Kennedy can be one of the best, says Jets' new keeper coach

Former Juventus goalkeeper, Jess Vanstrattan, has signed on as Newcastle Jet's goalkeeper coach for next season, flagging big things for the club's harried custodian Ben Kennedy. 

Vanstrattan, who joined the Jets in a player/mentor capacity early in 2015, will turn his full attention to coaching the club’s shot-stoppers from pre-season. 

The experienced former Serie A gloveman featured in the A-League for both Gold Coast United and Central Coast Mariners.

And he feels confident of helping turnaround the Jets fortunes next season by looking after the team’s last line of defence.

The Jets are sitting bottom of the table after conceding 53 goals this season - more than any other club - and have a minus 31 goal difference.

Earlier this year, long-time Jet and local product Kennedy signed a two-season contract extension with the club and Vanstrattan believes he can take the custodian’s game to another level.

“Ben has a lot of potential and I have told him that,” he said of the 28-year-old. “But there are a number of things that we can work on with him and continuously improve.

“It comes back to the style of play that we want to play, things like keeping the ball and playing out from the back.

“’BK’ has a lot of talent – he’s a good shot-stopper but I think we can make him more commanding in the area, more demanding, give him a bigger presence.

“He (Kennedy) has the possibility and potential to make the step from where he is now to being one of the best goalkeepers in the league. I can’t see why he can’t achieve that.”

Newcastle Jets Head Coach Phil Stubbins described Vanstrattan as an important member of his coaching team.

“We’re very fortunate to have somebody with the experience of Jess Vanstrattan at the club,” Stubbins said.

“He’s had some impact already on the goalkeepers and he’s got a winning mentality – something that I believe will filter through the group.”

“He’s very professional and humble, so we’re looking forward to Jess’ contributions next season.”