School of hard knocks

“So even if I get a setback, it’s always in my mind to keep working harder and to keep going," Andrew Hoole said.

| Why Andrew Hoole keeps focused no matter the setback |

Andrew Hoole is first to admit he-s not the biggest player going around.

He isn-t the strongest either, while he failed to make some representative teams as a kid growing up in Newcastle.

Hoole has never been your standout star, but the emerging Jets winger has always possessed one quality that has helped him stand out from the crowd.

“Just for me personally, my mental state has always been there,” Hoole says.

“So even if I get a setback, it-s always in my mind to keep working harder and to keep going.”

It-s a tough mentality that has been ingrained in Hoole since he was knee-high to a grasshopper.

Raised just a short stroll from the Jets- training base at Newcastle University, the local lad never had it easy coming through the ranks.

Hoole recalls the struggles of trying to make the cut for the Northern representative side, mainly because he was considered too small.

As much as this made it harder to reach his goals, he refused to give in.

You see, the former Jets ball boy has always aspired to grace the hallowed turf of Hunter Stadium for his hometown club.

It-s a drive that has enabled him to overcome countless setbacks to achieve his lifelong dream of pulling on the red-and-blue jumper.

“I think there were lot of areas of my game that I-ve had to work on,” he says.

“But it was never a setback for me, it just made me want to work harder and get to where I wanted to get to.

“Mental strength is a big thing, because even if you-re not the biggest player you can still succeed if you-re mentally tough and the aggression comes out of that.

“My main goal as I was growing up was to always play for the Jets.

“I used to be a ball boy for the Jets games, so when I went out onto the field I always thought that this would be my dream to play here.”

So where does Hoole-s fight come from?

The man himself credits his father Paul - a former local rugby league halfback and crane driver by trade.

“My dad is a very tough bloke,” he grins.

"He played rugby league as a young bloke. He played for Carrington, Wests, Souths in the local league.

“He was a halfback. He has been knocked out a few times, so he has plenty of stories.

“So I just think it sort of runs in the family a bit just to be mentally tough and that.”

Hoole-s rise to the Jets- top squad can also serve as inspiration for the next generation of Newcastle footballers.

Starting out with local side the Broadmeadow Magic, he worked his way through the ranks before gaining the attention of the Jets.

Lining up for a Northern NSW select team against a Newcastle Youth side, Hoole impressed so much that he was invited to train with the Jets in 2012.

Within a year of starring in the Youth team, the local kid signed a contract with the club-s top side in early 2013 and his journey was complete.

“It all happened so quick,” he recalls.

“I mean, it-s hard to think back to everything that happened because it all happened so fast.

“But it was a big honour for me given the hard work I-ve put in.”

Hoole has enjoyed a stellar season thus far.

On top of excelling for the Jets, the 20-year-old represented his country at the Under 20s World Cup.

He was also called into the Socceroos training squad for the East Asian Cup in the Korea Republic, but had to withdraw due to a knee injury.

“That was disappointing, but that-s part of the game,” he says.

“To be in that environment was a massive honour for myself though.

“But that was one of the best moments in my life playing over in Turkey for the under 20s World Cup.

“I-ve always looked to play for my country, so to be there was great."

There's no doubting Hoole has been highly successful, but he isn't the only family member to achieve at a high level.

His older brother Matt, 21, toured Columbia in South America earlier this year as a member of the Australian Futsal team at the Mens World Games.

Hoole says he couldn't be prouder of his older sibling, who is currently living in Port Macquarie and working as a PE teacher.

"Matt has done really well for himself with the Futsal team," he enthuses. "When I was on the youth team, he actually came in and trained a bit.

"He didn-t get a look in that often, but he came in and did a few sessions here and there."

Luckily for the Jets, they've managed to pick up one of the Hoole brothers in Andrew.

Since making his professional debut against the Brisbane Roar back in January, the proud Novocastrian has played a crucial role in the Jets' fortunes.

He says the Club's rise up the A-League table this season can be attributed to a greater desire to win. "I think mentally everyone really wants to win," he says.

"Everyone really likes to work hard and work hard for each other.

"I think as long as you-ve got that work ethic there, then we should be right because our team individually is full of really good footballers.

"I think in our first few games we-ve really showed a mental toughness as a team.

"Even against Brisbane we were down 1-0 and Adam Taggart came up with those two goals.

“So just the mental side of things is really there this year.”

For a local kid who has worked hard to achieve his goals, it-s a tough mentality that suits Hoole right down to the ground.

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart, 5pm this Sunday at Hunter Stadium, CLICK HERE for tickets.