JETS INSIDER – Michael Bridges


In this week’s edition of Jets Insider, striker Michael Bridges answers questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Jets Insider, striker Michael Bridges answers questions submitted by the Club-s Members and supporters.

Bridges is quizzed on topics including being a role model for young players, the toughest defenders he has played against and his favourite goal in Jets colours.

@jetsfanchick asks via Twitter: Hi Bridgey! Do you enjoy mentoring younger players and what tips and tricks have you passed on?

Michael Bridges (MB): I-ve been helping out with the under 6-s team that my boy and my girl play in and I-ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

Also just being a mentor to the young lads at the Jets who are coming through is great. I used to look up to guys like Niall Quinn, David Kelly and Alan Shearer when I was a younger lad and obviously any advice they passed on I-d take it on.

You want to pass on your wisdom to these players because they have bright futures here at the Jets.

Thomas Radinski asks via email: How do you think the A-League has changed since when you first came here to play with Sydney FC?

MB: It has come on in leaps and bounds. It-s great having marquee players of the calibre of Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton, but you-ve actually got kids coming through now from the youth systems and it-s unbelievable how the youth coaching and structure has changed.

You-ve also got teams like Brisbane Roar who have set a mark for all the other teams to try and emulate what they-ve done and it-s just been superb.

It-s an entertaining league with plenty of goals and it is getting worldwide recognition. There are plenty of players who want to come here and the future is bright for the A-League.

@LukeD01_JBaus asks via Twitter: Why do you dislike Arsenal? As a Gooner, was Tony Adams and Martin Keown the best defence you played against?

MB: I don-t dislike Arsenal, but I am a Spurs fan so there-s obviously a rivalry there. Martin Keown and Tony Adams are actually the two hardest centre-halves I played against and they were very good at trying to put you off your game.

@gary_fish_newy asks via Twitter: How much does it annoy you when journalists beat up stories out of nothing and paint the Club and players in a bad light?

MB: Obviously it-s not good. Things get blown out of proportion and taken out of context depending on the spin the media want to put on it, but that-s part and parcel of being someone in an industry where people look up to you.

As a footballer you-re going to get scrutinised no matter what you do, but it-s good to have a Twitter to be able to voice your own opinion and put things right.

Angie Moore asks via email: What-s your favourite goal you-ve scored for the Newcastle Jets and why?

MB: It would have to be the one against the Central Coast Mariners at home. Tarek Elrich played the ball into Labinot Haliti who did a great little flick with the back heel. I nutmegged Chris Doig and put it in the top corner.

It was my first goal for the Jets and being in the F3 derby as well made it even more special.

@DaveBriant96 asks via Twitter: What does Bridgy do in his spare time? Same as Ben and play video games?

MB: That used to be me when I was 19 or 20. I used to sit and play Championship Manager day-in, day-out. No- a-day it-s about family time whenever I can, going out on bike rides and enjoying the city. I-m looking forward to the sunshine and getting to the beach again.

I also absolutely love my golf so if there-s any chance I can be on a golf course, that-s always something I try to do.

@Altifit asks via Twitter: What was that banging drums, clash of cymbals goal celebration all about at Carlisle Bridgy?

MB: That was me, Chris Lumsdon, the assistant manager Dennis Smith taking the mickey out of Paul Arnison who used to think he was a bit of a music man. It was just one of those celebrations where we were having a bit of fun and it was good to see the fans enjoyed it as much as we did.

Mitch Small asks via email: Do you know any inside info on how Harry Kewell-s search for a Club is going over in the UK?

MB: The only clubs he-s searching for at the moment are his golf clubs! Seriously though, I-m sure a man of his quality and calibre will have something sorted out fairly soon.

Sara Wilkins asks via email: What was it like being an Englishman while the London Olympics were on? Was a there a great sense of pride there?

MB: There definitely was. I didn-t know if the Green and Gold or Team GB would come out on top on the medal tally. Before I left to go to England Great Britain had one gold medal, but by the time I landed 35 hours later Team GB had 13! I-m not sure what happened, but it was amazing to see.

It was great for Great Britain, given everything that-s happened with the recession and the riots, to see everyone brought together.

Roger Walsh asks via email: What did you think of the concept of Great Britain fielding a team in the Olympic football tournament? Is it something you would like to see in future Olympics?

MB: I think it might have been a one-off thing for the home Olympics, but I would like to hope they would try and do it in the future. It-s very hard though for a lot of the lads who are coming off a whole season of Club football who have England commitments as well as Team GB.

I wouldn-t turn down the opportunity to play for Great Britain in the Olympics if I was under 23 and I would like to see the concept continue, but we-ll just have to wait and see.

Frank Williams asks via email: Do you ever wonder where you might have ended up if it was for some of the unlucky injuries you picked up early in your career?

MB: I do sometimes, but I-m a big believer in fate and things happening for a reason. Obviously football sends you on a journey and I could have retired before, but I-m glad that I didn-t.

I-m not as quick as I was previously, but I still have a football brain that has helped me to have a really great career and I-m very thankful for that.

My dad always tells me that I could have represented England at the top level because I was in Sven Goran Eriksson-s squad before I got injured, but who knows. I definitely don-t have any regrets about how my career has panned out.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview head coach Gary van Egmond will answer YOUR questions. Simply tweet your question using the #JetsInsider hashtag or send your question to communications@huntersportsgroup.com by COB Wednesday. Then check back in Jets Insider next week to see if your question is answered.