When it comes to running a professional sporting team such as the Newcastle Jets, there is plenty of work that happens behind the scenes that must be done in order for the squad to take the field in the Hyundai A-League.
Fortunately, the club has two dedicated interns in Alex Lowe and John Voigt, both 22, who attend training daily and support the Jets’ football staff with a multitude of tasks to ensure that first team operations tick.
From helping with kit and equipment, to assisting the sports science and medical departments and a multitude of first team duties aside, Lowe and Voigt each make a highly valuable contribution to the club’s first team functions.
Arriving at Ray Watt Oval at the University of Newcastle at 7:30am for up to five sessions a week, plus offering support at home games at Hunter Stadium is no small commitment, but both enjoy the opportunity to gain practical experience in their fields with a team and sport that they love.
“I got involved here to help Brent [Anderson] the kit man,” Lowe said. “As well as that I needed to get some experience for my Sports Science course at undergrad level at Newcastle University.”
“I am currently studying a Masters in Strength and Conditioning, so hopefully I can find a job in a team sport or with an athlete of some sort where I can do a Strength and Conditioning role one day, that’s the long-term goal.”
“I got into football at a young age and I have always wanted to play and work in football, so it has been a good opportunity to come here,” he said.
Voigt’s football journey began in South Australia before he moved in Newcastle and more specifically Medowie.
“I e-mailed Rob Dingle one day when he was physio here,” Voigt explained. “And I have stayed on here for a while now doing work experience with Justin [Dougherty, physio] Dan [Laiman, strength and conditioning] and everyone else who has worked here.”
“Working with Scott [Miller], ‘JP’ [Jean-Paul de Marigny] and the physios and strength and conditioning coaches that I have has been good … I have learnt a lot from them.”
Lowe, who is heavily involved with West Wallsend FC as both a player and committee member, said there have been many highlights for him during his time supporting the club’s first team, but his biggest buzz came in 2014 when he ventured with the first team to Kogarah for the Jets’ pre-season friendly against Juventus which was played behind closed doors.
Moreover, he’s thankful that his and Voigt’s efforts are recognised by the club’s football leaders.
“The biggest buzz was when we went down to play Juventus and we got to deal with those players behind the scenes and meet players like [Gianluigi] Buffon and [Arturo] Vidal,” he said. “It really stuck out to me how professional they are the standards that they operate at.”
“Scotty and JP have been great – they make you feel welcome around here and they appreciate the hard work that we put in, so that’s all we can ask for,” he said.