In the lead up to the 2014 VB NSW Cup season, we will shine the spotlight on all 13 competing teams to see how they are shaping up for the year ahead.
Today we take a look at the Newtown Jets.
Head Coach: Greg Matterson
Home Ground: Henson Park
Year Entered Competition: 2000
2013 Result: 5th (14 wins, 10 losses)
2014 Key Signings (Roosters/Jets): Brett Lane (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Jonathon Reuben (Canberra Raiders), Remi Casty (Catalan Dragons), Heath L’Estrange (Bradford Bulls) & Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Warriors).
One of rugby league’s most storied clubs will be at it once again in 2014 as the Newtown Jets look to return to the heights that saw them crowned VB NSW Cup Premiers back in 2012.
Season 2013 was one that never really hit any great heights for the Bluebags yet it was only a Round 26 loss to the Bulldogs that saw them finish the season outside of the top four.
The 2014 season draw looms as an exciting one for Jets players and fans alike. The Jets will play two home matches out of Allianz Stadium in Rounds 12 & 19 against Mounties and Penrith respectively, as curtain raisers to Roosters NRL clashes, and also have a fixture at ANZ Stadium in Round 20 against the Bulldogs. In addition to this, Jets faithful will also be treated to another 10 home games at their spiritual mecca, Henson Park.
The Jets look to have another very serviceable squad for the upcoming campaign with a number of favourites like Barrett, Pearn and Moujalli all returning as well as tapping into some of the Roosters off season signings.
With players such as Ryley Jacks, Henare Wells, Nafe Seluini and Michael Oldfield having left the club over the break, Greg Matterson will be hoping that players such as L’Estrange, Reuben and Lane will be able to fill the void when they are not required in the top grade.
One possible cause for concern at present is their halves situation. It would seem that Samisoni Langi may be earmarked for the six jersey early doors, however after the departure of Jacks, the halfback jersey appears up for grabs. Matterson will obviously look to trial a number of candidates in the role during the clubs upcoming trials, but if no one puts their hands up, the club may still yet be looking to bring someone in prior to the commencement of the season.
We caught up with the Jets head coach, Greg Matterson, who is set to lead the club for the seventh straight season, and he knows that this year may prove to be his toughest yet.
“I’m aiming for us to be very competitive in what looks to be another extremely tight competition,” Matterson said.
“I like where we are heading this season with an exciting young squad that also has some good old fashioned hard heads in it.”
The Newtown Jets will play trials against the Knights and Panthers as well as another hit out in early March against Dapto on the weekend that the competition kicks off (the Jets have a Round One bye).