FEATURE: Jason Hoffman’s ‘Perfect XI’


We asked Jets defender Jason Hoffman to give us his best side & subs from the players he’s played with and against. He named a coach for his attack-minded team, too!

We asked Jets defender Jason Hoffman to give us his best side & subs from the players he’s played with and against. He named a coach for his attack-minded team, too!


It was extremely hard to go through players, and a head coach, I’ve played with or against and I’m sure many great players I’ve crossed paths with could’ve been named. But here’s a team sheet I either played with or against at different points in time, and they stuck in my mind…

Goalkeeper: Clint Bolton
I had the pleasure to play with Clint at Melbourne Heart and for me it’s without hesitation that he gets the keepers spot. A very humble, honest character who didn’t beat around the bush. You knew where you stood and for me he was a great leader from the back. Very consistent and had a successful career. Also, one of the most dedicated professionals I’ve ever met.

Right back: Seamus Coleman
Only briefly did I cross paths with Seamus Coleman when I played against him back when Melbourne Heart were launched and we played Everton in a friendly. Being a right fullback, I admired and respected his energy and athleticism that day as he was a young player, and you can see he does it week in week out in the most physical league in the world in my opinion, the Premier League

Centre back: Paul Okon
Paul Okon makes my dream team as a centre back because that’s where he was playing when I first started my professional career at Newcastle Jets. He was the captain and a great leader. He taught me so much in my first season in that environment and I respected him so much. Obviously had a great career in Europe and for the Socceroos.

Centre back: Craig Moore
I thought it was appropriate to mention Craig Moore in my team, as not only did he have a great career, but he was the first player I can genuinely remember playing against and getting a real lesson. He was at Queensland Roar and was so physical. He never gave me an inch. I remember after that season saying playing against him was easily one of my toughest days out.

Left back: Aziz Behich
Aziz makes my team because I don’t think I’ve ever met a player more determined and hungry to win than him. I remember at training and in games at Melbourne Heart he was a standout through sheer desire, and his tireless effort to win at all costs was a huge asset. A good character with a left foot to match.

Defensive midfield: Orlando Engelaar

Defensive midfield: Orlando Engelaar
I’ve never met a player in my life like Orlando Engelaar. I was so fortunate to play with him in Melbourne and although he was so laid back, his technical and tactical ability was outstanding. Such a chilled out guy but an extremely unique and talented footballer.

Attacking midfield: Aaron Mooy
Every Aussie football fan knows Aaron Mooy right now. I played with Aaron when I was 15 in NSWIS and later at Melbourne City, and you’ll go a long way to find a better technical player. Always has a massive say in most matches and has the football world very close to the palm of his hand. Such a great Australian talent.

Attacking midfield: Harry Kewell
I grew up and admired Harry Kewell from a young age, as most young Aussie footballers my age did. When I got the opportunity to play with him I was honored to play in the same eleven. Recognised by many as Australia’s greatest ever player.

Right forward: Douglas Costa
I played against Douglas Costa at the U20 World Cup in Egypt in 2009 and he was an extreme talent in that tournament. Most football fans will know him these days as starring for not only Bayern Munich but also Brasil. Clearly living up to his potential as a superstar on some of the biggest stages in world football.

Left forward: Damien Duff 
Damien Duff was another player I was lucky to meet in Melbourne. One of the sharpest and most explosive players I’ve ever played with. He trained with an unrivaled intensity and had a fantastic career. A great character off the field also.

Centre forward: David Villa

Centre forward: David Villa
I think David Villa would have to be the biggest star I played with. Still to this day I pinch myself that I had to opportunity to meet and play with one of the top strikers in the world. An extremely good finisher and also one of the most humble individuals you’ll every meet. A real legend.

Substitute: Mat Ryan
Maty Ryan just pips Mark Birighitti for the second keeper spot. I’ve played with and against Mat, and he quickly became one of Australia’s brightest young keepers. He has gone from strength to strength and is now well established in the national team and in Europe. Hard to beat and has great distribution. I’m sure he will feature in the national team for some time. 

Substitute: Tim Cahill
What a performer and Aussie icon. Every Aussie football fan knows him and he always delivers in the national shirt. Has well established himself in the football world, and I had to pleasure to play against him for Melbourne Heart when we played Everton in a friendly. 

Substitute: Joel Griffiths
Had to mention Joel in my team sheet. He was outstanding in 2007/08 when we won the Hyundai A-League with Newcastle and he is definately one of the biggest competitors I’ve ever met. Great eye for goal and pace to burn.

Substitute: Gerald Sibon
Gerald, much like Orlando Engelaar, was one of the most unique players I’ve ever met. I played with him in Melbourne and he had great awareness and a near perfect first touch. Great feet and skill for a tall player and possessed a fiercely powerful shot. 

Substitute: Josip Skoko
Josip made my team just ahead of Vince Grella. Both players had great careers but I had a little more time with Josip and got to know more about his game seeing him day in day out. Very good technical player and one of the smartest players I’ve played with. Didn’t say a lot as he’d rather lead by example, and he read situations extremely well.

Coach: Scott Miller

Head Coach: Scott Miller
Possibly the hardest name to narrow down on a team sheet for me. I’ve enjoyed learning different things about football and myself from all different coaches I’ve had, and I hope this continues for the rest of my playing career. That being said, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing under the ‘Gaffa’ at Newcastle, Scott Miller. He showed a lot of faith in not only myself, but the team in general last season, and I know he is determined to make Newcastle Jets a success, and a team for Novocastrians to be proud of. I believe I will continue to learn and improve under his guidance for the years to come.