Regan looking to cement starting role

Taylor Regan says he is determined to nail down a spot in the Jets’ starting XI after signing a one-year contract extension.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Taylor Regan says he is determined to nail down a spot in the Jets- starting XI after signing a one-year contract extension with the Club on Friday.

The 24-year-old has extended his stay at his hometown until the conclusion of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season, with fellow local product Andrew Hoole also committing to do the same.

Regan won Men of Football-s prestigious Ray Baartz Medal for his performances for the Jets during the 2011/12 season, but only feature nine times for Newcastle last campaign.

Regan said he is determined to get more game time this season and cement himself as a key figure in the Jets- backline.

“I-ve been saying it for the last two or three years that I really want to cement a spot in the team,” Regan said.

“Last year it was disappointing not to get as much game time as I would have liked, but Gary was very transparent as to why I wasn-t playing.

“I had little things in my game that I needed to work on in terms of winning individual battles and my communication and leadership skills at the back.

“I-m hoping to use those tools that I-ve worked on in the pre-season in the upcoming season.

“Hopefully I can play a few more games and prove myself and prove why I have re-signed, because the Club has shown faith in me and that-s always a positive.”

Regan said he was under no illusions as to how fierce the competition for spots in the heart of the Jets- defence is.

“Connor Chapman and I have been here for the whole of the pre-season and we-ve been working hard to try and nail down a spot,” he said.

“Kew Jaliens is a very good signing, a very smart player and from what we-ve seen so far he-s going to be a great asset to the squad.

“We-re all on a level playing field at the moment and we-ve all just got to do our best to impress.

“That-s what myself, Connor, Josh Mitchell and Kew will be trying to do in the few pre-season games we have remaining.”

Regan said it was an easy decision to take up the offer of a one-year contract extension with the Jets.

“I still had 12 months left on my current contract, so this was just more about that little bit of security and that little bit of peace of mind where you can go into the season not having to worry about anything other than football,” he said.

“I-m settled here in Newcastle, I don-t want to go anywhere else and signing this contract extension was a no-brainer for me really.”

Regan said he is confident the Jets have laid a strong platform to be a competitive outfit in the Hyundai A-League this season.

“This pre-season has been pretty smooth,” Regan said.

“Obviously early on it was a bit here, there and everywhere with boys away with national teams and things like that, but the team has come together really well, the squad is all getting along.

“You have to be optimistic at this time of year and at the moment we all are. We think we-ve got a big chance to do something this year if we can get into those finals.”