Stubbins: Newcastle Jets only want committed players

BY BEN SOMERFORD: Phil Stubbins says he only wants players who want to play for the Newcastle Jets in the wake of local product Andrew Hoole’s decision to leave at season’s end.

The 21-year-old Newcastle product will join Sydney FC at the end of the season, opting to turn down a contract offer from the Jets.

The decision comes amid turmoil at the club, following the resignations of CEO Robbie Middleby and chairman Ray Baartz and uncertainty about Nathan Tinkler’s ownership.

The Jets are in the market for players following the departures of imports Marcos Flores and Jonny Steele, along with Sam Gallaway for Western Sydney Wanderers, which combined with Hoole’s decision, has created talk of a player exodus.

However, Stubbins made a firm statement when speaking to FourFourTwo about the type of players he wanted to bring into the club.

“We’re Newcastle Jets and we only want players who want to play for Newcastle Jets,” Stubbins said.

“We want people here who are happy to roll their sleeves up and do everything they can for the club.”

Ninth-placed Newcastle resumes their A-League season on Saturday away to Adelaide, but despite his decision to leave, Stubbins said Hoole wouldn’t be ignored for selection.

“When you’ve been involved in football a long time you understand these situations happen from time to time,” Stubbins said.

“Andrew will get the reassurance from my self. We need him to be performing. He’s shown some flashes of his potential which is why another club has come in for him.”

Stubbins added: “It’s very disappointing for the club that a player coming through the youth ranks and who has been developed by the club, has decided to leave.

“We did everything we could to keep him at the club. He’s had advice and his decision was to leave. We respect that.

“I’m sure whilst he remains a the club, he’ll do everything he can for the cause.

“He’s a terrific young man. Even though he’s leaving, I’ve still got a lot of time for him.”

Meanwhile, Stubbins, who has only managed one win in 14 games in charge of the Jets, conceded the club’s situation was far from ideal.

“Any coach you ask, would you prefer a CEO in place to allow for a functioning structure within the club, they’d all say yes,” Stubbins said.

“I have to say, the resources and the people we’ve got at the club, including the chairman Nathan Tinkler, are trying extremely hard to overcome the shortfall we’ve got and keep the club heading in the right direction.”