An all Novocastrian coaching duo with decades of playing and coaching experience in the game has today been appointed to take charge of Newcastle Jets for the next two Hyundai A-League campaigns.
Mark Jones (Head Coach) and Clayton Zane (Assistant Coach) will take the reigns of the Club’s first team squad until the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season.
Both Jones and Zane are no strangers to the Club or its Members and fans, given both have held a variety of previous positions with Newcastle Jets.Indeed, Jones was Assistant Coach when the Jets won the Hyundai A-League 2008 Championship, while Zane has served successfully as interim first team boss, Hyundai A-League Assistant Coach, Westfield W-League Head Coach, and Foxtel National Youth League Head Coach at the Club in the past.
Moreover both men represented Newcastle as players on the national stage, with defender Jones featuring for Newcastle Rosebud in the 1980s and Newcastle Breakers in the 1990s, and striker Zane representing Newcastle Breakers in the 1990s.
Despite hailing from the same region and even playing for the same Club (Breakers) just a year apart, the playing and coaching paths of Jones and Zane have rarely crossed.
But that will now change as the Club looks to the expertise and passion of two Novocastrians to help forge its football fortunes.
“It’s a proud day for me to be appointed Head Coach of Newcastle Jets, my hometown Club,” Jones - who played for Toronto-Awaba during his youth career - said. “It is no secret that this is a position that I have long coveted, and to realise my ambition of becoming a Head Coach in the city I love is a dream come true.”
“But now the hard work begins. The Club has assembled a competitive and balanced squad brimming with local talent, A-League experience and international know-how for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season, and I am personally excited to work with each and every member of the squad.”
“While it’s true that there’s not long until the new season commences, the work that has been done in preparing the squad has been good and I believe that we can kick-off the new campaign in a very competitive fashion.”
“I will leave no stone unturned in making my tenure at the helm of the Newcastle Jets a successful one for our Members,” Jones concluded.
Zane transitioned to interim first team Head Coach in early September and has since presided over consecutive 4-0 friendly wins over Edgeworth FC and Melbourne City FC.
The former Caltex Socceroos marksman will again take charge of the Jets’ senior squad when the Club faces Western Sydney Wanderers FC at Cessnock Sportsground at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.
Jones will be in attendance at the match to oversee proceedings.
“I feel privileged to be back involved with the Club’s first team squad on a full time basis,” Zane - who played with top clubs in Norway and Belgium during his established career - said. “It has been enjoyable working with players of a high calibre over the past few weeks, and I am excited to continue working with them with Mark over the next two years.”
“I am sure that Mark and I will form a very quick and positive working relationship, and hopefully our ideas, methods and attributes will complement each other and benefit the squad and Club overall,” he said.
Zane will continue to oversee the Club’s Foxtel National Youth League program for the 2016/17 Season with support from other club coaches including Paul Gomez and Qiang Li.