Inside Regan’s return to the Jets

For the first time in seven years, Taylor Regan is back in Jets colours.

Having been training with the squad for a couple of weeks now, his signing became official on Wednesday morning, and the 33-year-old will now be pushing for selection in next Saturday’s return to the field against his former club Adelaide.

A Dudley-Redhead junior, the hardy defender comes back to his hometown having spent multiple seasons playing in the Malaysian Premier League and while the landscape of the Club has changed drastically since he was captain back in 2015, there’s still a few familiar faces including Manager Arthur Papas.

Due to the overseas departure of Kosta Petratos, a position in the squad opened up, and after hearing of Regan’s return to Newcastle, Papas reached out.

“I knew he was back in Newcastle so I reached out to him,” Papas said.

“I said ‘come out, we’ll see how you’re moving and there might be a possibility of something’.”

“I worked with Taylor ten years ago when I was at the Jets and I’ve built up a report with them.

“He’s also had a career that’s taken him to Asia as well, and a lot of my experiences have been in Asia. When Aussies are in Asia, they’re always connected in bits and pieces.”

A complete revamp of the squad took place when the new coaching staff arrived back in July 2021, which included a brand new backline to play in front of goalkeeper Jack Duncan.

While Regan’s skill and work ethic earned him a new contract with the team, Papas also made mention of several other factors for why the defender was signed.

“I love working with Taylor,” he said.

“I love the way he goes about himself, the way he communicates in the dressing room and the type of leader that he is as well.

“The fact that he’s a genuine born and bred Newcastle boy is extremely important as well. There’s so many positives to bringing him in.”

By the time our Men hopefully take to the field on Sunday 30 January, they will have missed six matches and six weeks of football, effectively creating a logjam of fixtures throughout the remainder of the season – another reason for bringing in someone of Regan’s experience.

With so many games still to play, and many of them expected to take place during the week going forward, Papas knew of the extra depth that would be required to finish the year on a high.

“Defensively, we probably haven’t got the exact depth that we’d like to have,” he said.

“We’re anticipating many, many games without as much recovery-time, and I think it’s important that we’ve got that competition there and that depth.

“It’s all about anticipating what that schedule is going to look like which is very different to what we thought when we first built the squad.”