Before Newcastle Jets and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) commemorate their strategic partnership with the club’s RAAF Base Williamtown Round 8 match against Brisbane Roar on Saturday at Hunter Stadium, Air Commodore Steve ‘Zed’ Roberton sat down with Jets podcast host Meredith Gibbs.
“We are really excited about our affiliation with the Newcastle Jets and to have three of our aeroplanes on their logo,” Roberton said. “To work with such an elite sporting team is great.”
“We have a local football team here that is much loved and supported by many of the 3,500 people who work out here at the Williamtown base.”
Five senior players, along with technical and administrative staff visited the RAAF Base Williamtown in early October to talk leadership, and the Commodore who will toss the coin on Saturday explained that the organisations see eye to eye.
“We have some similarities in the basis of values and culture -- respect, excellence and teamwork,” Roberton said.
“We are looking forward to flying one or two key members [of the Jets] at some stage.
Prior to kick-off three F/A-18 Hornets will whizz over Hunter Stadium in what is bound to be a special experience for everyone in attendance.
“The Hornets will fly between 650 and 700 kilometres per hour in a three-ship-tight formation as they come over the stadium and then [they will] loop back around and go over a second time,” Roberton said.
“Weather permitting the plan is for them to break formation in the same pattern we see on the Newcastle Jets logo,” he explained.
Roberton did offer some advice for parents attending the game with their children who may have concerns about noise levels.
“Fingers over your ears will be more than enough for everybody for the few seconds they go past,” Roberton said.
“It’s about providing the sight and sound to give the greatest support we can for our team on the ground”.
The Jets -- who will wear a commemorative strip for the game -- have provided RAAF Base Williamtown personnel with 3,500 complimentary tickets in support of their commitment and contribution to the Hunter community.
“I feel it’s [the strip] a fabulous look and I have bought three for myself and my boys,” Roberton said.
“It’s a wonderful thing for us as we’ve got a lot of football supporters out here and their families,” he said.
“We’ve also got well over 100 of our women and men deployed on operations at the moment.
“These wonderful jerseys we have in the Middle East with some very excited fans who are wearing their jerseys around as they conduct and support combat operations over Iraq and Syria,” Roberton concluded.
Newcastle Jets vs. Brisbane Roar - Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Round 8
When: Saturday 28 November 2015
Where: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Flyover: Just before kick-off
Tickets: Please click here to purchase tickets to the match
Social Media: Use the hashtags #NEWvBRI & #TogetherWeCanSoar to join the match conversation