Jets v Sydney update to fans from the Executive Chairman

In response to some of the enquiries we’ve recently been encountering regarding the COVID cases amongst our squad, Newcastle Jets Executive Chairman, Shane Mattiske has penned the following letter to our supporters.

To our Members, fans, and stakeholders,

By now many of you will be aware that the Club has unfortunately been hit with a fresh round of COVID cases which has had a significant effect on our playing squad and football staff.

As a result of these cases, our starting striker, winger and defender are out and we have lost two of our three goalkeepers. Jack Duncan remains COVID-free however is still returning from injury and not 100% fit. Five of our key football staff are also affected.

Over the last few days, the Club has been intensely engaging with the APL on the implication for tonight’s match.

Under the APL’s regulations, the Club is in a position where we can request the match to be postponed, as has happened for the Jets and other teams in the competition to date.

The existing league regulations state that if a Club requests a match to be postponed, but it is not possible for the match to be played at a later date, the match will be declared as a no result match – where both teams receive zero points. With the finals series scheduled to start on May 13, it was made clear to us there will be no opportunity for the match to be rescheduled to another date in the regular season.

Across the whole competition, the APL has now determined that any new postponement that occurs due to COVID will be declared as a no result. Whilst the Jets v Sydney FC match is unfortunately the first instance of this regulation being applied, we have been advised that moving forward, it will be the case for any Club that experiences significant Covid disruption.

As a result, we have now been directed that our choice is to either move forward and play this evening’s match without key players, or to seek a postponement and be given a no result.

Our Club has been dealt a very challenging hand, however, despite this, our nature as a Club and a team, is that we will always compete and fight for victory, irrespective of the adversity we face and the challenges we must overcome. It’s what we’ve always done, and we believe that’s what our fans and the people of Newcastle deserve. As such, we have confirmed we will play Sydney FC as planned and have not sought a postponement.

I urge you, the fans, to help us through this fight and bring your support tonight. While we always feel your support, our team needs you even more so now.

There is no doubt that we will line-up with a significantly affected side and, due to the late stage of the competition, will be the first Club to face the sour decision of playing with a significantly COVID-affected side, or face a no-result. However, we also believe in our squad, and the way they’ll compete tonight.

Due to COVID, the Club currently has no reserve A-League goalkeepers available. We are still in the process of trying to clear the way for a keeper from a Northern NSW NPL club to join the Jets for one match and act as a reserve keeper.  This is not yet resolved. 

Our team selection is still being determined and will be advised closer to kick-off.