Wheelhouse realises a dream

With the 2011/12 A-League season kick off just over a week away, the Newcastle Jetslast week announced local Toronto junior, Jobe Wheelhouse will wear the captain’s armband.

With the 2011/12 A-League season kick off just over a week away, the Newcastle Jetslast week announced local Toronto junior, Jobe Wheelhouse will wear the captain-s armband.

Wheelhouse has earned the respect of his peers and the Newcastle football community since making his debut, particularly coach Branko Culina who has watched him work hard over the past two years, both on and off the field, with impressive results.

“Jobe has come of age as a person and a player, showing great responsibility in both areas of his life.” Culina stated.

“He has earned not just the respect of his teammates but also that of all of the coaching staff and management along the way as a result of his tireless efforts thought out pre-season commitments”

Wheelhouse will be the first Newcastle born and bred player to wear the Captain-s armband under the Newcastle Jets banner.

The appointment was unexpected but nonetheless a defining moment in his career.

“It came as a bit of a surprise when Branko sat me down and gave me the news. This is something I have dreamt about for years and I-m looking forward to the opportunity to lead my home team on to the hallowed turf of Ausgrid Stadium,” Wheelhouse stated

Many players have had a chance to wear the Captain-s armband during recent pre-season fixtures, with Jobe himself getting some practice under his belt, but his official tenure at the helm came last Saturday night against the NBN State Select side.

Steering his team for the first time to yet another pre-season win this title is something the midfielder hopes to build on - beginning with next week-s season opener against the Melbourne Heart.

“I know that I will become more vocal within the team during play, however we are a strong team with great leadership shown by all the boys with every achievement being a true team effort” he declared.

With a focus on home-grown talent and fostering grassroots football high on the Hunter Sports Group-s agenda, the selection of Jobe Wheelhouse sends a message to aspiring footballers in the Hunter Region.

“Opening pathways for local players to one day play in a National competition is important” Culina said.

“Jobe can be seen as an inspiration to these players. Young players can take great confidence in knowing that if they apply themselves and put in the hard yards, they too can achieve what he has for his town and his team.”

Playing the role model off the field is an important responsibility for any captain but a duty the skipper is excited about.

“There is so much good young talent in the Hunter Region, you just need to look at the players coming through the Youth team over the past few years. The proof is on the field,” Wheelhouse said.

“I have always wanted to set a good example for the younger players in this game, I know that this role is even more important than ever now. This has been a motivation to my younger brother who is currently in the Newcastle Jets Youth side…with more encouragement and a lot of hard work my brother and I might even play along side each other one day.”

With the season proper almost here, the Newcastle Jets have proven they have what it takes to launch a serious campaign this season following an undefeated trial series, a new captain and an ever growing sponsorship base.

Wheelhouse will lead the Jets onto Ausgrid Stadium for the first time next Saturday October 8 when they take on Melbourne Heart in the opening game of the Hyundai A-league season.

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