Jets turn to Facebook to find overseas talent

Newcastle Jets are harnessing the power of Facebook to unearth foreign talent as they seek to bolster their roster for next season.

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The Facebook iconic 'like' symbol and former Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Brighitti Source: Getty Images

With his eye on attracting a Diego Castro-like visa signing, football operations chief Joel Griffiths - whose playing career took in China, England and Switzerland and France - has turned to the web to scour his far-flung Facebook contacts in a novel approach to player recruitment.

Though the as yet un-named new Jets coach will have the final say, club legend Griffiths is doing his best to provide some interesting options when Mark Jones's replacement is announced.

"We have a foreign (marquee) spot we want to fill and are searching under every rock to find that player," declared Griffiths.

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"It's amazing how helpful Facebook can be - there are people I played with in France and Switzerland who I've reached out to for recommendations on players in their leagues.

"We have done a similar thing with players in the MLS, and it's incredible the feedback you can get through that Facebook forum.

"It's a good thing, though obviously it's really important you trust the judgement of those you're talking to."

The Jets, who plan to unveil a new coach imminently, have 10 players coming off contract including imports Morten Nordstrand, Ma Leilei and Mateo Poljak - none of whom look likely to be retained.

Finnish forward Aleksandr Kokko has a year remaining on his two-year whilst Englishman Wayne Brown has two seasons left on his contract.

Highly prized import Rory O'Donovan has just penned a two-year agreement in a significant boost for the wooden spooners.

"Whoever does eventually come in will have a stronger squad than in previous seasons to pick from," insisted Griffiths.

"We have some really good players on our shortlist for available positions ... players I rate highly from my playing days."


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2 min read
Published 5 May 2017 at 4:38pm
By Dave Lewis