JETS INSIDER – Clayton Zane


In this week’s edition of Jets Insider, Clayton Zane answered questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

In this week’s edition of Jets Insider, interim head coach Clayton Zane answered questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

Zane answered questions about how he is settling into his new role, how he plans to use new recruits Joel Griffiths and David Carney and the Jets’ focus for the remainder of the season.

Olivia Hall asks via email: What has been the biggest adjustment you-ve tried to make to the team since taking over as head coach?

CZ: I watched the pre-season unfold and we don-t want to veer away from the work that was done there and start completely from scratch.

We-re just looking to simplify roles and make sure that defensively, the structure is as good as it can be to keep our goal in tact, because I feel we-re a team that will always threaten with the people we have in the front third.

@Ben_Robbo10 asks via Twitter: Hi Clayton, how will Joel Griffiths fit into the line up tactically?

CZ: Joel is a fairly versatile player who can fit in just about anywhere in the front third, but I see him leading the line in tandem with the likes of (Emile) Heskey and (Adam) Taggart.

We-ll have a number 9 and a number 10 and it will be up to those players to develop their chemistry and learn to play off each other.

Ryan Parker asks via email: What has been the most difficult thing for you to get used to in the past few weeks?

CZ: Adjusting to all the extra elements of the job has taken a little bit of getting used to, because there are a lot of extra responsibilities that come with being the head coach of the A-League side as opposed to National Youth League.

Things like dealing with media, community engagement, getting more involved with set-pieces and video analysis, liaising with the medical staff, having more dialogue with each individual player on a day-to-day basis and just generally making sure each area is running smoothly.

They-re all areas that I-ve had to get my head around in a short space of time, but I feel like I-m steadily coming to grips with those elements of the role.

Mitchell Green asks via email: How do you think the additions of Nick Ward, Joel Griffiths and David Carney will help us towards the back end of the season?

CZ: I think all three of them come to the Club with good pedigree. They-ve played at good Clubs and they-ve had good experiences in different leagues overseas.

I think they-ll improve the standards in the training environment, help people within the group in their individual roles.

You can see that all three of them are very good players, so during the back end of the season they going to be very important for us.

Each game left now has a finals-like importance to it and that-s where you need players with big-game experience and all three of those guys tick that box

@lquiquer asks via Twitter: Why was Connor Chapman left out of the squad last week after playing (and captaining) the Australian U-22 side?

CZ: I-ve been quite happy with the team defensively and although we copped a few goals against the Central Coast I don-t necessarily feel it was through individual errors.

Also, I think it-s important when you come in to show a little bit of faith with the players that you trust for that first game and give them a chance to rectify things.

For the majority of the time, Taylor (Regan) and Kew (Jaliens) have been quite consistent.

It-s a shame that Connor-s season has been broken up by his national team commitments, but the challenge now is for him to try and work his way back into contention so he-s ready to take the chance when it comes.

@soccer_joel asks via Twitter: What are your coaching ambitions?

CZ: I haven-t really thought much beyond this 12-week period. For me now, the job is to make the top six and we-ve got 10 games left to do that.

I prefer to focus on each match as it comes and beyond that, the Club hierarchy will decide which direction they-re looking to take once the season is finished, but I-d like to think this won-t be my first and only chance of being a head coach.

Jared Undery asks via email: One thing that has really been troubling me to understand with what has been going on at the Jets in recent years is the lack of opportunities provided to young Kale Bradbery. Considering his obvious ability at finishing chances and what can only be described as issues with goal scoring in the HAL side why has he had no opportunity?

CZ: Kale has proven he-s a very good goal scorer at National Youth League level, but in recent seasons one of the biggest changes in Australian football has been the gulf between the NYL and A-League.

Having worked as a youth coach and now with the A-League squad, I see the difference in quality between the two on a daily basis and I know it isn-t an easy step to make.

Kale has been brought in numerous times to train with the first team and that-s helped his development a lot.

As a Club, we-re working as hard as we can to make sure the better youth players have the best chance possible to become A-League players, but you have to be careful not to break a player by bringing them in before they-re ready to make an impact.

Owen Fischer asks via email: What are the main things the team needs to focus on to make sure we get a finals spot?

CZ: The big thing is just focusing on one game at the time and that-s the way we-re going to approach it for the back end of the season.

Each game is a chance to climb up a rung on the ladder and we can-t get ahead of ourselves and say that any one match is more important than another.

Every point becomes so crucial at this point of the season and we-ve got to fight to get the maximum number of points out of each game we play to give us the best possible chance of finishing in the top six.

Brian Gould asks via email: As well as the Jets, which five other teams do you see making up the top six at the end of the season?

CZ: At the moment, you would have to say Brisbane Roar, Western Sydney Wanderers and Central Coast Mariners are all in a good position.

It-s so congested in the middle of the ladder that just about any team could fill those remaining spots, but if I had to pick two, I-d probably say Adelaide United and Sydney FC.

Thank you for all your questions! Make sure you follow @NewcastleJetsFC on Twitter to find out who will be in the Jets Insider hot seat next week.