Jets give Jess Vanstrattan another crack at playing

Jess Vanstrattan thought his playing days were behind him until the Newcastle Jets came along. 

The embattled Hunter outfit is continuing to bolster their squad for the back-half of the season signing the former Serie A custodian for the remainder of 2014/15.

Vanstrattan will provide back up to Ben Kennedy as well as mentor both Kennedy and young shot-stopper John Solari.

The 32-year-old Godford-born Vanstrattan spent seven years in Italy as a player, making 78 appearances for Verona and four appearances for Juventus.

He returned to Australia in 2008, first for Gold Coast United and then Central Coast Mariners, and was released by the Mariners in 2011.

Most recently, the former Australian youth international has coached goalkeepers at Central Coast Mariners Academy and Central Coast Football.

Vanstrattan said he was excited to be back involved with an A-League club.

“It’s a great feeling,” Vanstrattan said.

“I wasn’t sure I would get another chance as a player, but certainly I want to coach goalkeepers at the Hyundai A-League level and this provides me with a platform to do that. 

"I think in this situation to be a back up to Ben (Kennedy) is something that someone with my experience can deal with.”

Vanstrattan added that he hopes to be able to share some of the “little things” he’s learnt throughout his career with Kennedy and Solari in a bid to make them stronger keepers for the Club.

“During my time with Juventus I worked closely with one of the best goalkeepers in history, Gianluigi Buffon, and some fantastic goalkeeper coaches,” he said.

“So I think there are plenty of little things, advice and improvements I can offer Ben and John that can be beneficial for the Jets.”

Newcastle Jets coach Phil Stubbins said he’s delighted to have recruited Vanstrattan.

“Jess has a lot of experience and has worked at a very high level,” Stubbins said.

“We’re sure that he will prove to be an able deputy for Ben Kennedy if required, and that he possesses the knowledge to assist BK and John Solari to enhance their game.

“Jess is another fresh, enthusiastic face at the Club and we’re delighted to have him on board.”