Locally born and bred defender Nigel Boogaard was officially confirmed as the new Newcastle Jets Captain on Monday, with his teammates – led by Daniel Mullen – announcing the news following training at Ray Watt Oval at the University of Newcastle.After the announcement Boogaard spoke of his pride to lead his hometown club throughout the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season, and said that he feels that the group has gelled well leading into the new campaign which for the Jets starts on Sunday away to Wellington Phoenix.
“It is a massive honour to be able to Captain the Club,” Boogaard said. “To be my home town and to come back [from Adelaide United] it’s a massive honour.”
“It’s a privilege to be able to lead this group of boys as well.
“Pre-season there has been a lot of new faces but we’ve bonded well, gelled well, and it will be an honour to take them out onto the park each week.
“This year for us to be successful we need 11 leaders, and those boys coming off the bench to make an impact.
“To succeed we’re all going to have to pitch in,” he said.
Boogaard added that he is pleased to have gained the trust of the Club’s staff, led by Head Coach Scott Miller and Senior Assistant Coach Jean-Paul de Marigny, during the pre-season.
Moreover, he explained that the intensity in training had lifted on Monday as the players eye places in the squad or starting spots for matchday one in the land of the long white cloud.
“It’s an honour that the coaching staff have that trust in me to lead the boys out and more importantly lead their game plan each week,” he said.
“Hopefully it’s a successful season for us all.
“We’ve had some mixed results pre-season but the focus has always been there for Wellington round 1 and the biggest thing is the intensity this week has already stepped up.
“You can tell the boys are focussed.
“That notch has gone up.
“Now is the business time and round 1 we have to go out and set the platform for the rest of the season,” he said. “Nigel has probably been the choice from day one for me due to how he has carried himself and how he has represented the Club.”
“I think it [the captaincy] is a massive responsibility in the rebuilding of the Club.
“Irrespective of his football commitment that he has demonstrated, the commitment to the Club and the focus that he has demonstrated over the past 16 weeks has been outstanding for me.
“He [Boogaard] has been a real conduit for me to the players, which has been very beneficial.
“I think he is going to be a superb leader for the Club,” Miller concluded.
Members of Boogaard’s family (pictured above) were invited to attend Monday’s captaincy confirmation at Ray Watt Oval.