones featured for various incarnations of Newcastle’s top team during his career. Indeed, the former defender represented both Newcastle Rosebud and Newcastle Breakers as a player.
After his on-field days came to an end in the mid-nineties Jones turned his attention to coaching. He helped nurture some of the state’s best talents at the New South Wales Institute of Sport before linking with the Jets in 2006.
Jones was assistant to Gary van Egmond when Newcastle won the 2008 Hyundai A-League Championship, and on Tuesday said he’s delighted to be back involved with the Jets.
“Naturally I am excited to be back,” Jones said. “Newcastle is my home town and we’ve been successful here before. We won a Championship and hopefully we can take the team forward again.”
Jones said that a key objective for the Club’s coaching staff before the end of the current campaign is to improve the team tactically and technically.
“We want to improve the team discipline in terms of shape and be more organised defensively,” Jones outlined. “We want to keep more ball possession, too, and that’s something that we have been working on and will continue to work on.”
Since departing the Jets in 2010, Jones has been on somewhat of an Asian adventure, coaching in Malaysia, China and Singapore, as well as in Australia with Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners Academy.
He has also continued his football education, earning additional qualifications as an AFC and FIFA Fitness Instructor.
“I looked after the strength and conditioning at the Club before, so it’s a role I know,” Jones added. “We need to increase the intensity of their training sessions and if we can make them stronger in the gym we can improve their game movements.”
Jones also moved to express his thanks to Club Chairman Nathan Tinkler, Stubbins and fellow Jets coach James Pascoe for providing him with the chance to be formally involved with the Jets again.
“I am very appreciative of Nathan giving me an opportunity,” he said. “They [Tinkler, Stubbins, & Pascoe] have put their faith in me and now I have to repay that.”